Saturday Reads: Romney Succumbs to Radical Right on VP Pick

The 2012 Republican presidential ticket joyfully waving goodbye to Medicare and Social Security

Good Morning!

It’s been a long strange night. I wasn’t feeling that great yesterday, so I went to bed early. At 12:30AM, my phone rang. It was Dakinikat with the stunning news that Mitt Romney has chosen the man Charlie Pierce calls “the zombie-eyed granny starver from Wisconsin” as his nominee for Vice President. Let’s get Pierce’s reaction:

Leave it to Willard Romney, international man of principle, to get himself bullied into being bold and independent.

Make no mistake. In his decision to make Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from Wisconsin, his running mate, Romney finally surrendered the tattered remnants of his soul not only to the extreme base of his party, but also to extremist economic policies, and to an extremist view of the country he seeks to lead. This is unimaginable to those of us who lived under Romney’s barely perceptible stewardship of the Commonwealth (God save it!). If he’d even hinted that he agreed with a fraction of a smidgen of a portion of the policies on which Ryan has built his career, Romney would have been hanging from the Sacred Cod by the middle of 2005. And it’s hard not to notice that the way the decision got leaked — in the dead of a Friday night, with the Olympics still going on, after two weeks in which Romney and his campaign had demonstrated all the political skills of a handball — fairly dripped with flopsweat….

Which is not to say this isn’t a shrewd move. In one great swoop, he has recaptured a good portion of the elite political media, which has been crushing on Ryan’s “courage” to take on the “tough choices” — none of which, it should be pointed out, likely will affect Ryan, who’s already got himself an education out of the social safety net he now intends to shred, and certainly will never affect the haircut at the top of the ticket, or his great-grandchildren, for all that — and the coverage of the pick in the middle of the night last night showed that many of our finer chattering heads are already practicing tying the stem of the cherry with their tongues in preparation for covering the new Republican ticket.

In just a little more than two weeks, this ticket will be announced in Florida of all places–the home of millions of Medicare recipients. Yesterday, Romney was complaining about a Democratic superpac ad that implied that his (Romney’s) actions at Bain Capital led to the death of an unemployed man’s wife. Today, Romney signs onto the goal of throwing America’s grandparents into the streets and letting them figure out how to survive with no social safety net.

More reactions:

Fox News: Romney picks Rep. Ryan as running mate, plans to make official at Va. rally.

LA Times: Romney’s VP pick is Paul Ryan, sources say

Washington Post: Romney picks Paul Ryan as running mate

Politico: Paul Ryan veep prospects split GOP.

CNN: Paul Ryan, top GOP voice on fiscal matters.

Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker: LOOKS LIKE RYAN: MITT’S PICK. Lizza posted a lengthy profile of Ryan a few days ago: FUSSBUDGET: How Paul Ryan captured the G.O.P.

Well, at least Romney’s tax returns are off the front pages for the moment. The official announcement comes at 9AM. Please add your own reactions and news links in the comments.

101 Comments on “Saturday Reads: Romney Succumbs to Radical Right on VP Pick”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Jonathan Chait wrote a long profile of Ryan in April: The Legendary Paul Ryan

  2. Delphyne says:

    Speechless. Just speechless.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    If Romney gets elected, Ryan is going to be his Dick Cheney. Romney will sit in the office and let Ryan run things.

  4. ANonOMouse says:

    NUNS ON THE BUS getting ready to kick some ass!!!!

    • Delphyne says:

      Let’s hope so, Mouse – I’ll be ready to join them!

    • Beata says:

      Will the Bishops get involved too? They have already spoken out about the Ryan Budget plan.

      This could get very interesting.

      • Delphyne says:

        I’m in spam….

      • Delphyne says:

        From my link in spam:

        FOR RELEASE: August 11, 2012

        CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224,

        Washington DC: NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, believes that the newly announced Romney-Ryan Republican presidential ticket presents U.S. voters with the starkest election decision in years about the moral vision and future of our nation.

        Our recent “Nuns on the Bus” tour was created to point out immoral budget priorities present in Representative Ryan’s proposed federal budget. Tragically, his budget passed the House of Representatives and has now been formally endorsed by Gov. Mitt Romney.

        Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK’s Executive Director, stated, “We agree with Catholic Bishops that Paul Ryan’s budget fails the test of Catholic Social Teaching since it deliberately harms people at the economic margins. It is also unpatriotic because it says that we are an individualistic, selfish nation. This is emphatically not who we are. Both our Constitution and our faith teach us that “We the People” are called to care for one another, to have responsibility for each other. This year’s election will present us with a critical choice. Do we want to favor the rich on the backs of people in need? Is that who we want to be?”

        NETWORK strongly opposes the Ryan Budget because it will eliminate critical food assistance for many hungry families, decimate safety-net protections that keep people from falling further into poverty, and enrich the ultra-wealthy at the expense of low-income families.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I don’t know why that went to spam, Delphyne. I let everything through.

      • Beata says:

        Thanks for that quote, Delphyne.

        Romney pointedly referred to Ryan as “a Catholic” when introducing him as his VP choice. If the Romney campaign plans to blatantly use Ryan’s Catholicism to win votes, they should prepare for some strong criticism of the Romney-Ryan Budget plan from Church leaders.

      • dakinikat says:

        It would be nice to see the bishops do something other than obsess on vaginas. You would think their only role in life is being the vagina police.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Thanks for that update Delphyne. Sister Simone is telling it like it is.

    • Beata says:

      I’m looking forward to the Biden-Ryan debate(s). Biden will triumph over Ryan on foreign policy questions, as well as Catholic Social Teaching 101. There’s going to be a great contrast between the two men.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Chris Cillizza:

    In selecting Ryan, Romney is making clear that this isn’t simply about what President Obama has done for/to the country but also what a President Romney would do for/to it.

    In that regard, Romney appears to have heeded the advice of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Ryan advocate, who has long argued that his party cannot win the presidency by simply being against Obama but rather also had to articulate its own positive vision of governance. The choice of Ryan makes clear that Romney agrees with that premise — at last in part.

    But, for all the plaudits the pick will draw among the conservative crowd, real questions remains as to Ryan’s ability to prosper under the massive spotlight of a presidential election.

    Ryan, as several Republican reminded us once it became clear late Friday night that he would be the pick, is someone who is largely untested on the national political stage.

    Having won a difficult race for his competitive 1st district in 1998, Ryan has faced little challenge in his subsequent races and has steered a course far heavier on policy than politics during his Congressional tenure.

    “It’s risky but not for the reasons that most folks think (the entitlement reform stuff),” wrote one senior Republican strategist in an email late Friday night regarding the Ryan pick. “The risky part is this: the guy is an untested candidate. He’s a policy wonk who doesn’t really have much experience as a campaigner. He could end up being fine or he could blow up.”

    Even those Republicans more favorably inclined to Ryan acknowledged that the vice presidential nomination amounts to a major step up for him politically and wondered whether he had the stuff to stand up to what will be a withering attack from President Obama’s campaign on his budget proposal.

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    I wonder of the rest of the Munster’s are going to campaign with Eddie?

  7. Riverbird says:

    Dang. I hoped Romney would pick someone boring — Pawlenty, for example.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Ryan is pretty boring when he gets in front of an audience. This is the fight the Obama team wanted. Americans will have to decide if they really want a middle class and a safety net or if they want a small plutocracy ruling over a vast servant class.

  8. Beata says:

    With the Ryan pick, Romney has made this campaign a war against the social safety net. Sorry, Grandma. Thanks for the memories.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Paul Ryan: “We are living in an Ayn Rand novel.”

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Watch the announcement live here. Governor Vaginal Probe is introducing Romney right now.

    • Beata says:

      I can barely keep my morning coffee down.

      Gov. Vaginal Probe quoting the Bible. Mitt making his grand entrance, looking awkward as usual. Mitt lauding Ryan’s “character and values”. Says Ryan “appeals to our better angels”. Paul is “a Catholic” and “an intellectual leader” with “firm principles”!

      Oy, Romney just introduced Ryan as “the next President of the United States”! Ha, the cat’s out of the bag. The GOP just want Rmoney as a figurehead; Ryan will be running things.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        You got your wish Beata. Now we have 3 months to listen to this “Save the American Dream” by destroying it DRIVEL

      • bostonboomer says:

        Romney is just needed to sign the bills.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I think Romney declaring Paul Ryan “the next President of the United States” may be a hint that he just Retroactively Resigned

  11. Pat Johnson says:

    Hey, seniors – and soon about to be – get ready to work longer and harder with fewer safety nets. Grab yourself a voucher and pray!

