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Paul Ryan today, explaining that while he doesn't fully agree with Mitt Romney's latest position on abortion, he's "comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction."

Look, I'm proud of my record. I don't— I'm proud of my record. Mitt Romney is going to be president. The president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother. I'm comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction.
Two things:
  1. When it comes to abortion, only an idiot takes Mitt Romney at his word. He's taken every single position known to humanity. Until Monday, he supported a total ban on abortion. Then Todd Akin happened and Romney decided he needed to support some exceptions. But the very next day, the official Republican platform endorsed a total ban—no exceptions allowed—and Romney didn't offer a single objection. So even though Romney now says he supports exceptions for rape and incest, he's done nothing to show he really means it. Instead, he continues to let his party's base run roughshod over him.
  2. No matter what Romney says or believes, Paul Ryan still opposes abortion in all circumstances. Like Todd Akin, he still wants to redefine rape. Sure, he'd be happy with any policy that further restricts abortion rights, but anything short of a total ban is merely a step in the right direction. To Ryan—and much of the GOP base—the issue won't be settled until there is a complete ban. Ryan's statement admits as much.

It's a fantasy to assume Ryan would accept a half-measure from Romney without pushing for more, and it's an even bigger fantasy to assume Romney would be able to withstand pressure from his party's base on the issue.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pro Choice, Abortion, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One of the zillion (39+ / 0-)

    perfect examples of what an utter, contemptible hypocrite Ryan is.  He loves talking about his Catholicism, his pro-life record, his history of protecting the unborn over the mother and yet he was willing, in a heartbeat, to compromise that far right wing stance for the chance to be on the ticket with Romney the pathological liar.

    What an asshole.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:34:22 PM PDT

  •  And will someone please ask Ryan if he (26+ / 0-)

    supports the #1 way to reduce abortions in this country -- birth control.

    Make him own all the stupid and then tie it all to Romney like a 3,000 lead boat anchor.

    Romney's religion is only an issue because he's a high priest in the Church of Mammon.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:37:10 PM PDT

  •  Roe v Wade was a "step in the right direction" (7+ / 0-)

    What you and Governor Flip-flop are offering is bullshit!

    Keep the law out of women's lady parts!

    by Templar on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:40:33 PM PDT

    •  If "Life at Conception" Becomes the Law:... (8+ / 0-)

      Eating an unhealthy diet=child endangerment.
      Miscarriage due to dehydration=involuntary manslaughter

      Miscarriage due to stress=involuntary manslaughter

      Birth Defect due to environmental factors=Reckless
      endangerment resulting in injury.

      Abortion because the female refuse to carry her rapist's fetus=Murder.

      Imagine every women who gets pregnant having to inform law enforcement.

      Imagine any women who has a miscarriage being investigated by law enforcement.

      Now a few might say this is far-fetched or a stretch, but I don't think so.

      The Pro-Life forces have become a corner stone of GOP politics.  If Life at Conception were to become law the bureaucracy and machinery of the the Pro-Life movement will turn towards pushing legislation similar to what I mentioned above.  The Pro-Life movement will never simply wrap it up, job done.  Never, for any reason.

      I'm just here for the Mojo!

      by Gator on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:40:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another Idiot Democratic Caller to NPR Today (20+ / 0-)

    repeating the 90's meme --which was a lie at the time-- that the Republicans always run on the issue but "never do anything about it" once in office.

    They've done millions of things about it and they will eliminate it as soon as possible if there is any way to do it.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:41:22 PM PDT

    •  Indeed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, DSPS owl, lcbo

      That we're having to argue abortion rights after rape is the indication of how much we've lost.

      The Dems had better get to work and reframe the issue of abortion as a legal, fundamental Constitutional right and stick to it.  

      I am guilty of thinking "the never do anything about it" but it was a long time ago.  In reality they have been busy in the states reframing and passing legislation that proves it was never true.

    •  Naivety is profoundly dangerous (0+ / 0-)

      Some of us who've been active on this issue for decades have tried unsuccessfully to point out that the end goal for the so-called pro-lifers (so inappropriately named) is not just no abortion, but also, and especially, no birth control.  

