Gay Fresno - Opinion
The word by Sheila
He's not using that famous Etch-A-Sketch to shake up his newfound Tea Party allegiance; to the contrary, with his choice of Paul Ryan as a running mate, he has signaled his complete capitulation to and identiﬁcation with the furthest reaches of the right.
What does Romney's doubling-down tell us about the choice facing the country — and especially the choice facing those of us who aren't old white heterosexual males?
Let's look beyond issues of character and personality. Let's ignore suspicions that Romney has lacked the savvy to assemble a competent staff. Let's choke down the bile that we taste when we look at his "team." composed of George W. Bush's worst leftovers. Let's even ignore his proposal to end Medicare.
Let's just look at the policies that Romney and Ryan (the "Rolls Royce" team) explicitly support.
Perhaps you've heard, as I have, that Ryan's voting record is substantially identical to that of Michelle Bachmann. Allow me to share some of the details of that record.
Ryan opposed the DREAM Act — legislation that would have allowed undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as young children to remain in the country and provided them with a path to citizenship. Instead, despite his professed identity as a deficit hawk, he supported spending millions to build a border fence to keep "them" out. (Him: the fence wasn't between us and Canada.)
In addition to his desire to privatize Social Security and eliminate Medicare, he has proposed to give Medicaid back to the states. This would almost certainly mean an end to the payments that currently keep millions of seniors in nursing homes after they have gone through all their assets and savings.
The Ryan budget proposes to gut programs that support neighborhood health clinics, to eliminate most student loans and to slash funds for elementary and secondary education.
Ryan wants to de-fund Planned Parenthood, criminalize abortion, and grant "personhood" to fertilized eggs (a measure that would outlaw most popular forms of birth control). In a particularly egregious vote, he supported a bill allowing hospitals to refuse to perform abortions even when those procedures were necessary to save the life of the mother.
Adding insult to injury, Ryan has voted against equal pay for women.
On gay, lesbian, bi & trans rights, the story is the same. Ryan opposes same-sex marriage and voted twice for a constitutional amendment prohibiting it. He voted to keep same-sex couples from adopting children in Washington D.C.
He voted against the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And while the Log Cabin apologists will point out that he once voted for ENDA (the Employee Non Discrimination Act), he later reneged on his promise to do so again, saying he saw no need for "special" legislation.
Mr. "Fiscal Conservative" would abolish taxes on Capital Gains — giving wealthy individuals a windfall — and would recoup the lost revenue by cutting programs that beneﬁt the poor and middle class.
Ryan also agrees with Romney that we don't need to fund Amtrak or PBS (bye-bye, Big Bird...), but we cannot take a penny from the defence budget or allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire.
That is what the Rolls Royce team has to offer. It is as mean-spirited and radical a set of proposals as we have seen in my lifetime — not to mention thoroughly unworkable and unrealistic. (When Paul Krugman and David Stockman agree that Ryan's package of proposals are a "fantasy" and wouldn't begin to balance the budget even if enacted, that's a pretty good sign that it isn't a serious effort.)
So we have a choice: Mr. Inauthentic and Michelle Bachmann in pants, versus Obama and Biden.
I'm hiding under my bed until it's all over.