Romney Hood and Ryan Hood

Robbing from the poor to give to the rich. That about sums them up.

I’ve refrained from posting on US politics because it is simply too depressing. Watching nutty conservatives transform the once sane if misguided Republican Party into an Ayn Rand-worshipping club of ueber-rich white men — and seeing so many Americans get on board donning their Tea Part costumes — has been a jaw-dropping spectacle. Watching all the newly minted young Tea Party Republicans oust their moderate opponents two years ago was an ominous sign of the country’s dangerous veering to the right.

Paul Ryan will undoubtedly enjoy his honeymoon, just as Sarah Palin did. But I see him as a huge red target on Romney’s back. Willard Romney’s campaign has been all about hiding what he would do to restore America’s economy. He has been intentionally vague and weasely, always changing the subject to how bad Obama is. Now he has a plan and a vision, he is joined at the hip with it, the shameless Ryan budget that offers huge tax cuts for the very richest Americans while slashing benefits the middle and lower classes have come to depend on. Now Romney has to defend this program and convince those who will be hurt by it the most to see it as the Holy Grail. Democrats should probably be rejoicing, but as H.L. Mencken once famously said, “No one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people.” Maybe they’ll be sucked in by the whacky argument that Ryan’s budget plan is “courageous” and “serious.”

James Fallows obliterates this argument.

One request: I hope that when reporters are writing or talking about Paul Ryan’s budget plans and his overall approach, they will rig up some electro-shock device to zap themselves each time they say that Ryan and his thoughts are unusually “serious” or “brave.” Clear-edged they are, and useful in defining the issues in the campaign. But they have no edge in “seriousness” over, say, proposals from Ryan’s VP counterpart Joe Biden.

…I’m making a simple plea: examine the Ryan plan, and its Obama counterpart, on their merits, and for the different values they express and interest groups they defend, without pretending that there is some bravery or seriousness gap between them. All these people are serious now. I also encourage you to snicker discreetly, or if you’re in the right setting to start a drinking game, at each pundit occurrence of “brave” and “serious.” People who say these things are revealing their non-serious susceptibility to cliche.

He also argues that the choice is good for the American public because it will create a serious debate about the two parties’ economic vision. I’ll buy that. We had no vision from Romney before, just platitudes. Now he has a plan he must defend.

I also like this:

And how does Romney say the problem with Barack Obama is that he’s “never spent a day in the private sector” and then put Ryan a heartbeat away from the presidency?

(Ryan has never had a day of private sector experience.)

Romney, ever the coward, bowed to the far right, to the William Kristols and Fox Newsies who insisted he select an Ayn Rand conservative Tea Partier as his running mate. Now their wish is granted, and Romney has to convince the public that Medicare vouchers and obscene tax cuts for people like Romney are good for them. The Ryan pick is an act of desperation. It seems like a gift to Obama, but again, there are a lot of gullible Americans out there. Let Ryan have his honeymoon, but then Obama and Biden should tear Ryan apart in a systematic, logical manner, exposing his “bold” budget plan for what it is, a steamroller that crushes a huge swath of the public while further enriching those who need it the least.

If by some bizarre quirk of fate Romney and Ryan win, I’m on the next plane out of here.

The Discussion: 22 Comments

[…] The Peking Duck: Robbing from the poor to give to the rich. That about sums them up. […]

August 12, 2012 @ 5:00 am | Pingback

[…] The Peking Duck: Robbing from the poor to give to the rich. That about sums them up. […]

August 12, 2012 @ 5:00 am | Pingback

Richard, this morning NPR covered the announcement in Virginia live. Hearing the introduction of Romney by the Governor of Virgnia, followed by Romney’s introduction of Ryan almost made me vomit up my breakfast. The unmitigated gall of the GOP to repeat every lie over and over in the hope that they will stick seems to be coming true. The citizens of our country should be ashamed of squandering the very freedoms that for which so many people around the world are losing their lives. The apathy, the ignorance and, what’s worse, the taking of pride in ignorance have all become the modern version of American “values.” It’s sickening, depressing and demoralizing.

Add to that the lack of real, decisive leadership from a corporatist, right-of-center moderate like Obama, and we have political gridlock with no hope of resolution in the near future.

August 12, 2012 @ 10:41 am | Comment

I recently read Sinclair Lewis’ ‘It Can’t Happen Here’ for the first time. When I see Romney I think ‘It can’.

August 12, 2012 @ 11:59 am | Comment

“…and seeing so many Americans get on board donning their Tea Party costumes”

Sadly, these are the simpletons the Republicans are counting on for votes and yet the dupes themselves don’t realize a guy like Romney wouldn’t be caught dead dining in the same room as them (he’ll be in a country club) much less giving a rat’s ass whether or not their (evil) “socialized” benefits like Medicare/Medicaid disappear under his watch (Ryan’s grail). The good thing is that when something goes scarily in one direction, it is bound to self correct. Or am I being too optimistic?

