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Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Dave!Yesterday I returned home only to find that the air conditioner stopped working while I was in Portland. A day later and it's still not working. Which means I'm typing this in 94° heat. Which wouldn't bother me so much if I were lounging by a pool or getting ready to swim in the ocean... but at home? Teh suck.

So continue at your own risk, because I may be suffering from heatstroke and unable to form coherent sentences. Guess that's as good excuse as any to talk about politics.

And so this happened...

Romney and Ryan
Bwah! Ha! Ha! We're rich and white... how can we lose? — Photo by Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo - EPA/Landov

If you're into the news, Mitt Romney choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate is being hailed as a "bold choice."

Which could be true, if all you're wanting to do is make a bold statement. But, if you are actually wanting to win the presidency, I'd be more likely to hail it as a "crazy choice." But wait wait wait... before anybody starts stepping up to defend Ryan and call me nasty names... I am talking about perception here. I fully admit that I don't know much about Ryan yet (other than he voted for massive government spending under Bush, then changed his mind and now hates government spending under Obama) so I'm not going to comment on what he's about until I actually know what he's about.

Fortunately, internet memes popped up almost immediately after the announcement, so it should be easy to get a handle on Ryan's politics...

Hey girl, you look so cute when you're losing your reproductive rights.

Hey girl, I'm sorry to hear you were impregnated by a rapist. Better luck next time.

Hey girl, you know what makes me swoon? Tax cuts for millionaires... and puppy breath.

Giving more money to the rich didn't work. So, we need to give more money to the rich.

Hey girl, I hope you're middle class because I really want to screw you.

Hey girl, the only Social Security you need is having me as your arm candy.

Hey girl, I voted against equal pay for women. But you don't need to keep warn when you have me.

Hey girl, you don't really need cancer screenings, do you?

Hey girl, I'm pro-life. But not necessarily yours.

Hey girl, happy 85th birthday. Hope your kids are good at changing bedpans, that nursing home ain't paying for itself.

Hey girl, I know I'm only 42, but my ideas on women's rights are over 400 years old.

Oh dear.

Yeah, I know that the conservative-leaning crowd have the same kind of thing for President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, et al... but they are usually humorous commentary on known quantities or old gossip (Obama is a secret Muslim!). But this? This is commentary of a different kind. Issues like the economy are a toss-up because they're such a big mess that, deep down, everybody knows there's no magical fix, and it doesn't matter whether the candidate is Republican or Democrat. Politicians are politicians on both sides of the fence, and Americans are used to getting screwed over by politicians. We are conditioned to expect that we will get screwed over by politicians. So whatever, because it's all the same.

But start telling women how Paul Ryan is going to take away their birth control and right to choose? Tell seniors that Paul Ryan is going to take away their medicare and social security? Tell gays that Paul Ryan is going to take away (even more) of their rights? Tell the middle class that Paul Ryan is going to take away affordable health care? Tell the poor that Paul Ryan is going to take away the programs they need to survive so he can give tax breaks to the wealthy? Oog. Nothing mobilizes voters faster than telling them that a politician is going to take something away that matters to them. Just ask the gun lobby when they told everybody that Obama was going to take away their guns.

Ryan's problem (which is now Romney's problem) is that he's quickly emerging as the guy who is going to take away that thing you like. This is going to be exploited by every single political opponent the Republican presidential ticket has, because it's just too easy. This is not some esoteric thing that people can't really wrap their heads around (like the budget)... this is real.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it. - Abraham Lincoln.

When it comes to politics, perception becoming reality is nothing new.

Now we get to see if Paul Ryan is a strong enough politician to shift the perception people have to create the reality he wants. In the end, that's all that ever seems to matter any more.

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Categories: News - Politics 2012Click To It: Permalink


  1. martymankins says:

    I don’t think anyone of a clear thinking mind and ideal politics and policies doesn’t want the government to spend less. So in that part, everyone can be on the same page. It’s what the GOP/conservatives want to cut to reduce spending that gets some of us in an outrage.

    Since Mr. Ryan is only 42, he’s got about 20 years before he had to be concerned with Medicare. So if he and Mitt get elected and can gut Medicare, it won’t affect him at all since he’s got that free ride of healthcare for life that’s paid for by the tax payers.

    I think this guy is bad news, even if the VP is a lame duck elected position.

  2. Katharina says:

    Apart from what’s on the news, I get practically all my information on the presidential campaign – or american politics in general – from what you (and a few other bloggers I follow) write. And I’m happy to know that there are Americans like you over there. It gives me hope. Plus I’m grateful for the healthcare system in my country, something we tend to take for granted. Which it should be, really!

  3. the muskrat says:

    Sorry about your a/c…the week we spent w/o working a/c (it was in the mid-90s outside) was truly awful.

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