A Choice, Not an Echo….or the Base that Roared

Bowing to the demands of the purist GOP base, Mitt Romney has chosen his running mate. Paul Ryan is the final signal of his capitulation to the True Believers.

I think it was during the Goldwater campaign that Phyllis Schlafly wrote a book titled “A Choice, Not an Echo.” The idea was that the two parties have too much in common, collaborate too frequently (shades of Richard Mourdock!), and that what Americans really want is a for-real choice between starkly different platforms and philosophies.

Well, the choice of Paul Ryan means we’ll have that choice this November!

Ryan is mostly known for his budget and tax plan–a plan Roll Call says would slash Mitt Romney’s effective tax rate from 13% to 1%. (And we thought “Romney Hood” was bad…)

The New Republic describes the effects of Ryan’s budget–millions of Americans losing health insurance (Ryan’s budget would end Medicare), senior citizens falling back into pre-social security poverty, a Government “so starved for resources that, by 2050, it wouldn’t have enough money for core functions like food inspections and highway maintenance.” The richest Americans would get a huge tax cut.

The Catholic Bishops and nuns haven’t been agreeing on very much lately, but they agree that the Ryan budget is “immoral and unChristian.”

The Economic Policy Institute estimates that 1.4 million jobs would be lost if Ryan’s budget were passed. The budget proposes to eliminate Pell Grants for over a million college students; it would continue subsidies for Big Oil, but cut funding for alternative and clean energy development. (In 2011, The Daily Beast reported that Ryan’s family leases land to oil companies, and benefits from those subsidies–I’m sure that’s just a coincidence…)

Paul Ryan has called Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme,” and supported privatizing it, but he would actually increase the already-bloated Defense budget. (When several Generals testified that the reductions in Obama’s Defense Budget would not jeopardize national defense, he called them liars. He later apologized.)

If you are thinking–okay, the guy is just one of those deficit hawks, well, you don’t know the whole Paul Ryan. He may reject his Catholic faith’s teachings on social justice, but he enthusiastically embraces its anti-choice positions.

Ryan sponsored a “Fetal Personhood” bill. That bill gave fetuses full personhood rights from conception and would not only outlaw all abortion, but most popular forms of birth control. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and supported  a bill which would have allowed hospitals to refuse to provide a woman with an emergency abortion even if it was necessary to save her life.

Ryan has pooh-poohed the science of climate change. He voted against the Lily Ledbetter Act to ensure equal pay for women.

There’s more, but this should give any voter a pretty good idea of the agenda we are being asked to endorse.

Paul Ryan is the Koch brothers’ wet dream. In a sane world, someone this radical would be unelectable.

Pray for sanity.


  1. He’s not a deficit hawk. He voted for the Iraq War, Medicare expansion, and TARP among other things. The deficit is only a concern when it can be used to facilitate a more rapid wealth transfer from the middle class to the wealthy.

  2. Sheila; below I copied and pasted part of a message from Mr. Zerban. Is this true and is this legal? If so; hopefully he will lose both.

    “Hi, I’m Rob Zerban. Along with President Obama and Vice President Biden, I have the unique privilege of being the other candidate who gets to defeat Paul Ryan this year.

    That’s because despite running for Vice President, Paul Ryan is still running for Congress in Wisconsin. And I’m his progressive opponent.”

  3. For two political parties that commonly default to serving themselves before their constituency, we have as divergent a presidential political choice as I can recall: an economic policy that promises to support increasing dependancy without the means to pay for existent debt, deficit, and obligations- or a grim trudge ahead into fiscal reality with proposed reduced spending, and still no guarantee of fiscal success.

    I think we’re supposed to try.

    See you at the rallies.

  4. Yes, you can run for both. You just can’t serve both. I think Lieberman did the same thing.

    Good call Doug, I think that’s going to be the dog that hounds him. As clever as he’s been at pointing out the mathematical funding flaws within Obamacare (10 years of spending cuts to finance 6 years of the program, almost a billion dollars in medicare cuts, etc.), I think it’s going to make it that harder for him to deal with being a rubberstamp for Republican budgets. I haven’t looked but I’m curious to see how he voted on the enormous congressional budgets when the Democrats took over in Bush’s second term and the debt skyrocketed.

    Having watched some of the healthcare summit footage, it’s plainly obvious that Obama and Ryan have absolutely no love between them. This should be fun.

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