This weekend, Mittward Romney chose as his running mate his younger more-fit clone Paul Ryan (seriously, Mitt looks like the cocoon that Ryan crawled out of). As I watched and read the reactions to Romney’s choice, I thought: Someone’s got this wrong. Democrats hailed the choice because they look forward to running against a guy who wants to end Medicare and lower taxes on millionaires while raising them on the middle class. And Republicans…hailed Romney’s choice for exactly the same reasons. You could be forgiven for making the Scooby-Doo “puzzled” face and noise, as I do on roughly an hourly basis, usually when faced with advanced technology like my toaster oven. (Seriously, do we need both Bake and Roast? I think not.) Apparently doing bad things to people makes them want to vote for you. If I run for oh let’s say Feared Overlord of my neighborhood in Chicago, remind me to pee on passersby on the sidewalk from my window; I’ll call it my version of trickle-down.
Republicans sure seem genuinely excited by Ryan, presumably because they think he represents the pure uncut resin of conservatism—and that he certainly does—but also because they believe he has what a Daily Kos blogger calls “raw intelligence”—and that he certainly doesn’t. Oh, sure, he’s smart enough not to verbally shoot himself in the ass—which puts him a few IQ points up on Mittward—but let’s take a little journey through the Ryan brainscape and check out that fabled intelligence, shall we? Please keep your hands inside the boat at all times because the poor people are always looking for a hand out.
First off, before he rejected Objectivism because Ayn Rand’s atheism offended his Krazy Kristian backers, Ryan embraced Rand’s absurd “philosophy”, which, if you’re not familiar with it, I’ll summarize almost in full: “Fuck you, Jack. I got mine.” Also, there’s something in there about how your moral purpose is to make yourself happy at everyone else’s expense and apparently altruism is evil and writing rhetorical graffiti questions about some idiot named John Galt is good and poor people are whining parasites. (Not unlike my pet tapeworm, Wormy Allen.) Now, this may seem to you and to me less like a philosophy and more like a douchebag excuse to revel in selfishness and greed—and you and I wouldn’t be wrong—but Republicans and pimply-faced adolescent boys eat that shit up with a spoon. In other words, the self-described basis of Paul Ryan’s deep thoughts? Is a pseudo-philosophy embraced by resentful teenage boys and Internet trolls. Can we get that man a Nobel Prize in perhaps Thinkingology?
Let’s have a little look at the ideas that result from Ryan’s Thinkiness. He wants to end Medicare—a program that most people believe works quite well—and replace it with a voucher system. Results, according to the Congressional Budget Office: higher medical costs, which means more dead old people. Now, depending on your feelings about old people this might not bother you that much (they do smell funny), but A) you might maybe should be concerned, because you might get old one day, supposing you’re not killed by a rusting bridge or whooping cough pandemic in Ryan’s libertarian paradise, and II) apparently with global warming we won’t have enough ice floes to float those unMedicared-for old people out to sea. (Perhaps we as a nation could invest in some form of ailing-old-person disposal technology. Catapults, anyone?) I hear Ryan’s got a new SuperPAC called Old People For Killing Old People. Sheldon Adelson, you vicious old scamp, you.
Another idea from Ryan’s big brain (I bet it hurts his neck to hold that thing up all day): bet the Social Security trust fund on the stock market, which will give a much needed boost to multimillion-dollar-earning hedge-fund managers and almost no one else. Given that investing in the stock market carries no risk with it—that’s why our 401Ks all have well over a billion dollars in them today—I can’t see how that could possibly go wrong, but then, I will freely admit that I’m nowhere near as thinky as Paul Ryan.
What about that much-vaunted Ryan budget? It ensures that millionaires will pay less in taxes—dude, I know I’m up all night every night worrying that the Koch brothers might have to pay an extra 3%—and sadly, the gap will have to come out of the pockets of the poor and the middle class, because—and see if you can follow me here—screw them. Ryan’s solution to the problems the Bush Administration’s trickle-down economics caused? The Romney Administration’s trickle-down economics! Ryan’s budget could also wipe out 4.1 million jobs in just two years. Great Recession, meet Great Depression. None of you better try to horn in on my apple-selling corner and all my sweet sweet apple-selling money. Seriously, I will cut a bitch.
Of course, Ryan might figure we’ll end the Even Greater Depression with a nice war. He’s a Republican, so that’s always on the table. Oooo, Iran, you’re in trouble now…
So, sure, those people warning Democrats not to feel so sanguine about the threat Ryan poses to Obama might be right, but if so, it won’t be because Ryan is some kind of walking science-fiction-movie giant brain with eyes. (Though it would be cool if someone nominated one of those for president, especially if he won: “Mr Speaker, President Walking Giant Brain With Eyes!”) He’s a slick, smooth politician, he’s ambitious, he’s young, he’s good-looking and he can fool the media. (As can anyone with a shiny object.) But intelligent? That’s just dumb.