The Thinking 

Ryan’s Common Sense and Admirable Record

August 27, 2012


THE New York Times makes the case today for why Ryan was a good choice. The editorial titled “Paul Ryan’s Social Extremism” is excerpted below.

—– Comments —–

Paul Ryan’s Social Extremism

Mitt Romney, who will be officially nominated this week as the Republican nominee for president, appears to trim his social convictions to the party’s prevailing winds. There is no doubt, however, about where the party’s vice-presidential candidate stands. A long history of social extremism makes Paul Ryan an emblem of the Republican tack to the far right.

Mr. Romney’s choice of Mr. Ryan carried some risks, considering Mr. Ryan’s advocacy of overhauling Medicare, but it has sent the strongest signal of solidarity to those who have made the party unrecognizable to moderates. Strident conservatives had been uneasy with Mr. Romney, but it is the rest of the country that should be nervous about conservatives’ now-enthusiastic acceptance of the Republican ticket.

Mr. Ryan is best known as the face of Republican budget-cutting, though his ideology runs much deeper. For years, he has been a reliable vote against workplace equity for women, opposing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to file wage-discrimination lawsuits, and two similar measures.

The full outpouring of hard-right enthusiasm is based, to a large degree, on Mr. Ryan’s sweeping opposition to abortion rights. He has long wanted to ban access to abortion even in the case of rape, the ideology espoused in this year’s Republican platform. (Mr. Romney favors a rape exception.) Mr. Ryan also co-sponsored, along with Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, a bill that would have narrowed the definition of rape to reduce the number of poor women who can get an abortion through Medicaid.

Besides that, he has co-sponsored more than three dozen anti-abortion bills, including measures that would require women to get an ultrasound first, bar abortions after 20 weeks in the District of Columbia and end federal spending for family planning programs. Though he urged Mr. Akin to end his Senate race last week over an offensive remark about “legitimate rape,” Mr. Ryan has actually co-sponsored more of these measures than Mr. Akin.

“I’m as pro-life as a person gets,” he said in 2010. [cont.]

— Comments —-

Lawrence Auster writes:

The  Times editorial had me laughing out loud.

Terry Morris writes:

So-judging Ryan’s positions as “extreme right-wing” is very little indication of how far right on the spectrum he actually is. These people who write this tripe are off the charts on the left, and naturally, from their perspective, someone like Ryan appears to be extreme right-wing. But what does that say about people like us?

Laura writes:

Yes, of course, it is laughable what the Times deems as “far right.”

 James P. writes:

Ryan must be doing something right if the New York Times hates him. Of course, we should keep in mind that the New York Times can be relied upon to attack the Republican candidates as dangerous, strident, hard-right extremists regardless of their actual beliefs or records. The only way to avoid these labels would be to embrace the Leftist position on everything — in which case the candidates would be Democrats (or might as well be).

Jesse Powell writes:

When I look at Paul Ryan I think libertarian, not social conservative or religious right. Of course, there is Ryan’s famous love affair with Ayn Rand that he disowned as recently as April 2012. In Wikipedia it states “At a Washington, D.C. gathering celebrating what would have been Ayn Rand‘s 100th birthday [2005], Ryan credited Rand as inspiring him to get involved in public service, stating that ‘The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,’ In a 2005 speech at The Atlas Society, he said he grew up reading Rand, and that her books taught him about his value system and beliefs. Ryan tried to get all of the congressional interns in his office to read Rand’s writing. He also gave copies of her novel Atlas Shrugged to his staff as Christmas presents.” Ayn Rand was a well known atheist libertarian.
There seems to be an alliance in the Republican Party between the religious right and libertarians; such an alliance forming the basis of the Tea Party. I’m not quite sure I get the basis of this alliance. Also, I’m not sure which side (libertarian or religious right) is the dominant partner in this alliance. It may be that the libertarian side is more powerful at the leadership level while the religious right is more powerful or at least more numerous at the grass roots level. I suppose both sides want smaller government and lower taxes and libertarians are inclined to support certain aspects of a religious right cultural agenda such as opposition to “workplace equity for women,” the religious right on the basis of discouraging women in the workforce and libertarians because government shouldn’t be telling employers what to do.
This alliance is unstable. The Akin blow-up is a good example of the inherent conflict between the two; libertarians want Akin gone because he is an “embarrassment”to the party while the religious right is sympathetic to Akin because he is one of them. The Republican Party establishment seems to be on the side of the libertarians when push comes to shove.

Share:Email this to someoneShare on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0Share on Google+0