Tuesday, August 14, 2012

But That's Not All

(Click on image to enlarge and then come on back.)

It's pretty clear that the primary focus of coverage on Paul Ryan, the chosen running mate for Mitt Romney, has been on his economic plan which contains a provision to gut and destroy Medicare. That was pretty much the focus of David Horsey's recent column. However, Horsey also raised another set of issues (albeit obliquely) concerning Ryan in his discussion of what the Ryan selection meant for former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

In endorsing the Romney-Ryan ticket on Saturday, Santorum described Ryan as “a full spectrum conservative” who shares not only Santorum’s fiscal ideas but his “solidly pro-life, pro-family” philosophy, as well. What happens if voters convincingly reject Ryan’s hard-line conservatism? That is the one thing that could kill his chances to become the Republican heir apparent. But if such a rejection is bad for Ryan, it would be bad for Santorum too, along with any other “full spectrum conservative.” [Emphasis added]

In other words, Ryan is not just a "dead-eyed granny killer," he's also a full-on anti-choice, anti-woman's-health warrior, as noted in this New York Times article.

Though best known as an architect of conservative fiscal policy, Representative Paul D. Ryan has also been an ardent, unwavering foe of abortion rights, has tried to cut off federal money for family planning, has opposed same-sex marriage and has championed the rights of gun owners. ...

In an interview with the conservative Weekly Standard in 2010, Mr. Ryan, an observant Roman Catholic, played down the possibility of a truce on social issues, which had been suggested by Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, a Republican.

“I’m as pro-life as a person gets,” Mr. Ryan said then. “You’re not going to have a truce. Judges are going to come up. Issues come up, they’re unavoidable, and I’m never going to not vote pro-life.”

In nearly 14 years as a Republican congressman from Wisconsin, Mr. Ryan has not only voted for legislation that would cut off federal money for Planned Parenthood and the Title X family planning program, but also backed bills to establish criminal penalties for certain doctors who perform the procedure known as partial-birth abortion.

He is a co-sponsor of a bill that would define fetuses as people entitled to full legal protection, a proposal that has become the latest focus in the battles over abortion The bill declares, “The life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.”
[Emphasis added]

It's clear that that the Romney campaign was looking for more than just a deficit reduction hawk to fill out his ticket and that he was playing to more than just the Tea Party wing of his party. Ryan provided the very mix Romney needed.

While it was refreshing to see a major newspaper point out the cultural warrior aspect, it would be even nicer to see the Obama campaign and Democrats in general paying some attention to this part of the equation. As we move closer to the conventions and to the election I hope to see some solid portrayals of Ryan as totally out of the mainstream and just wrong for this country.

There's more at stake than a "balanced" budget.

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