Romney Picks Paul Ryan for Vice President – Triumph of the Tea Party?

On Saturday Mitt Romney picked as his running mate 42-year-old Paul Ryan . He is a U.S. Representative for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district. He chairs the House Budget committee and he is probably most well-known for the “Ryan budget” which would turn Medicare into a voucher program to buy private (for-profit) insurance, essentially ending Medicare as we know it.

ThinkProgress has a great article titled – 12 Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan. Below I’ve listed a few things you should know (in addition to ending Medicare). For the complete list check out the ThinkProgress article.

Ryan embraces the extreme philosophy of Ayn Rand. Ryan heaped praise on Ayn Rand, a 20th-century libertarian novelist best known for her philosophy that centered on the idea that selfishness is “virtue.”

In September of 2011, Ryan agreed with Rick Perry’s characterization of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” and since 2005 has advocated for privatizing the retirement benefit and investing it in stocks and bonds.

Ryan joined all House Republicans and 13 Democrats in his vote to keep Big Oil tax loopholes as part of the FY 2011 spending bill.

Ryan joined 62 other Republicans in co-sponsoring the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which declares that a fertilized egg “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” – ThinkProgress

Howard Fineman said on Up with Chris Hayes, “This is the triumph of the Tea Party,” in reference to Paul Ryan as Vice Presidential candidate.

I think if you step back and look at the big picture of this, Mitt Romney’s entire career as a presidential candidate has been dogged by the question of “who he really is”. Is he a Massachusetts moderate? Or, has he figured out how to be a conservative? Because it’s not his natural language really – modern conservatism starting with Jack Kemp and Ayn Rand and all of that, ok. With this pick, Mitt Romney is saying, “OK, this is who I am. I’m committed to it.” The question is whether people are going to believe him. – Howard Fineman

I do think this is a triumph for the Tea Party. If you want less government including severe cuts to social programs (tough love), Paul Ryan is your man. So does the choice of Paul Ryan as VP mean Mitt Romney is “for real?” Is Mitt Romney a “real” conservative? I think a lot of progressives and liberals have believed for a long time that ,while we don’t want to see Mitt Romney elected president, we don’t necessarily think he’s as extreme as he’s appeared to be in this presidential campaign. If you look at his background and his time as governor of Massachusetts you can’t help but think he would be a much more moderate president than his current rhetoric lets on. The choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate does give some pause to that line of thinking. It’s possible Romney is just pandering to the conservative base with this choice but it’s also possible that he is sending a signal, a clear message that he really does mean it, that he really is a committed hard-right conservative.

I for one do not want to find out. The selection of Paul Ryan as running mate should be enough reason for all liberals, progressives and Democrats to get out and vote on election day, Tuesday, November 6th. / photo by Gage Skidmore

Election 2012Politics

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