    And hey, if life kicks you in the butt during your life’s journey to finally receiving that Social Security check you have paid into that has suddenly disappeared, oh well! You should have listened to Ron Paul and “planned ahead”.

    For those middle class and working families, it’s up to you to take care of the old folks just sitting around the nursing home needing 24 hour care since this too is part of those “family values” they have been shoving down our throats for the past 30 years.

    Not up to the government to lend a helping hand to college students already facing huge bills awaiting them upon graduation that rival the cost of a mortgage, blame your parents for not “planning ahead” from the moment your were conceived.

    The only way to effectively balance the budget is the privatization of every possible program that has been installed for the common good. And if you can’t afford it, too bad.

    We are all in this together. Well some of us anyway.

    Romney/Ryan: kind of rolls off the tongue.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Back to pre-FDR, pre-LBJ.

      Is anyone else listening to the music they’re playing at the Ryan Intro? It sounds like the prelude to a Star Wars Movie. And I think Romney just introduced him as the “next President of the United States”.

    • Beata says:

      My 88-year-old mother can’t even sit up by herself but the lazy ass needs to stop sucking the teat of the government! I getting her into the welfare-to-work program on Monday. If she really sucks it up ( and I know she can – she’s just not trying hard enough ), she could be bagging groceries for minimum wage at the local IGA within a week.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Funny. But not really.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Well, they’ll be trying to deliver this AUSTERITY message as we only want to change Medicare for people who are currently 55 or under. Like that’s going to fly? Seniors will be as outraged by the Ryan proposal and the Ryan Budget as their children and grandchildren.

        I need to stock up on popcorn and beer, this is going to be a long laugh fest.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I can’t wait for the Ryan Budget to hit the airways, it’s been basically back burnered by the MSM which means that only those of us who are knee deep in politics even know what the Ryan Budget is. Once the Ryan Cesspool of Austerity gets out to the General Public I expect this campaign to complete it’s downward spiral.

      • janey says:

        Good point. I am just about to qualify for SS and medicare and believe me you don’t ‘slow down’ as you get older because you choose to. I am in relatively good health but not up to a job other than the caregiving I have been doing the last 40 years.

  12. Pat Johnson says:

    Is he actually standing in front of a boat?

  13. Pat Johnson says:

    Did I just hear Romney introduce him as “the next president of the US, Paul Ryan”?

  14. Pat Johnson says:

    Principles? What principles does Mitt Romney claim?

  15. bostonboomer says:

    Ryan didn’t even wear a tie for his big speech.

  16. Beata says:

    My blood pressure must be way up after that bullshit spectacle. Clean the deck, asap.

  17. mjames says:

    I wake up to this? Truly mind-blowing. I thought the conventional wisdom was, after appealing to his base to win the nomination, Romney would make some effort to reach out to those of us who despise Obama, the war criminal, and everything he stands for. That’s the way it used to work – go more to the middle once you have the nomination. There is no way in the world any former Dem or Dem-in-exile could ever vote for R/R. Never. He just lost millions of votes, millions.

    Meanwhile, we now have both major-party candidates for the Presidency intending to gut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. What? Obama is now suddenly going to protect the social safety net? No sirree bob. This choice is designed to capture any banksta money that might have backed the big O. The banks are the ONLY constituency, as far as either of these groveling excuses for human beings is concerned. First, Obama lets Goldman Sachs, one of the biggest criminals of all times, off scot-free. Now this. We hand over our Social Security money to Jamie Dimon for him to handle and for him to collect the rents and for him to gamble away compulsively like the addict he is.

    I, the ever cynic, am absolutely gobsmacked. It really is the end of this country as a haven for the middle class. Downtown Calcutta, here we come.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      It’s the state and congressional races that are more troubling.

      Won’t matter who becomes POTUS if both houses are filled with Tea Party majorities that will push through an agenda that will cripple this nation even more so.

      It’s the stuff of nightmares.

  18. hoboduke says:

    TEA PARTY is time to celebrate and enjoy that someone of the people can represent the people. Joe Biden can look forward to trying his ususal nonsense when ducking answers to real problems we face in debate with Ryan.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Good luck if you ever get sick or lose your job. These two even want to eliminate the Veterans administration and replace it with vouchers.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        “TEA PARTY is time to celebrate and enjoy that someone of the people can represent the people.”

