Ryan + Romney = Beavis & Butt-Head

The Republican Ticket
By EDITORIAL  |  August 15, 2012

bb1

It all makes sense, once you realize that Paul Ryan's high-school classmates voted him "biggest brownnoser."

In his quest to pick the perfect vice president — in the first defining act of his would-be presidency — Mitt Romney just couldn't overlook Ryan's pedigree.

The symmetry was too elegant, too apt.

Romney, the prep-school bully who, backed by a posse of like-minded rich kids, forcibly cut the hair of a classmate whose locks were too long for their taste, knows quality when he sees it.

Ryan is an ultramontane Catholic, opposed to birth control, abortion, and same-sex marriage. This makes him genetically engineered for GOP approval. And his ability to nestle his proboscis between the nether cheeks of whichever Republican holds the whip hand is undisputed and admired — at least among those who go in for such things.

His prowess as a suckup was the distinction that made all of the difference to Romney, although it reportedly made most of the candidate's back-room advisors more than a little leery of Ryan.

Ryan's star turn as the boytoy of the Tea Party is a recent metamorphosis. For most of his 13 years in the House of Representatives, Ryan was a certified big spender: for the military, for public works (including Alaska's infamous "bridge to nowhere"), and even for TARP, the bank bailouts, and the loan to rescue the auto industry. During the Bush presidency, Ryan never saw a big expenditure he didn't vote for — including the massive expansion of Medicare. Anathemas all, at least, to Romney's current political incarnation.

But Ryan's true passion is for cutting taxes for the wealthy, especially the top two percent.

If there is a through line, a common denominator, a theme in Ryan's public life, it is that he favors lower taxes for the super-rich, as well as the abolition of capital gains, and appears to be relatively indifferent to the prospect of tax hikes for everyone else. In Ryan's view, wealth, prosperity, and the good life all trickle down.

If Romney's campaign has been bought — or at least rented — lock, stock, and Bloomberg machine by Wall Street, then Ryan can go Romney one better: Ryan is the candidate of the folks who own Wall Street.

One of Ryan's smartest career moves was to be born into a family of considerable means. Ryan's father, a lawyer, is a scion of the family that founded the construction company Ryan Incorporated, which, together with its subsidiaries Ryan Incorporated Southern and Ryan Incorporated Central, has earned hundred of millions of dollars building roads, highways, and defense facilities for the federal government. Paid for, of course, by American taxpayers.

A fitting slogan for the Ryan campaign could be: "Millions for us. Nothing for the middle class. And the poor — forget about 'em."

Clearly, Ryan is a man close to Romney's heart.

In a political party who take their strategy tips from Nancy Reagan ("Just say no!"), Ryan has earned a reputation as an intellectual and a policy wonk. He reads legislation, understands what he reads, and is said to own a library of economic texts. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is truly king — or at least a prince.

1  |  2  |   next >
  Topics: The Editorial Page , Mitt Romney, Politics, News,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY EDITORIAL
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MERCY AND SAL DIMASI  |  March 13, 2013
    When it comes to showing a modicum of mercy to some of those convicted of federal crimes, Barack Obama is shaping up to have the worst track record of any president in recent memory.
  •   NEXT, MARRIAGE EQUALITY  |  March 05, 2013
    On March 27 and 28, the US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in two cases that could essentially put America on the road to full marriage equality.
  •   THUS SPAKE MARKEY  |  February 26, 2013
    Last week, Congressman Ed Markey inadvertently injected some daring political thinking and a touch of historical imagination into the race to fill the US Senate seat vacated by John Kerry's appointment as secretary of state.
  •   DRONES: 10 THOUGHTS  |  February 20, 2013
    Foreign drone attacks are almost (but not quite yet) as American as apple pie.
  •   MISSION CREEP: THE 'LONG WAR' ON AL QAEDA TERRORISTS  |  February 13, 2013
    America is a prisoner of the War on Terror, which military and diplomatic policy makers once called the Long War.

 See all articles by: EDITORIAL