Was Picking Lyin Ryan a Bad Move?

Where’s the Beef Dog?

Paulie Went Over Like a Steel Balloon!

Of all the mistakes Mitt made in his attempt to unseat President Obama and make the Oval Office his new headquarters as CEO of America Incorporated, choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate is among the worse.  While it is conventional wisdom that presidential elections are determined by the top of the ticket, Vice-Presidential running mates are expected to help the ticket by appealing to certain constituencies and contributing particular skills that the Presidential candidate lacks.and like doctors taking the Hyppocratic oath: They must first of all do no harm.

It is a pretty straight forward calculus. John Kennedy chose Lyndon Johnson as a running mate because he was everything that Kennedy wasn’t.  A Boston Irish Catholic born to the purple, his ability to attract southern Protestants and working people was an iffy proposition.  Hence the addition of Lynden Baines Johnson, a Texas  bred Anglo-Saxon protestant, with working class roots and a degree in public speaking proved a brilliant choice.

Furthermore, Kennedy was a relatively inexperienced Senator, while Johnson was one on the most effective Senate majority leaders in history.  This meant that Johnson would prove a valuable asset to Kennedy far beyond the election; should the ticket win Kennedy would have a brilliant manager of his legislative initiatives up on Capitol Hill.

Beyond these considerations Johnson also met the critical test of whether he could step in and become an effective president at a moment’s notice. Alas, as things turned out, this was a test Johnson was confronted with. All of the assumptions proved true, as he helped Kennedy win and proved to be a great president that transformed American society for the better after  Kennedy’s assassination.

Likewise, Joe Biden was chosen by Barack Obama because of his working class Irish Catholic roots, his residence in a border state with a southern tradition, his long experience as a Senator and effective operator on Capitol Hill, and his unquestioned expertise in foreign policy.  When these assets were added to Biden’s brilliant oratorical skills, and his ability to sell Barack’s dreams to reluctant working class white guys, whose understanding of the issues is hazy at best, Biden proved an invaluable asset to the success of the ticket and the process of governing.

These are the kinds of things Mitt’s strategists calculated that Lyin Ryan would bring to the ticket. They envisioned Ryan – a small town mid-westerner from a working class Catholic background – as the perfect counterweight to the stiff, arrogant, Richey Rich Boston business mogul and Mormon Bishop at the top of the ticket.

Furthermore Ryan is a much celebrated policy wonk, who was considered a visionary that had seen the future by right wing Republican ideologues. The Republicans were so certain that this was a winning combination Mitt decided not to even outline a concession speech!

Alas, all of their calculations proved wrong; as is generally the case when they are based on incorrect assumptions. First off, Ryan’s Catholic background proved more of a liability than an asset when his famous “Prosperity Budget” drew fire from the leadership of his church.

A group of Nuns took to the road on a bus, giving voice to the concerns of the poor and telling everybody who would listen that the Ryan budget violated the command of Jesus Christ to feed the poor, heal the sick and clothe the naked. It was an abomination!

The nuns persuasively argued, with passion and conviction, that Ryan’s budget was a rejection Jesus’s clear statement that “as you do unto the least of these…you have done it unto me!”  Their denunciation of Ryan’s claim that his budget was an expression of catholic teaching was affirmed by the clerical hierarchy and intellectuals of the Church.

Ryan’s economic ideas was denounced by the American Conference of Bishops, the theologians and secular intellectuals in major Catholic universities as a heretical doctrine whose true roots lie in in the writings of Ayn Rand – a Russian atheist and Social Darwinist – whose ideas were antithetical to the teachings of Jesus Christ, as clearly expressed in the New Testament.

And when Democratic opposition researcher’s unearthed video footage of Paulie testifying that Rand’s writings inspired him to enter politics, and her ideas formed the basis of his political philosophy, then juxtaposed Ayn Rand on a television talk show declaring her belief that God is a fiction, Ronald Reagan a dangerous warmongering fool, and the nuclear family an unnecessary anachronism, the campaign of Lyin Ryan was on the road to dyin!

Then his ideas became the target of an all-out assault by organized labor, who struggled heroically to let working people know that despite his working class roots, Lyin Ryan was an enemy of working class interests.  When Ryan was caught lying about his Marathon time, it only served to magnify the fact that he was also lying about the teaching of Catholic doctrine….and probably everything else.

And finally he was savaged by Joe Biden in the Vice-Presidential debate; who reduced him to a figure of ridicule before the world by contemptuously dismissing his arguments as “malarkey!”  The image of Ryan – whose poppy Barney Google eyes and pumped physique gives him the look of a roid freak – constantly gulping down glasses of water, reminded me of a man awaiting his turn on the gallows.

The bottom line is that when the final tally came in Ryan’s liabilities proved  much greater than his assets!  This was a dramatic failure of the amoral cost/benefit analysis that had worked so well for The Mittster in his previous incarnation as a corporate raider at Bain Capital.

As the former San Francisco Mayor and Speaker of the California Assembly Willie Brown observed, Mitt’s analysis of how they lost the election shows that he believes  money can by love. He never understood that elections can be won on superior ideas and a real love for the people.  Brown is one of the savvyest political operators in the country, therefore his opinions warrant serious consideration .

Since the proof of the puddin is in the eatin let’s look at the numbers; they tell the whole story.  Like Mitt the snobbish clueless twit, Paulie lost both his home state and his home town!  Janesville Wisconsin is a struggling blue collar town with a population of 63, 537, and a declining manufacturing base.

According to the County Clerk, Ryan’s neighbors who know him best, voted against him and Mitt by 62% to 37% in favor of Obama/Biden.  The returns from his local polling place, the Hedberg Public Library, were even worse!  Of the 1,428 votes cast in this venue 65% went for Obama-Biden, and only 34% chose the Romney-Ryan ticket.

Although Ryan has served seven terms in the House of Representatives, he faced a stiff challenge from Democrat Paul Zerban for his Congressional seat.  Ryan retained his seat by 12 percentage points – 55% to 43%, but the margin of victory came from the wealthy suburbs of Milwaukee; he actually lost his working class hometown of Janesville to Zerban by 10 points, 55% to 44%.  And he lost the vote at his neighborhood polling place in the Hedberg Library by an even larger margin: 41% to 58%, a 17 point deficit!

Hence it is a measure of the extent of his delusions, or the inability of Ryan to quit his lyin, that he blames their loss of the election on “the urban vote” – which is code words for “black and Hispanic.”  The fact that they also lost in such Whitelandia precincts as New Hampshire and Maine, didn’t convince him that they were defeated because their ideas and policy proposals were odious to millions of Americans of all persuasions, is good news for the Democrats.

Let us hope that the princes and powers of the Grand Obstructionist Party share Ryan’s conclusions; cause if they don’t change their ways the voters will end their days as a party capable of seriously contending for national elections.  Viewed from this perspective, Ryan’s delusional lyin is a blessing in disguise!

The GOP Future?

Or an Albatross Around their Neck?

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Playthell George Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November 16, 2012

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