        I know you’re serious but that’s funny!!!!!! Brghahahahahahahahahahaha!

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Here’s a profile of “someone of the people”. NOT!!

      “Janesville, Wisconsin, where Ryan was born and still lives, is a riverfront city of sixty-four thousand people in the southeast corner of the state, between Madison and Chicago. Three families, the Ryans, the Fitzgeralds, and the Cullens, sometimes called the Irish Mafia, helped develop the town, especially in the postwar era. The Ryans were major road builders, and today Ryan, Inc., started in 1884 by Paul’s great-grandfather, is a national construction firm. The historic Courthouse section of Janesville is still thick with members of the Ryan clan. At last count, there were eight other Ryan households within a six-block radius of his house, a large Georgian Revival with six bedrooms and eight bathrooms that is on the National Register of Historic Places.”

      Read more

      Ryan’s Net worth according to 2011 Congressional disclosure, between $927,100 and $3.20 million . “someone of the people”. Yep, someone of the rich people. Paul Ryan, yet another silver-spooner salivating over the opportunity to squeeze every last damn cent and breath of life out of the Middle Class and the poor.

  19. Pat Johnson says:

    What he brings to the ticket:

    Catholic, from a big state, educated, nice family, loved by the Tea Party, youth.

    And his Ryan Plan at this point will be discussed ad infinitum for the next 80 days thus taking the onus off Mittens to reveal his tax returns.

    Perfect choice for Romney when regarded in that way. All eyes will be turned toward the “granny starver” and away from the deficit that is Mitt Romney, candidate for POTUS.

  20. Pat Johnson says:

    Just in case anyone has forgotten some of what is contained in the Ryan Plan:

    1. His budget plans include big cuts, and there’s ample room for Democrats to continue with their “Romneyhood narrative.” The nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates 62 percent of Ryan’s cuts are to programs for the poor.

    2. Ryan’s budget proposals have included big changes to Medicare – including gradually replacing the program with a voucher program for private health care, and gradually raising the retirement age. That could scare older Americans, a crucial voting bloc.

    Makes you want to go right out there and sign up as a volunteer in this campaign!

    • bostonboomer says:

      You forgot about the corresponding tax cuts for the rich.

    • RalphB says:

      You also left out contracting out the VA! Nothing says honor your veterans more than cutting their benefits by 50% and kicking them to the curb with a voucher.

    • Beata says:

      “Altruism: It’s Not A Good Thing”

      • peregrine says:

        Isn’t it a curious paradox how much the hate the religious right spews? Its wealthy white male hetero christian-only creeds should be antipathetic to a modern democracy, and a modern peoples.

  21. bostonboomer says:

    • ANonOMouse says:

      WOW!!! You have to hand it to the Obama Campaign, they were ready for this one. This VP choice is going to nail down any doubts that Indies had about WHO RMoney will serve. All RMoney gets out of Ryan is a pat on the back from his base and the staff of the Weekly Standard.

    • peregrine says:

      I live in a swing state that Obama won by 14,000 votes in 2008. Now, the polls identify us as “right-leaning.” This summer our airwaves have been over-run with political ads. As much as I hate polling, I’ve decided to participate with my political preferences rather than telling the callers whom I vote for is none of their business. It’s time for this voter to come in from the cold.

  22. peregrine says:

    It rings soooo falsely when republican candidates like Ryan try to care about anything but BIG Business and the collapse of education and social programs when it’s clear that the far-right extremists of the “NO Party” are:

    anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-seniors, anti-public education, anti public health, anti-environment, anti-AA, and pro-military and gun rights.

    The politicized religious fundamentalists have foisted on the GOP and thereby are tempting to force on the American people their wealth worshipping, war worshipping, and permanent culture war fetish through rubber-stamp Romney and young turk Ryan. If the opposing flank doesn’t rally, the barbarians will finally crash the gate.

  23. ANonOMouse says:

    RMoney is already distancing himself from the Paul Ryan Budget

    • peregrine says:

      Haha, of course, mouse, Romney has to endorse the right and win the undecideds/moderates all at the same time. The religious right calls the shots though.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        He’s so not-clever. He’s on the record endorsing the Ryan Plan and he did so on multiple occasions. Thank the goddess of the universe for VIDEO.

      • bostonboomer says:

        What other reason with he be running with Ryan for other than his budget? That makes no sense, like most of what Romney says lately.

