The Romney-Ryan ticket sounds great. You have the moderate businessman at the top of the ticket, there to apply the business skills he gained throughout his successful career to the economy and put America back to work. And his running mate, the young policy wonk who, as a numbers cruncher, is here to right our ever-increasing debt and bring us back to the days of surpluses like a good Republican would. This is the team that would not give in to the common political pitfall of base pandering; the economy-focused duo would ignore the far-right social issues like same-sex marriage or abortion.
I thought this might happen, and then I remembered that this is the party that brought us Herman Cain, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.
Mitt Romney has refused to follow the long-standing tradition of releasing his tax returns, a custom established by his father George Romney when he ran for President in 1968. He released 12 years of returns, claiming “one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show, and what mattered in personal finance was how a man conducted himself over the long haul.”
Instead, from the little Romney has released — he has publicized only the last two years’ returns — we have found a man who is running for President of the United States but finds it necessary to use secret bank accounts in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, among many others.
Paul Ryan has frequently accused President Obama of trying to redistribute wealth and waging class warfare while loading the country with debt. This is why conservatives love him; he will balance the budget and bring us back to the days of surpluses like … Bill Clinton.
When put to the test, the opposite is true. In his budget, it is Ryan who engages in wealth redistribution by giving the very rich $4.3 trillion in tax cuts while cutting $1.7 trillion from the social safety net that largely benefits the very poor. This is the same budget that will actually increase the federal debt by $2.6 trillion in its first decade.
The party that is claiming to be above cheap politics has an odd idea of what substantive politics is: race-bating welfare lies in their recent ads and Mitt Romney making a birther joke.
This should be no surprise, seeing as he hosts fundraisers with one of the founding fathers of the birther movement and, along with other Republicans, recently named Donald Trump “Statesman of the Year.”
Mitt Romney, once the social moderate from Massachusetts, selected as his VP someone who goes for it all on same-sex marriage with his attempts to block adoption for gay couples, voted against the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and attempted to pass a constitutional amendment that prohibits gay marriage.
But this is nothing compared to Ryan’s abortion stance, where he, with the help of now-famous Todd Akin, fought to push through legislation that would make all abortions illegal, including in cases of rape or incest. This is made even sadder by the fact that Romney claimed to have been moved to a pro-choice stance earlier in his flip-flopping career when he lost a family member to a botched back-room abortion.
An economy that is in recovery does not warrant political regression that takes social policy back a century and calls for the fiscal policies that put us in this mess.