Paul Ryan And A Republican Paradox

I am not much of a risk taker. As a Democrat, I do not want a Republican ticket so offensive they draw liberals to the ballot box.

Despite the potential rewards, I hate the feeling of “talk me down from the ledge” panic, the possibility of another corrupt Republican administration in the White House. But, having now reviewed Romney and Ryan’s records and seeing them in action, here I sit, dangling my feet from a ledge on a gusty day…

I always knew Mitt Romney was a hypocrite. His entire candidacy, after all, is built on positions that have all changed (abortion, gay rights, healthcare, climate change, immigration, stem cell research, tax policy, etc…).

I was initially caught off guard by Paul Ryan’s hypocrisy, however. Many claimed he was the poster boy for the modern GOP, symbolizing all that was wholesome and conservative in the Republican Party.

To help offset Mitt’s whack-a-mole convictions, I actually wanted a Republican on the ticket with some principles and consistency, someone with a voting record that supported their ideology. A conservative with integrity, I’d hoped, would be healthy for the national dialog and better frame the debate.

Unfortunately, Paul Ryan is arguably more offensive than Mitt Romney. While Mitt is a party pushover and will say anything to get elected, he hasn’t been “on the job” for a decade and a half. His fingerprints aren’t as sticky, pronounced, and offensively pungent as Paul Ryan’s.

To understand Paul Ryan, all you have to do is overlap his record with the financial crisis and recession.

Paul Ryan, along with other Republicans and Democrats, supported legislation that helped cause the financial crisis:

  • Repealing parts of Glass Steagall, allowing commercial and investment banks to merge.
  • Supported the “Financial Derivative Regulation / Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000,” exempting derivatives from regulation, supervision, and trading.

Paul Ryan’s voting record contributed trillions to the national debt:

  • Supported the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003
  • Consistently voted for wars and defense spending
  • Voted for Medicare Prescription Drug Benefits
  • Voted for TARP

Paul Ryan is a “party first, country be damned” Republican. Although he spent recklessly under Bush, he only became sanctimoniously “conservative” after Obama became President, when Ryan’s votes were most needed to clean up the mess Ryan helped create.

Now that Paul Ryan is the Vice Presidential Nominee for the Republican Party, he is at his most offensive: pinning his failures on opponents, blatantly distorting facts, and insisting that the sick, elderly, and poor pay for his binge spending and tax cuts.

Paul Ryan’s manipulation of facts was on full display at the Republican National Convention:

  • Insinuating Obama closed down a GM plant shuttered under Bush
  • Scaring seniors into believing Obama was cutting their Medicare benefits
  • Blaming Obama for the US credit downgrade fueled by the Republican Congress
  • Lambasting the President for not acting urgently on the Debt Commission, when Ryan himself voted against it

Further demonstrating Paul Ryan’s manic hypocrisy, earlier this week the Nation revealed that while voting against “Obamacare” over 30 times, Ryan requested Obamacare funds for his district in 2010. Ryan refuted the claims, insisting the funds were requested from a grant program initiated by President Bush, which also proved to be false (the funds essentially came out of Obamacare).

In addition to other examples demonstrating Paul Ryan’s hypocrisy with voting against (and later requesting) stimulus dollars, the Obamacare example exposes a Paul Ryan and Republican paradox – Spending is perfectly acceptable when it’s money allocated by a Republican like Bush, yet the same dollars are somehow toxic when associated with Obama.

Paul Ryan is the poster boy for the modern GOP, but he symbolizes all that is wrong and corrupt with the Republican Party this election: refuse to accept accountability, blame your opponent for all that is wrong, incite fear and panic, and pray that voters don’t evaluate your record, won’t notice that you are a manic hypocrite hellbent on power.

Mitt must be proud.