By Manifesto Joe
If this is Romney's choice for a running mate, 99% of Americans under 55 should prepare to be thrown under the bus.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, 42, looks to be Slick Willard's choice for a vice presidential running mate. It's a pretty clear signal from Scumney to the Republican Party's powerful far right wing -- pssst, I'm really one of you guys! I just played like a moderate to get elected governor of Massachusetts.
Ryan, who was literally voted "Biggest Brown-Noser" by his 1988 high school classmates, is a Young Republican poster boy. Here's a link to his Wikipedia biography, by the way.
My wife, who is not much better at brown-nosing than I am, keeps telling me that it pays off. In Ryan's case, it certainly seems that way.
If the Scumney-Ryan ticket wins in November, we will have a heartbeat away from the presidency a man who has very seriously proposed privatizing Social Security and replacing the current Medicare program with a voucher system. The concrete proposals have been for phase-ins (should I say phase-outs?) that wouldn't apply to Americans over a certain age, generally given as 55. That makes all this more palatable for older people -- retired Tea Party types can keep collecting their checks while throwing younger people under the bus with nary a thought.
A sad thing about politics, in any country, is that there usually has to be a bloody, fatal wreck at the intersection, so to speak, before someone will put up a traffic light. Social Security, in effect since 1935, is largely taken for granted. There are no seniors around who can remember the time before we had Medicare, starting in 1965. So, as collective memories grow fuzzy, it is looking like tragic reality that people are going to have to see, with their own eyes, what American life will be like with no such entitlements.
The Obama-Biden ticket would be well-advised to make Ryan's record on these issues a centerpiece of their campaign. Of course, they'll be accused of fear-mongering and "class warfare" and such -- fine, let the other side talk that trash. The American Class War looks like it's been effectively over for decades anyway (want to guess who won?), so it's a guerrilla struggle from now on.
One afterthought is wonderment about how someone like Paul Ryan could be elected to seven terms in the U.S. House from a seemingly progressive state like Wisconsin. This is a place that elected the La Follettes, Bill Proxmire and Russ Feingold.
But, Scott Walker is governor there now, having survived a recall election. And Joe McCarthy was elected to the U.S. Senate there -- twice.
Oh, well. There's plenty to be ashamed of in Texas. But at least we never sent Joe McCarthy to Washington. We had to settle for Martin Dies.
Unfortunately, it looks alarmingly as though Paul Ryan will be going back there soon, and perhaps with a promotion.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.