Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ryan Pick: Boon or Bane for Repubs?

The picture is from a 2008 Democratic campaign ad that depicts a Paul Ryan look-alike as pushing Granny off a cliff from her wheelchair. The narration described  Ryan's proposed changes to Medicare as equivalent to this dramatic metaphor. Presumably we can expect a revival of ads like this in coming months.

Willard "Mitt" Romney seems to be signaling that his evolution to the right-wing darkside is now complete, for better or worse. Since his campaign has battled headwinds from the onset in the attempt to capture the hearts and minds of the right-wing rabble in his party, this could be the final coup de grĂ¢ce for that battle.

Of course, energizing the right-wing core of the Republican party is one thing, but swinging back far enough toward center after the convention is quite another. The gambit is contingent upon the apparent assumption that enough swing voters can be persuaded to bite on an extreme right economic agenda, for Ryan's positions are well-known and clearly defined. Normally the successful nominee leaves enough blank slate to enable a recasting in more centrist terms, but Romney has now foreclosed on that possibility.

The polls indicate a very close election, and the anemic economy could tilt things toward the Repubs. The nation is divided along partisan lines like never before. Both extremes are entrenched, with relatively few undecided in the middle. The campaign will be nasty, replete with demonizing attacks on both candidates. Romney the elitist uber-rich capitalist who outsourced jobs overseas vs. Obama the Socialist who is intent on destroying America. Let the lesser evil win.

As I often point out, this partisan facade is a but a fabricated ruse, intended to conceal the true source of power and create the appearance of democracy. No need to cite conspiratorial sources on this, such as photos of Henry Kissinger or David Rockefeller sitting in on cabinet meetings. No need to discuss the role of the Bilderberg meetings or Trilateral Commission in deciding public policy. The only proof needed for my thesis is to examine how little actual governmental policy changed between past alternations of Democratic and Republican rule.

Sure, Obama is running up the national debt to record levels, but this trend really first gained traction under Reagan due to his tax cuts. Clinton actually presided over some balanced budgets, but then the descent toward hell accelerated under GW Bush after he cut taxes and then financed a massive war machine expansion on the national credit card. Add to this a financial crash and ensuing deep recession just as Obama took office, it's easy to see that the landscape would look much the same at this point if McCain had won the election.

So Republicans claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility? Give me a break. The fun really begins when Romney-Ryan try to lay out their blueprint for reining in the deficit. Balancing the budget while cutting taxes even further would result in a landscape that no one will recognize or desire.  Romney says he wouldn't cut military spending and would presumably keep feeding the war machine, so programs that affect a lot of people would have to be on the chopping block. Granny would not be the only one hurled off the cliff under this scenario.

One factual area that Romney has going for him is that the current growth of debt is unsustainable. If Obama points out the folly of slashing the heart of entitlement programs that many depend on, he will need to paint a plausible alternative that would work better. Sure it's heartless to gut Medicare, but if nothing is done, Medicare and Social Security are on a path toward collapse. Neither side can dispute the dire fact that the debt monster, fed for decades by both parties, now threatens to engulf everyone and everything.

It's fascinating to watch this partisan theatre with the knowledge that neither side is proposing real solutions, nor can they even if they wanted to. The Powers That Be (PTB) have created the economic quagmire, and only they know what end game is planned. My concern is that, with a major economic collapse and/or depression possibly on tap for next year, slashing the safety net would cause enough pain and suffering to create serious social unrest.

Could that be the end-game the PTB have in mind? Let the economy collapse, and provoke unrest & revolution? The only siginicant choice the election provides is between a party that holds the line on cuts for the poor and middle class, and one that slashes the safety net and provokes outrage. Either way, we are toast if the PTB get their way, but Romney/Ryan would grease the wheels for a faster plunge over the cliff.

Now doesn't this just motivate you to become more engaged in the political process? The "Audacity of Hope" becomes "just hope we can survive". Don't forget to vote :)


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