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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

 

Yesterday, Mitt Romney asked the President to stop talking about his business record and tax avoidance. But we had no idea how far Mitt would go to change the subject. He actually picked Paul Ryan.

After a blasting in the polls and a haranguing by right-wing pundits, Mitt Romney decided that he should use the biggest statement of his primary campaign to try to win over a group of voters that never wanted him: right-wing Republicans. It’s exactly what John McCain tried to do. And I’m trying to remember: How did that work out for him?

Paul Ryan is the choice the Wall Street Journal editorial board, the choice of the same self-satisfied right wing intelligentsia that still thinks the Iraq War was a good idea. These are people who think that RomneyCare is worse for Mitt than the Ryan Budget will be. In short, they’re the same crew of Bush-Cheney backers, boasting decades of unmatched experience in being wrong about everything.

Yesterday we said that Mitt wouldn’t pick Paul Ryan. And if he did, it would be an awful choice. Conservative blog The Blaze said that Ryan should stay right where he is because his plan has become the platform of the Republican Party. Conservatives on Twitter who launched the hashtag #GiveUsRyan are calling this their Christmas morning.

What these “conservatives” don’t know or don’t care about is that pollsters have already determined exactly how embracing Ryan will hurt Romney. In a recent series of surveys and focus groups, Democracy Corp discovered revealed the toll that the Congressman from Wisconsin might have on the Republican ticket — even if he weren’t on the ticket.

President Obama’s lead against Romney more than doubles when the election is framed as a choice between the two candidates’ positions on the Ryan budget– particularly its impact on the most vulnerable. The President makes significant gains among key groups, including independents and voters in the Rising American Electorate (the unmarried women, youth, and minority voters who drove Obama to victory in 2008). This is an important new finding; highlighting the Ryan budget’s impact on the most vulnerable seriously weakens Romney.

By picking Ryan, Romney has made this case for the President. This is why our Editor-in-Chief Joe Conason has called Barack Obama “the luckiest politician in the history of democracy.”

The notion that Mitt Romney needs a smug, young guy who thinks retired people, students and the poor have it too good is something that could only occur to billionaire-funded right wing thinkers, those who believe that the lesson of 2004 is you can’t win on wanting to vote someone out. You need to give people something to believe in. And what Paul Ryan believes will appeal only to people who hate government with a passion.

Mitt Romney has now taken on the weight of the incredibly unpopular House Republicans and a budget that, when fully dissected, will frighten seniors, working families, and even true budget hawks. For while pretending to deal with a so-called debt crisis, Ryan adds trillions to the debt in huge new tax breaks for the rich and trillions more by adding inefficiency and Wall Street giveaways to Medicare.

While the Affordable Care Act adds millions of uninsured to the rolls of Medicaid, Ryan’s plan makes savage cuts to the program, throwing the most vulnerable Americans to, as Jonathan Alter says, “the wolves.”

Add in his cuts to student financial aid and early childhood education, and Ryan’s budget fundamentally reshapes the social contract of the United States of America. Instead of providing for the general welfare, government abandons its power to do good and becomes a machine to expedite the wishes of big business.

Usually a vice presidential nominee surrenders his or her policy views and becomes a surrogate of the presidential candidate. In this case, Romney has already adopted most of the Ryan Budget — and whatever he hasn’t  specifically accepted will now be thrust upon him.

Mitt hasn’t made a bold choice—he has ratified the suicidal instincts of a party that never wanted him in the first place.

Paul Ryan thinks we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel.

But this is reality. And in reality, even Ayn Rand wasn’t willing to give up her Medicare.

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.