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Paul Ryan in profile
Poor Paul Ryan
It can't be easy being Paul Ryan. Almost from the moment he and his makes-Republican-men-swoon-but-not-in-a-gay-way abs were chosen to be Mitt Romney's running mate (read: sacrificial lamb), he's been forced by the campaign to pretend he's not the radical card-carrying member of the American Taliban that we know he is.  

Yet at every opportunity, Romney and the campaign have undermined Ryan's sterling reputation with the forced birthers, and Romney's latest (and quickly walked-back) assertion that he would have no anti-abortion legislative agenda must have been a particularly bitter pill for Ryan to swallow.

Because, you see, Ryan does have an agenda. Oh yes, he has quite an agenda. He is awful proud of being one of the most vigilant anti-women extremists in Congress:

He believes ending a pregnancy should be illegal even when it results from rape or incest, or endangers a woman’s health. He was a cosponsor of the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a federal bill defining fertilized eggs as human beings, which, if passed, would criminalize some forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization. [...]

The National Right to Life Committee has scored his voting record 100 percent every year since he entered the House in 1999. “I’m as pro-life as a person gets,” he told The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack in 2010.

Ryan's also been in a long-term bromance with Todd Akin, another proud anti-women extremist whose theory that magic lady parts detect legitimate rape sperm to prevent pregnancy caused a wee bit of embarrassment for the Republican Party earlier this year. The Romney campaign was forced to distance itself from Akin, first by insisting as timidly as possible that, "Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape." Then, because that statement was insufficient, the following day, Romney elaborated:
“Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” Romney said. “Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”
Except that Ryan doesn't disagree with Akin because he's been voting to restrict women's access to abortion in all cases right along with his buddy Todd 93 percent of the time. Ryan even supported the bill that would have redefined rape because Ryan, like Akin, believes that some rape isn't really rape, and we've got to close the loopholes those fake-rape "victims" are always exploiting.

But the Romney campaign forced Ryan to pretend otherwise:

His statements were outrageous, over the pail. I don’t know anybody who would agree with that. Rape is rape period, end of story.
It sure must have hurt Ryan to have to say that. Which is why he went rogue to let his supporters know that no matter what Romney thinks or what the campaign forces Ryan to say, in his heart, he's still an Akin-style extremist who disagrees with the top of the ticket:
“I’m very proud of my pro-life record,” Ryan told WJHL-TV in Virginia Wednesday in an interview aired Thursday. “I’ve always adopted the idea, the position, that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.” [...]

“Let’s remember, I’m joining the Romney-Ryan ticket and the president makes policy,” Ryan told the station. “And in this case, the future president Mitt Romney has exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. Which is a vast improvement of where we are right now.”

Yes. Let's remember that while Ryan is on the Romney ticket, and Romney makes the policy, deep down, Ryan is every bit the anti-women extremist he's always been. And he can't be very happy about having to pretend he isn't.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 09:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Abortion and Daily Kos.

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