  24. Boo Radly says:

    The following link shows the results of a survey done by AARP.

    Short Quote:

    Non-retired boomers, regardless of their political leanings, have an “anxiety index” that goes far beyond not finding a job or fear of losing the job they have. They’re worried about prices rising faster than their income, paying too much in taxes, their health expenses and not having enough saved for retirement.

    In fact, boomers are downright pessimistic about retiring: 72% believe that they’re going to have to delay retirement, 65% worry they won’t have enough to retire, and 50% don’t think they’ll ever be able to retire. As a result, 6 in 10 boomers say they plan on relying on Social Security and Medicare more than ever.

    It’s unsurprising that, across party lines, voters 50+ overwhelmingly want whomever is elected to strengthen Medicare (88%) and Social Security (91%). And 91% want Republicans and Democrats to come together to find common-sense solutions.

    Voters 50+ are exactly split in who they want for President (45% Obama – 45% Romney) and closely divided on their congressional preference (43% Democrat – 39% Republican). Behind those numbers, they think political gridlock has negatively affected their economic circumstances (78%) and that candidates have done a poor job explaining their plans to address the issues.

    For over a decade I have felt a total disconnect in DC – thinking pols only talk to pols and believe what they want. Then there are rethugs who only vote their party – regardless of how detrimental their policies are to each of them. I hope this selection of Ryan finally unites a very powerful and huge group of voters. Wishful thinking on my part of course.

    • peregrine says:

      Changing Medicare to a voucher system should scare the hell out of all seniors. It would become like the Medicaid system where 1/3 of doctors refuse medicaid patients; that is, if anything resembling present-day Medicare would survive the Ryan budget cuts.

  25. ANonOMouse says:

    For what it’s worth, the Ratfucker/s have decided to completely and unequivocally come out of the closet with this VP choice, They’re dancing in the streets! 🙂

    • Pat Johnson says:

      But they would, wouldn’t they?

      This is the same crowd who dug real, real deep to find something good to say about Newt Gingrich when he led in the polls for a week or two.

      They even applauded Bachmann and Santorum for having “the courage of their convictions”.

      With Romney so impossible to inspire, like, or even defend, they can now turn their sights on Ryan while approving of the budget cuts he proposes in declaring him “bold” in the face of the consequences they would bring if enacted.

      This also provides an excuse to go all out “Tea Party” while still declaring they are nothing more than disaffected Dems and liberals who have been let down by the party in 2008.

      Romney will be long forgotten in a matter of days and Ryan will be touted, much like Palin, as the real presidential candidate going up against Obama. Watch and see.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I think you nailed it Pat.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Still, it’s the glee and the total rapture being expressed by the “former dems/hillary supporters” at the choice of Ryan that is astonishing to me. I wasn’t expecting them to have Blog Orgasms. Ryan is a real dildo moment for them. Excuse my crudeness! Or not!

      • RalphB says:

        Not sure how anyone can buy that disaffected Dem stuff after the last 3 years.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I agree Ralph, that “disaffected dem” smokescreen has pretty much been blown away.

  26. Pat Johnson says:

    Just how bad does Romney want to be POTUS that he would choose this Right Wing radical darling of the Tea Party as a running mate? Pretty bad.

    He has managed to sell out any principles he may have had at one time, lies repeatedly about his positions, twists, turns, contorts his statements that are officially on record in order to appease segments of the electorate, and refuses to divulge his tax returns (which I am sure Ryan was forced to submit during the selection process) and is now even more beholden to the Tea Party then ever before.

    As long as he manages to win the title of POTUS his job ends there. He will “owe” so many different special interests – beginning with the Religious Right, Grover Norquist, the Koch Bros, etc. – he may as well begin his various vacations from the day he is sworn in since he won’t be in charge of more than the key to the Exec Washroom and maybe not even that.

    Who will be the real POTUS come January if Romney wins? Say hello to Presidents Norquist and Jim Demint.

    That’s all you will need to know.

  27. Boo Radly says:

    Some past history on Eddie:

  28. pdgrey says:

    I’ve been watching the crowds of supporters all morning and trying to decide what it reminds me of. I got it. People pushing, rushing, to jump in the volcano first. Yes, “Virginia” there is a grand surprise at the bottom. The prize ” We allow you to die now”. Who better to bring this message than Eddie Munster.