Instead of offering real solutions to social and economic problems, the GOP has used flag waving, gay bashing, abortion, prayer in schools, death panels, Muslim hating, women hating, racism, and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, to distract the electorate from noticing that its real purpose is to enrich the already rich. The Koch brothers employed Madison Avenue to create the “grass roots” Tea Party to dupe the middle class into voting in ways that increase their bottom line. In the face of prolonged economic suffering, these distraction tactics are losing their effectiveness. So, Romney is running on paying down the deficit on the backs of the elderly and the poor, and giving tax breaks to the wealthy. Not a winning platform.
Voters want answers to their economic problems. They want a decent job, a mortgage they can afford, and a way to send their kids to college. And, they really like Social Security and Medicare. In response to real needs, the GOP threatens to dismantle the “entitlement” programs everyone loves, including older white Republicans. For Democrats, countering the Republican agenda is a walk in the park.
The Ryan Budget is not going to fly
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Mitt Romney’s running mate, is best known for his radical “budget,” touted by Republican media retainers like David Brooks (who stand to benefit from it) as “courageous,” and “bold.” The Ryan budget, which will end Social Security and Medicare as we know it, is so out of touch with the needs of ordinary people, it may have jumped the shark, and gone beyond what middle class Americans can stomach.
Matt Taibbi puts the Ryan budget in historical context:
Every few years or so, the Republicans trot out one of these little whippersnappers, [Ralph Reed, Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, Rand Paul and now Paul Ryan], offer proposals to hack away at the federal budget. Each successive whippersnapper inevitably tries, rhetorically, to out-mean the previous one, and their proposals are inevitably couched as the boldest and most ambitious deficit-reduction plans ever seen. Each time, we are told that these plans mark the end of the budgetary reign of terror long ago imposed by the entitlement system begun by FDR and furthered by LBJ.
Taibbi explains that when Republicans actually come into power, the deficit explodes but they never touch Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. That is because when in campaign mode, GOP strategists calling for reductions in the “welfare state” is code for black welfare moms and Mexican illegal’s using emergency rooms. So they use it to dog-whistle to their base. But actually cutting the welfare state means cutting Social Security and Medicare, two programs that are wildly popular with just about everybody.
So when the time comes to actually pull the trigger on the proposed reductions, the whippersnappers are quietly removed from the stage and life goes on as usual, i.e. with massive deficit spending on defense, upper-class tax cuts, bailouts, corporate subsidies, and big handouts to Pharma and the insurance industries.
But, Paul Ryan has been thrust onto the main stage as Romney’s running mate, and he and Romney will be forced to defend his radical Social Security, Medicare killing budget. They will call this “saving Social Security and Medicare,” but I think most people, weary of lies, and knowing the deck is stacked against them, are going to see through the deception.
During the Vice-presidential debates, Biden will easily expose Ryan’s Ayn Rand agenda—to favor the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. And, there will be no contest when Obama debates Romney on tax fairness and the use of off shore tax havens. In other words, the Obama campaign will effectively hang Ryan’s extreme polices around Romney’s neck.
Ryan pick unpopular with public, media and GOP strategists
According to USA Today, in a nationwide USA Today/Gallup poll taken after the announcement, 39% of registered voters call Republican contender Mitt Romney’s selection of Ryan “excellent” or “pretty good” while 45% rate it as “only fair” or “poor.” Sixteen percent have no opinion. That’s the most tepid reception for a running mate since 1988, when then-vice president George H.W. Bush picked Dan Quayle.
On August 14, Fox News.com reported that the Ryan budget plan doesn’t actually slash the budget and will increase taxes on the poor and middle class.
An article in Politico, titled’ GOP pros fret over Paul Ryan:
You’ve heard them on television and read them on POLITICO — cheerful, defiant statements from Republican political professionals about Mitt Romney’s bold masterstroke in tapping Paul Ryan as his running mate, and turning the 2012 presidential race into a serious, far-reaching debate about budgets and the nation’s future.
Don’t buy it.
Away from the cameras, and with all the usual assurances that people aren’t being quoted by name, there is an unmistakable consensus among Republican operatives in Washington: Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right — and a huge chance of going horribly wrong.
Romney and Ryan are the wrong choice for the GOP. Romeny is perceived as an opportunistic, out of touch elitist and, radical ideas aside, Ryan seems too young and unprepared to be president. But, GOP problems run deeper than their candidates. Thanks to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the Wall Street bailout, the outsourcing of jobs, and offshore tax shelters, the electorate is on to the manipulations of the elite. Chances are the GOP will be soundly beaten at the polls in November.
Madonna Gauding is a freelance writer, illustrator and book designer living in St. Louis. MO. She is the author of 10 books on a variety of "mind, body, spirit" topics.