      I've encountered the sort of naivety embodied by the NPR caller you mentioned and it's a real bang-head-on-desk situation.  I knew a wonderful, sweet, older woman who was convinced that we (clinic defenders) should meet with the anti-choice groups and try to find commonalities.  She'd bought in to a literal interpretation of their label of "pro-life."  That's a common and dangerous mistake.  They're, at best, "pro-control" (truly "anti-woman"), a la "control women and all problems in America will be solved."  

      There is a certain type of neanderthal male who highly resents women for the hold he feels they have over him (sex and child-bearing).  Imagine the "perfect world" this type of man envisions:  women will be barefoot and pregnant with several small children tugging at their skirts, all completely dependent on men.  Men can be men again; women will be back in their rightful place, giving men the respect they're due as the superior sex; there will be plenty of jobs with all the women out of the workplace.  And, of course, no education for women.  It all creates a perfect circle of control:  most women will tolerate abuse if it protects their children from starvation/abuse; a pregnant woman can't run fast or far; no paid work means no money to help escape or to feed her children if she did somehow escape, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

      Think that scenario is a little much?  Think of the role of women in Afghanistan.  Think of America in 1850.

      We've ignored and been incredibly naive about the anti-choicers for far too long.

      To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

      by Eyesbright on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 02:52:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Patriot Act: good step in the right direction NOT! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, PSzymeczek

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:47:04 PM PDT

  •  last i heard (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash, J M F, elwior, KenBee, PSzymeczek, drmah

    which was a couple of hours ago , was that the romney campaign was in charge of the GOP party platform. so if the shoe fits- romney is to blame for the party platform.

    and since when do we know what the heck romney stnads for anyway? i dont think anyone knows what romneys core beliefs are. well, other than power

    "It's never too late to be who you might have been." -George Eliot

    by live1 on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:48:24 PM PDT

  •  Can someone please explain to me (11+ / 0-)

    how any woman could be married to any man who takes these kinds of positions? There is no amount of money, potential political success, fame, that would allow me to even date someone like this.
    It's just repugnant.

    America is a COUNTRY, not a CORPORATION. She doesn't need a CEO. Vote Obama.

    by manneckdesign on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 12:59:56 PM PDT

  •  And heaven forbid they get as far (8+ / 0-)

    as R&R want to, they still won't stop until birth control is illegal.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:03:19 PM PDT

  •  exceptions are not practical (6+ / 0-)

    The Akin comments demonstrate how attempts to morally evaluate acceptable v. non-acceptable abortion belong in the realm of personal beliefs and not public policy.  What will be the standards for "life of the mother"?, will a trial have to be complete to prove incest or rape?

    What if, in the case of rape, the assailant is unknown?  Will the woman have to have everyone she knows get a paternity test to ensure she is not lying?  Rape exceptions sound reasonable (and could be) as a matter of personal morality but not as public policy.

  •  So make an issue of the Party position on abortion (5+ / 0-)

    That Tampa Convention plank has got to be useful ammunition.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:09:05 PM PDT

  •  The Four Steps: (7+ / 0-)

    (1) I keep my mouth shut about this so I don't get kicked off the ticket

    (2) Mitt pulls of a miracle in November

    (3) Romney drops dead eating a cornbeef sandwich and I'm not there to do the Heimlich

    (4) President Ryan finally wins the war on women.

    The Muslim said "I wished I had met Christ before I met the Christians" - Rev. Marvin Winins

    by captainlaser on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:09:20 PM PDT

  •  You're not calling rMormoney (3+ / 0-)

    a flip-flopper, are you?

  •  Romney's not a leader. Leader's lead their party. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So, if he's letting them pull his platform out from under him, then we should assume it was never his platform to begin with. This means he's only a fair-weather friend to rape victims.

    I'd say we should spin this into an add that claims Romney is soft on rape, except that being a republican, the reverse is probably true: rape gets him hard.

    -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

    by JPax on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:12:42 PM PDT

  •  The Republican Platform (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA148 NEWS, PSzymeczek

    Because of the obvious conflict between Mitt Romney's new (for today anyway) position on abortion exceptions and the Republican Party's Platform of "no exceptions", I'm hearing many Republicans trying to downplay the importance of their own platform.  "Its the same platform we have run on for years."  To me that says "hey, its nothing new, forget about it, let's move on."

    Its like they're trying to tell moderate voters that the platform doesn't matter, we don't really mean the things we say in the platform, its just some red meat we have to feed our lunatic base.

