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In honor (or perhaps the dishonor) of Paul Ryan becoming Mitt's choice for veep, this post is devoted to a few of the comments and policies of Paul Ryan.  Ryan's visibility was high before stemming from his draconian budget proposals and desire to defund access to contraception.  Now, because he has been picked by Romney, he has rapidly become a lightning rod for both sides of the ideological divide.    

1. Ryan claims his Medicare plan is a bipartisan effort.  He threw out the input of liberal colleagues and the resulting voucher proposal is all Ryan.(1)  Apparently Ryan is a subscriber to the Republican view that compromise really means that Democrats must accept GOP demands.(2)
The true meaning of compromise is finding middle ground and consensus.  The Republican definition of compromise is much closer to the ideas of bullying and extremism.  When Republicans start talking about compromise we need to be aware that in most cases they are talking about ramming their policies, morals and principles down everyone's throats.  There is no compromise here, Republicans are only interested in moving the country further and further to the ideological right.

2. Ryan is a devout Catholic and says that his faith has shaped his political views.  Yet some Catholics are very concerned that Ryan's budget plans would harm the poor even further.  Many Catholics are beginning to speak out against Ryan's budget because of the cuts to programs that would help the poor.(3)  The Republicans have been working to demonize, disenfranchise and marginalize the poor and minorities since at least the '80s.  Starting with David Stockman (Reagan's chief financial advisor), the GOP playbook has been to run up the deficit as an excuse to kill social programs.Instead of improving the safety nets for the poor, the GOP long has a history of supporting tax cuts and subsidies for the wealthiest individuals and corporations.(4)(5)(6)
Christianity without compassion is no longer Christianity and individuals practicing this form of faith should not be allowed to call themselves Christians; Paul Ryan is no exception to this rule.  Instead of helping the poor, he supports entitlement programs for the rich and corporate welfare in the form of tax cuts and subsidies.  Despite the fact that the poor are still struggling across the country, including states like Georgia and Texas.(7)(8) Paul Ryan is said to have an affinity to Thomas Aquinas, but I am not convinced of Ryan's sincerity as a Catholic or a student of Aquinas. Perhaps a better religious comparison for Ryan, and other politicians of his caliber (who will sell us out to the highest bidder for personal gain), is Judas Iscariot.  Judas, I'm sure you remember, sold out Christ for thirty pieces of silver.  Personally, I can't think of anything more apt.  Although I think, in the end Judas still had more of a conscience than some of these modern Republicans.

3. Ryan would ban all access to abortion and access to contraception, preventative care and screenings for the poor. Ryan has also been strident in his desire to defund Planned Parenthood and so much more.(9)
I suspect that Ryan would advocate the removal of voting rights for women if he felt it would be politically expedient to do so.  In removing access to reproductive services to millions of women, Ryan would start a return to the status of women as second-class citizens.  Limiting or prohibiting access to contraception is an economic weapon against women and children.  Women with access to affordable or free contraception have much better outcomes medically and economically.(10)  This is a war on women rights, no doubt about it.

4. Ryan condescendingly thinks that Iowans and Wisconsinites are nice and respectful and that the hecklers at the Iowa State Fair must not have been from Iowa (and not from Wisconsin either).(11)
As an Iowan, I personally know or am acquainted with most of the people who got pulled out of Ryan's event at our state fair.  These are people who work tirelessly as community activists to right the wrongs they see in this state.  It's true, Iowans do have a reputation for being nice, but we also have a very low threshold for BS.  In Iowa, respect is earned.  We have even less respect for someone who wants to tell us what we should think, and it is only too obvious Ryan has no respect for any one who isn't a conservative.  You don't just earn respect in Iowa because you suddenly become the vice presidential candidate.  We Iowans also value truth and aren't afraid to speak our minds when we need to.  We have little patience for someone is isn't willing to have a dialogue and Ryan wasn't interested in dialogue so much as absolutes.  Ryan's only agenda is to continue to shape the world using conservative ideology.  Many Iowans do actually remember how well that didn't work for us the last time.

1. Business Week, Paul Ryan's Peculiar Definition of Bipartisanship
2. Politico, Richard Mourdock dismisses Dick Lugar attack
3. Christian Post, Paul Ryan's Catholic faith Comes under Scrutiny
4. The Atlantic, The GOP's War on the Poor
5. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Romney Budget Proposals Would Require Massive Cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Other Programs
6. Rolling Stone, How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich
7. Mother Jones, Brave New Welfare
8. Statesman, In Texas, working poor families struggle to get ahead
9. Politic365, Sandra Fluke: 8 Points on Ryan’s Voting Record on Women’s Issues
10.  ThinkProgress, 5 Reasons Why The Contraceptive Coverage Guarantee Is So Important
11. Bloomberg, Ryan Faces Hecklers At Iowa Fair On First Campaign Trip

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