August 12, 2012 @ 12:21 pm | Comment

Fallows seems to be following a train of thought also supported by the Economist, that Romney is finally offering America a choice. I have a feeling that America will vote for the status quo, though. Romney might be shoring up the (more) conservative base, but moderates won’t be pleased.

August 12, 2012 @ 10:48 pm | Comment

As an outsider to American politics, but one who hopes that America will remain a leading nation, I hope for a number of reasons that Obama will get a second term. It may – but that’s probably an open question, given that this is a very different Republican-dominated House of Representatives from the one during the later Clinton years – also lead to an end of the current permanent Republican “election campaign” (which started more than two years ago, and which has never ended).

The point is this: Obama acknowledges that America needs rebuilding, and addresses this issue, however flawed at times. The Republican ticket suggests that Americans just need to be “themselves”, and God, natural law, or whatever else, will add its decisive blessings. Mullahs rule more brutally than Republicans – but Republicans haven’t ruled more rationally than Mullahs, after Y2K.

August 13, 2012 @ 12:21 am | Comment

Just for the record, I am no Obama cheerleader but believe he has proved that he’s up to the job of running the country, not always the way I’d like, but in general he’s done a decent job at a very difficult time. NaS is correct in labeling him center-right, which makes the Republicans’ cries of “socialist!” and “radical leftist!” unfathomable. But these attacks can be fathomed — they are all about race.

JR, thanks for a very astute comment.

August 13, 2012 @ 12:32 am | Comment

I think Obama will win a second term. He has a few good achievements he can point to, whereas Romney has a vague message of lower taxes, lower spending, a reduced deficit and a “tougher” foreign policy.

August 13, 2012 @ 1:31 am | Comment

Romney, dupe of Israel, bought and paid for by CCP/Israel money via Macau’s Sheldon Adelson would love to boost the military industrial complex (his buddies and Dick Cheney’s) stock by plunging America into war with Iran. Takes focus away from the South China Sea situation, as well. Is this too conspiracy theory?

Wouldn’t “soft power” dictate words of support and maybe some token aid to the people of Iran after an earthquake? Might score brownie points for the people of Iran.

August 13, 2012 @ 4:12 am | Comment

I actually planned to write about that link later today.

August 14, 2012 @ 12:32 am | Comment

I’d be curious to know if you read Glenn Greenwald in Salon and if so your thoughts?

August 14, 2012 @ 12:43 am | Comment

Personally i think American politics is just a joke. Normally the person who wins the elections is the one with the most financial backing and who ever wins has to give back to their benefactors. The problem is it results in a catch 22 situation in which no political candidate is willing to make action upon any improvements to the US economy.

August 20, 2012 @ 7:17 am | Comment

Polling analysis seem to suggest a modest advantage to Obama anyway.

well, the US political specturm is not the same thing as the general world standard, everyone is in practice a few steps from each other on the center right anyway, though rhetoric wise he Dems are about middle while the GOP are really far right, but they all end up doing the same crazy shite anyway.

I can’t stand the GOP rhetoric in general, though as a party the Dems are in some ways even more messed up, they have very little common goals within the party.

August 20, 2012 @ 5:23 pm | Comment

I think amusingly enough most foreign watcher or US expats (or those with expat experience) was probably rooting for Jon Huntsmen anyway, so predictablly he never stood a chance in the primaries (it didn’t help that he lacked prepreation but still.. he’s basically Romney’s positive with a lot less negatives. though I guess the problem is that his very very moerate by GOP standards and not willing to hide it.)

August 20, 2012 @ 5:27 pm | Comment

@RW – Not an American, but personally, the thought of having someone who used to be a mormon missionary in Taiwan as president (i.e., white shirt, back tie, badge declaring him to be ‘Elder Huntsman’, riding arounbd on a bicycle annoying the hell out of decent folk) pretty scary.

August 20, 2012 @ 7:22 pm | Comment

And the thought that his ancestors come from the wrong side of the Pennines doesn’t make him all that trustworthy either…. 😉

August 21, 2012 @ 5:51 am | Comment

[…] and Bill Clinton‘s great speech, this was about how I felt about the presidential elections. As an outsider to American politics, but one who hopes that America will remain a leading nation, I hope for a number of reasons that […]

November 7, 2012 @ 1:25 pm | Pingback

Now that the Mexican polygamist has conceded, we can turn our attention to the Great Hall of the People, which always reminds me of some low rent third world casino. All that gilt and red velvet with hookers and rent seekers on their best behaviour.

November 7, 2012 @ 3:54 pm | Comment

Just got back from a party with some Obama campaign staffers in Chicago. Nothing like chatting about who’s getting what cabinet appointments while drunk lol

November 7, 2012 @ 6:08 pm | Comment

Now that the Mexican polygamist has conceded, …

Haven’t heard about Romney having more than one wife, KT – a wife he seems to have been faithful to, through good and bad times. I actually admire much of Romney’s record. I just think he’d have been a bad president – and I don’t like the kind of capitalism he stands for.

November 7, 2012 @ 8:28 pm | Comment

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