    I wonder what they're lunatic base thinks of them downplaying the platform position on abortion?

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:13:04 PM PDT

    •  the lunatic base (0+ / 0-)

      First, you are likely misusing the word "thinks" here.  Secondly, they are convinced that Obama is a muslim communist/fascist, so there's not much that will convince them to stay home.  In the end, an enthusiastic vote is as good as a begrudging vote.  Hell, my vote for Obama was not all that enthusiastic in 08 and likely won't be this year -it's still a vote.

  •  So tell me why the far right wingnuts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, PSzymeczek

    aren't calling Romney on this shift?  Didn't he promise Huckabee he'd support personhood?  Where is Tony Perkins?

    "Forever is composed of nows." Emily Dickinson

    by Leftovers on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:18:23 PM PDT

  •  and only an idiot would take Romney's "word" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, KenBee, PSzymeczek

    about anything...

    Not to mention the platform of the GOP on this.  But hey we don't have anything to do with least this hour...but just wait...until later or if we're running late...tomorrow.

  •  A step in the right direction? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B

    Sort of brings to mind the punch line to the old riddle that  goes "What do you call 2,000 bat-shit crazy rethugs at the bottom of the ocean?"  

  •  if the morons (0+ / 0-)

    in this country elect these two fascists then they deserve what they get, its just too bad good and caring intelligent citizens will suffer right along with the right wing bigoted assholes.

  •  I'd be curious (0+ / 0-)

    To see what Republicans think defines "rape". Like can a husband rape his wife? (I'm guessing Repubs think no) or is date rape a real thing to Republicans?

    My guess is Republicans think rape is only something that happens if a women is grabbed and dragged into a back alley.

    •  maritial rape (0+ / 0-)

      it wasn't until fairly recently that states removed the "marriage exception" to rape so that yes, now, a husband can legally rape his wife.  

      North Carolina was the last state to remove the 1993.  Yep, the 90s (although I'm assuming or hoping, this stopped being used as a defense before then).  

  •  R-MONEY praised Willke in 2007 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    John C. Willke is the nut case who suggested that rape does not result in pregnancy.  See the following:

    But this isn't the first time a member of the Republican Big Tent has asserted this, and in 2007 presidential candidate Mitt Romney sought and won the endorsement of the man who has since the mid-1980s promoted the scientifically baseless idea that rape doesn't lead to pregnancy, Dr. John C. Willke.

    Hailing him as "The Father Of The Pro-Life Movement" and "an important surrogate for Governor Romney's pro-life and pro-family agenda," the Romney for President campaign in 2007 welcomed Willke's endorsement.

    "I am proud to have the support of a man who has meant so much to the pro-life movement in our country," Romney said in a statement at the time. "He knows how important it is to have someone in Washington who will actively promote pro-life policies. Policies that include more than appointing judges who will follow the law but also opposing taxpayer funded abortion and partial birth abortion. I look forward to working with Dr. Willke and welcome him to Romney for President."

    We need to ask R-MONEY if he disavows the position he took in 2007, or if he still accepts the position of John C. Willke.

    C'mon Willard, easy question, are you now AGAINST what you were FOR in 2007?

    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry

    by BornDuringWWII on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:26:28 PM PDT

  •  Heading in the right direction toward ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HLGEM 1

    killing mothers, even for the sake of non-viable fetuses.

    If the Democratic Party is at all competent, Ryan just lost the election.

  •  One more reason to dislike Ryan. (0+ / 0-)

    We already knew he was an Ayn Rand acolyte preaching Objectivist dogma in his budget fantasies, but it turns out he is a freaky anti-abortion (read: anti-woman) crusader, too.    With his tepid distancing from the Akin debacle, and these quotes, you'd think Ryan was from the Bible-Belt, not Wisconsin.  Perhaps we were too kind in our damnation of Romney's choice of running mate in this post on Distasteful Inelegance?

    •  Ryan luurves Ayn Rand except when he doesn't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      which is any time she spoke or wrote about religion (she HATED it) or abortion (she was totally PRO-choice) or anything that conflicts with his narrow little worldview.

