Saturday, August 11, 2012

First Responses to the Paul Ryan Pick

A lot is going to be said about the Romney picking Rep. Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate (a lot of it probably by me).  Polling indicates that about half the country has never heard of him, and of those who have heard of him it's split pretty evenly between love and hate (actually leaning a little bit towards hate).  So it's going to be a race to define him for both campaigns over the next few weeks.  And Romney's going to lose.  Not because the Obama campaign already has this ad up:


But because when they hear about the Ryan Plan Budget, 58% of Americans (and 74% of senior citizens) are opposed to it.  And those numbers may actually be on the low side since because many people simply refuse to believe that anyone would actually advocate for the destruction of Medicare to pay for tax cuts for millionaires.  It's been 8 hours since the pick was officially announced and already the Romney campaign is trying to distance themselves from the Ryan Budget.  And that's simply not going to work.  There's not a way to separate Ryan and his budget.  He is possibly the clearest distillation of Republican economic thought, and people aren't going to like it when they see it:
And, in the Congress, there is Congressman Paul Ryan, who is angling right now to make a career out of political sadism. 
Make no mistake: Ryan is a thoroughgoing nutball, as bug-house crazy on economics as Peter King is on Muslims and Steve King is on anyone swarthier than himself. He is a lifelong adherent to the doctrines of Ayn Rand, which ought to disqualify anyone from ever being taken seriously enough to park cars by anyone over the age of fifteen. In terms of their connection to actual human reality, the difference between the doctrines of Ayn Rand and the doctrines of L. Ron Hubbard is not substantial, and the fervor of their acolytes is almost exactly the same. Picking Paul Ryan to handle your political economy is tantamount to electing Tom Cruise to be pope. 
Paul Ryan is a thoroughgoing fraud. He went through high school and most of college on Social Security survivor benefits after his father's death. He voted for almost all the Bush programs — including both off-the-books wars — that ballooned the deficit he so piously condemns now. And this week, as he rolled out his lunatic conception of a federal budget, Paul Ryan produced the definitive statement of his political philosophy: There are those Americans who deserve to live and those Americans who don't. Period. All of the former are very, very wealthy. All of the latter are poor, or struggling, or old. Paul Ryan believes the true mission of government is to bring as much pain to the parasites as it can because, by doing so, it can liberate the genius of those people who deserve to live. When Paul Ryan dreams of a free nation, it is one in which the seventy-two-year-old spouses of seventy-five-year-old patients are free to go out and shop in a rigged insurance market for the $100,000-plus they're going to need over a lifetime of tending to that patient. If they insisted on feeding themselves, and even risking the odd vacation, over the course of their working lives and they failed to anticipate what might befall them, then the spouse is going to have to starve and the patient is just going to have to sit there in his own filth, until market forces determine that they should die.

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