Shocked by the latest poll numbers showing that he trails Obama by 7 points and stunned by the fact that the American people demand to see his tax returns for multiple zero tax years, Mitt Romney needed to come up with something fast to distract the incessant media barrage besieging his faltering campaign for president.
After a devastating trip abroad that led to a Niagara of negative ink about a lengthy concatenation of diplomatic blunders from London to Jerusalem to Poland, Romney has tried just about everything his puny mind can conceive to distract the public from his business record, his taxes and Bain Capital.
However, the month of August presented Romney with two tactical opportunities to evade (at least momentarily) the insatiable onslaught of the probing media.
First and foremost, Romney had the option of naming his Vice Presidential running mate. Secondly, Romney will be featured as the Guest of Honor at what promises to be one of the most dreadful spectacles the world has ever seen: the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida later this month. With Romney’s luck, this convention will be tantamount to a public lynching, but we are getting ahead of ourselves.
To erect a shield to provide a partial screen of defense from the ceaseless media attacks bombarding him and his frazzled staff, Romney finally selected a running mate whose economic views uncannily mirror his own for the privatization of government. In order to re-enforce his core philosophy of the divine right of corporate and plutocratic financial supremacy, Romney has turned to Paul Ryan of Wisconsin’s 1st District that encompasses the swish metropolitan areas of Kenosha, Racine, Muskego and the Congressman’s hometown of Janesville.
On the 29th of January 1970, Paul Davis Ryan was born the youngest of four children of his Irish-German Roman Catholic parents. In his youth, Ryan enjoyed the out-of-doors activities of skiing, hiking and camping in the Colorado Rockies. While attending Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Ryan worked as a counselor at a summer camp until he landed the prestigious position as a “Hotdogger” for the Oscar Mayer Wiener Company, a job that permitted him to wheel around Ohio and Wisconsin in the now world famous Wienermobile promoting the sales of hot dogs, bacon and over twenty-five kinds of ‘lunchable’ meats including: bologna (aka: “baloney”).
When Ryan was not driving the Wienermobile and pushing loads of baloney, he majored in Economics and Political Science. After driving the Wienermobile and serving up mountainous tons of baloney, Ryan became a prominent member of the Delta Tau Delta social fraternity.
After his graduation, Ryan was encouraged by his mother to accept a job as an economic analyst with former US Senator Bob Kasten. In that capacity, Ryan worked on Capitol Hill in Washington.
When Russ Feingold defeated Kasten, Ryan moved over to the staff of a right-wing Republican think tank branded as ‘Empower America’ where he served as a volunteer speechwriter for Congressman Jack Kemp and two former Reagan officials: UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick who defended the rape, torture and murder of three Catholic nuns by the government of El Salvador and Education Secretary William Bennett, who would be publicly defiled as a gambling addict and racial profiler when he said on his talk show that the abortion of all African-American babies would cause the crime-rate to go down.
After serving as a principal speechwriter for Kemp during his ill-fated run for the Vice-Presidency in 1996, Ryan felt inspired and ran for Congress in 1998.
In right-wing circles it is well known that Ryan is a longstanding member of the ultra-conservative Atlas Society based at the Objectivist Center. Self-described as a splinter movement that broke away from the Ayn Rand Institute over disputes about the core values of the objectivist movement, Ryan is a slavish devotee of the radical ideologue Ayn Rand. Addressing a memorial celebration of Rand in 2005, Ryan stated: “The reason that I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”
In Congress, Ryan is the leading ideologue of the objectivist clique that only remains viable within the radical right-wing of the Republican Party/Tea Party. In 1999, Ryan voted for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, a keystone of depression-era legislation that prevented large-scale financial speculation and limited financial activities between commercial banks and security firms. Many economists and financial analysts have argued that the repeal of Glass-Steagall initiated the process that led to financial instability and resulted in the Meltdown of 2008 as well as the ensuing Bush Recession.
In Congress, Ryan is most noted for his work on the federal budget. Over the past three years, Ryan has proposed a smorgasbord of ultra-conservative economic and reactionary tax reform. For example, Ryan proposed a top US tax rate of 25%; a Consumption-Value Added Tax (VAT) of 8.5% and a voucher system for Medicare that would require beneficiaries to buy their own insurance from 2021 leaving them partially uninsured. A creative Randian economist, Ryan has proposed opt-outs for taxpayers who could simply pay a flat tax rate of 10% up to $100,000 and 25% above that figure.
In 2010, Ryan introduced a more dramatic plan for long-term deficit reduction that would reduce tax rates across the board while eliminating income tax on capital gains, dividends and interest. At his most reactionary extremes, Ryan proposes to abolish the corporate income tax and the estate tax as well as the privatization of Social Security and Medicare that would convert the programs into vast private corporations.
The Princeton economist Paul Krugman criticized Ryan’s tax proposals arguing that they would lead to massive losses of revenues while increasing taxes on the 95% of US taxpayers on the bottom of the economic ladder while reducing them for the 5% at the top.
This morning while introducing Ryan to the media as his Vice Presidential running mate, Romney made an ominous mis-statement and introduced the Congressman as, “The Next President of the United States.”
It should be remembered that while Romney visited Poland, he received a warm endorsement from Lech Walesa, an ultra-conservative Roman Catholic who has worked openly with Opus Dei for decades. Ryan will help strengthen Romney’s appeal to the right-wingers of the Roman Catholic Church. Ryan is a member of St. John Vianney Catholic Church, named for the saint who was venerated for miracles performed in his priestly life including supernatural knowledge of the past and future and healing sick children.
While it may seem extremely bizarre, but Ryan and his predecessor, Sarah Palin, who was the Republican Vice Presidential nominee in 2008, are very similar in one peculiar respect: Palin hunts moose, dresses their carcasses and grinds their flesh into “Mooseburgers” while Ryan is an avid deer hunter who makes his own deer-based bratwurst and Polish sausage, aka locally in Wisconsin as “deer baloney.”
One imagines that Ryan may revive his association with the Wienermobile by installing a large set of antlers on the vehicle and touring the heartlands of America alongside his running mate, Mitt Romney.