      Catholicism or Objectivism, he throws away the worthwhile bits and keeps the nastiest, rottenest, cruelest, most malevolent parts.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:50:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •   'exceptions for rape and incest'?!?! ..unlikely! (0+ / 0-)
    well, did you fight back hard enough? No? Any proof?

    so this is he said/she said...'exception not granted'

    That's how that will work...

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 01:35:06 PM PDT

  •  Romney's policy is to bend like a twig... (0+ / 0-)

    He has given in to the right wing zealots time and time again.

    Besides the right-wingers say they just want a monkey with 10 digits that will sign what is put under his nose. Romney is clearly their monkey.

  •  "The guy who picked me to be his running mate (1+ / 0-)

    will have to do for now."

    That is hilarious.

  •  OMG. He looked like a robot, lol. (0+ / 0-)

    They turned him into a robot! Activate Mitt Romney protocol: Mitt Romney is going to be president. The president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother. I'm comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction.

  •  Who will ask Romney (0+ / 0-)

    whether he would veto a bill from Congress prohibiting abortion in all instances?

    His handlers are parsing the truth, and saying he would support abortion in the cases of rape and incest ( as opposed to supporting the current law)- but how far does his "support" actually go?  I think he would be unwilling to state that he would veto such a law, so there is no difference between him and Ryan on this since neither can actually create a law.

    If he wouldn't veto such a bill, then his position is actually to prevent abortion in all instances. period.

    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

    by BPARTR on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 02:06:49 PM PDT

  •  It's also fantasy to assume the Ryan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    has no chance of becoming president. That's what VPs are for, and Romney's 65 and apparently subject to exhaustion just from campaigning.

    Remember what happened when we turned the country over to that dumbass rich kid? So now we're thinking about doing it again? Really?

    by DaveW on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 02:26:58 PM PDT

  •  who's listening ? who's reading ? (0+ / 0-)

    * Join: OBAMA'S TRUTH TEAM * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 02:27:06 PM PDT

  •  Gov't Small Enough to Fit In Your Vagina... (0+ / 0-)

    I had to come show you guys this shirt a local, small business here in Iowa/DSM just made available.


    If it let me snag the image I'd share, but you can see it here and it's fantastic!!RAYGUN TEE

    Everyone needs one. And no, it's not my business....I just loved it enough to want others to see it!

    "I'll tell you, if there's anything worse than dealing with a staunch woman. S.T.A.U.N.C.H. There's nothing worse, I'm telling 'ya!". Little Edie

    by vintage dem on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 03:05:47 PM PDT

  •  Ryan/Romney Presidential 'Con Ticket (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Romney is now the red headed stepchild.

    Psst!!!......Willard let us see your income taxes.

    by wbishop3 on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 03:14:31 PM PDT

  •  Personhood for cells but not kids (0+ / 0-)

    Many rape victims are children, most incest victims are children. The personhood amendment that the GOP platform calls for would value a clump of cells as a "person" ABOVE the living child victims.

    Or adult victims, but the emotional appeal of the anti-abortion folks is to tap into our protective feelings towards the very young, which is why I'd like to see attention drawn to the hypocrisy here.

    Under normal circumstances I'd say this is primarily for show since a personhood amendment to the constitution would have to pass a bunch of states, not just Congress. But we are not living in normal circumstances regarding who gets to vote, who controls the message, and so on.

    I'm annoyed at the petition as it says "Romney and Ryan: Remove the abortion ban for rape survivors from the Republican Party Platform".

    It should say "Remove the personhood amendment plank from the GOP platform." (And it shouldn't be survivors it should be victims.

    If you want to only deal with the specifics, don't just talk about rape victims, talk about incest victims, and non-viable pregnancies, the health of the mother, but the fact is that's the whole point of a personhood amendment, IT CAN'T HAVE EXCEPTIONS.

    Which is one of many many things wrong with it.

    As a woman, I don't understand why these guys don't get it that that clump of cells, or that developing bump, are not a person as long as it is part of me.

    I think it's male jealousy, as well as, as noted, bossiness.

    •  Personhood amendment bans IVF (0+ / 0-)

      (IVF = infertility treatment In-Vitro Fertilisation, i.e. test tube)
      This involves creation of more embryos than are needed for couples who either tend to produce non-viable fetuses or can't get pregnant readily, and so on. I haven't had it, no expert but, irony of ironies, three of Romney's adult children used IVF.

      A personhood amendment would make those fertilised eggs into people even before they are implanted, so it's a huge legal morass.

      "The supposedly pro-life GOP candidates want to turn infertile couples into criminals for trying to have a baby. The Democrats want to help them pay for it."

      I have two darling twin nephews who were IVF babies.

      It turns out that the wingnuts have been trying to get this into state constitutions (probably better chances there than nationally).

      There's also the fear that certain kinds of contraception could be banned in states (or the US) if a personhood amendment passes.

      ThinkProgress describes PersonhoodUSA as a “fringe anti-abortion group” but one which has been “startlingly successful” even though either its aim or its effect is to ban the pill or patch form of contraception, even IUDs.

      For gosh sakes you might ask, why? Maybe it’s because (a) certain people think the pill leads to people having too much darn sex without the “consequences” i.e. punishment of babies.

      (b) because in some evangelical circles procreation is the point of sex, homosexuals are considered ‘dead’ beings because they “can’t reproduce”. Which of course is a bit of slap in the face of other people who “can’t reproduce” you’d think????

      ThinkProgress raises the very scary issue that a personhood amendment would interfere with a doctor’s ability to immediately correct an ectopic pregnancy.

      In such a case the fertilised egg is stuck in a fallopian tube but grows anyhow so that the tube can rupture. The outcome of such a sad situation, which is life threatening to the mother, cannot be a viable fetus as it’s not able to survive once removed (and even if technology were developed to do it, the resulting human would be seriously messed up).

      There’s a wierd outfit that holds annual “Protest the Pill” events (The American Life League), saying “the pill kills babies, kills women, kills marriage.” (Hmn. Your marriage maybe.)

      (Even that wacko Ron Paul is all over the map on this, believes that life begins at fertilisation -- or said so -- doesn’t believe the gov should meddle in medical matters, but believes the feds shouldn’t prevent the state from doing just that, though he thinks that Plan B is okay for rape victims, or rather victims of “honest rape.” Something he didn’t get raked over the coals for at the time.
      (Source wikipedia)

      •  correction--oops (0+ / 0-)

        The GOP platform doesn't have a plank about a "personhood" /fertilised egg amendment, but a vaguer one about a "human life" amendment, which says:

        Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

        On the other hand VP nominee Paul Ryan supported a bill that does take the personhood/fertilised egg is a protected person approach. And he consponsored it with now notorious Tod Akin in 2009.

        And that fertilized egg is supposed to have full rights "regardless of defect" etc.

        However, as ThinkProgress points out such a law would have been unconstitutional on its face. Still....

  •  Ryan is rated 100% on abortion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The National Right to Life Committee has given Ryan a 100 percent "pro-life" voting record -- in other words, for every vote he's taken on abortion-related issues since joining the House of Representatives in 1999, Ryan has voted on the anti-abortion side. Ryan's record includes voting to ban all federal funding for Planned Parenthood; 15 times in 2010, 22 times in 2011, and 16 times in 2012, so far.

    What does he mean "step in the right direction" - more lenient?

    He's been a busy boy shaking the campaign-issued Etch-a-Sketch.

    •  a step toward Ryan as world tsar (0+ / 0-)

      After all, Romney did all the work of getting the nomination and Ryan didn't have to do nuttin.

      So if Ryan wants to rule the weird Ayn Rand world in his head then he's free to step on anyone's head to get there, and Romney will do.

      And the fact that the personhood amendment (i.e. total abortion ban and a whole lot more, see my comments above) means it's Ryan calling the shots now.

      We've been here before, with George W. Bush as the straw candidate.

  •  This is Mitt Romney tacking to the center (0+ / 0-)

    Choose a radical right VP nominee and make him pledge to disavow his far right record. In Mitt's mind it's a win-win. He makes the tea party wing ecstatic and puts moderates at ease because he made the tea partier disavow his convictions.

    They can Etch-a-Sketch all they want with Republicans because GOP voters are essentially single issue voters: get rid of President Barack Obama.

    But how do Ryan and Romney think they're going to fool non-Republicans? By running from their respective records? But isn't that why they want voters to choose them, because of their political and legislative track records?

    Mitt Romney is the worst Presidential candidate in modern memory.

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Wed Aug 22, 2012 at 05:36:41 PM PDT

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