Tag Archives: Paul Ryan

Trump, Congress Say U.S. Will Pay For Border Wall

Barely a week into the Trump Era and the United States has already seen one of the largest protest marches in American history, caught the new Administration telling blatant lies… or as they would like to say, “Alternative Facts”… about something as inconsequential as crowd size at the inauguration, and taken rapid moves to dismantle the American healthcare system with no signs of a replacement in sight.

Someone call Mary J. Blige, because if this isn’t the ‘Thick Of It’ then we are in for a very tough ride.

As one would suspect, the dizzying developments continue.  After the President signed a sweeping Executive Order to fast track deportations and build the infamous Border Wall,  House Speaker Paul Ryan has stepped up to support the efforts, saying Congress can approve funding for the wall.

But as Eric Werner of the Associated Press (via PBS News Hour) points out, this isn’t exactly what Trump promised on the campaign trail…

House Speaker Paul Ryan says President Donald Trump’s border wall will cost $12 billion to $15 billion — and Ryan says Congress will pay for it by this fall.

Congress will move legislation this year providing up to $15 billion to build a wall along the Mexican boundary, Republican leaders said Thursday at their annual strategy retreat. But they would not say how they would prevent the massive project from adding to federal deficits. Ryan said the goal is to complete that and other major bills in 2017, but the leaders offered no details on how the wall would be paid for, saying they would wait until the Trump administration proposes legislation.

[…]

Trump has repeatedly said Mexico will pay for the wall, but Mexican leaders oppose it and have said they won’t finance it.

Congress will pay for “the construction of the physical barrier on the border,” Ryan said.

“We intend to address the wall issue ourselves,” Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

Pressed on whether construction would increase federal deficits, Ryan said Republicans are fiscal conservatives. He said strengthening the economy and replacing President Barack Obama’s health care system were two of the best ways to bolster the government’s budget.

“If we’re going to be spending on things like infrastructure, we’re going to find the fiscal space to pay for that” in a budget Congress plans to write this spring, Ryan said.

Umm Mr. Speaker, saying that Republicans are fiscal conservatives is not an answer of how specifically you plan on paying for the wall without adding to the federal deficit.  And it’s certainly not an answer that Republicans would have even consider accepting if the former Administration had proposed legislation without a way to pay for it.  They didn’t support President Obama’s initiatives even when they were paid for, but now we’re supposed to “just trust them”??

Worse yet, it was Donald Trump who said that Mexico would pay for the Border Wall, but now Congress is ready to put up our tax dollars that could be going to educate our kids and pay for our roads.

Sounds less like an ‘America First’ policy, and more like ‘Mexico First’. And Mexican citizens don’t even want the wall.

Let’s revisit some actual facts for a moment.  The United States does not need a Border Wall, because it will not stop illegal immigration to or through the country.  Last time I checked, we live in the 21st Century.  If people want to come to this country illegally, they can get here by simply taking a flight and overstaying their VISA (by many estimates, this is now the predominant mode of illegal immigration).  We can build a wall halfway to the moon and put over a million guards along the Rio Grande. If built, the whole wall project will serve to do more harm than good by fracturing the economies of border communities, seizing land from private landowners, endangering American jobs and reinforcing corrosive narratives which play into the hands of America’s enemies and undermine the values which perpetuate this nation.

Far more important than sealing our borders to keep people out, Congress must do the real work to fix our broken system and pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  Presidents on both sides of the political spectrum have tried and failed to get the real work of reform done, and it has been of great detriment to the nation.  Right now the country already spends north of $18 billion per year to enforce the border.  But if we brought our most vulnerable communities out of the shadows and forged a path to citizenship for those already here, we could not only make the American people safer, but generate billions of dollars (and lots of American jobs) in the process.

And let’s not forget, this is the common-sense conclusion that is shared across multiple political philosophies.  If you don’t believe me, take this statement on the border wall issue from the 2016 Gary Johnson campaign

“Having served as Governor of a border state, Gary Johnson understands immigration. He understands that a robust flow of labor, regulated not by politics, but by the marketplace, is essential. He understands that a bigger fence will only produce taller ladders and deeper tunnels, and that the flow of illegal immigrants across the border is not a consequence of too little security, but rather a legal immigration system that simply doesn’t work. Militarizing the border, bigger fences, and other punitive measures espoused by too many politicians are all simplistic “solutions’ to a problem caused by artificial quotas, bureaucratic incompetence and the shameful failure of Congress to actually put in place an immigration system that matches reality.”

Unfortunately for us, “reality” has been thrown out of the window for the next several years.  And soon, our view of it may be blocked from the wall.

 

Path to Austerity: The GOP Fantasy Budget

In the face of many storms we’ve weathered, a few aspects of the American experience have remained stalwart… death, taxes and Michelle Bachmann’s uncanny ability to be void of all logic and reason. These principles were sure, and come hell or high water, we could turn to them for stability.

But that third principle, though still very real, has got some new challengers in the “crazy town” department. Wisconsin Congressman and losing Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan unveiled the House GOP budget today. One read-through of this makes Michelle Bachmann’s ravings sound almost sensible.

We now finally have specifics on the US House plan for the federal budget. I of course am no budget analyst, so I highly recommend reading other opinions like Ezra Klein, Matthew Iglesias and Andrew Taylor for a thorough rundown. But here are the big points.

Some of the proposals we’ve come to expect from the GOP… promises to lower tax rates for everyone (though they’ve now relented to keep tax increases passed in January on the books) and of course the continued witch hunt to repeal Obamacare. But here is the real kicker… The GOP/Ryan budget assumes savings from Obamacare, while also assuming its repeal. That in itself doesn’t even make sense. How can you reap savings from a law that you don’t want to exist in the first place?

And then, as expected, there are massive cuts to social programs. The way much of this is achieved is by exchanging funding per constituent that states receive for block grants… a sum of money given to each state to spend the way they want to. That sum of money would decrease over time, and then pass on the responsibility for programs like Medicaid, SNAP and other vital services into state hands. That relieves federal responsibility by passing the taxing burdens onto the states.

Sounds great, only it will cause many already stressed state budgets to be pushed into crisis mode. As the state population increases and the block grant does not, people will continue to be denied these critical programs. All in the name of “fixing the deficit”. In a growing state like Texas, with a massive population of low-wage workers and uninsured, block grants are nothing short of creating a ticking time bomb. Nevermind that the policies President Obama has enacted are already bringing down the deficit as is, the GOP insist on robbing people that already have fewer options than everyone else. Under their plan, all of these cuts are made while increasing the giveaways to our nation’s wealthy.

And that’s why the GOP budget is a total fantasy. Let’s hope it stays that way too.

The ABCs of the GOP: P is for…

Partisanship… Nothing “Bi” About it

Election season is tough. Tough on the candidates, of course, but it’s also tough on everyone else. We have to deal with the barrage of political advertising, get into all sorts of vigorous discussions with our friends, watch nail-biter debates, and delve into all of the particular inner workings of government that most of us would just rather do without. But the reason that we must endure through November 6th is because this election year is just too important. Since 2010, the top priority of the Republican Party has not been to improve the lives of their constituents, but to deny President Obama a second term. No seriously!! You don’t have to take my word for it… just listen to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell…

This is the political climate which defined President Obama’s first term in office. On one side you have the Democrats, whom behaved mostly as politicians are expected to. They didn’t always vote as a block on the issues… Each Legislator brought their own personal opinions and constituent needs to influence the way they voted. And of course, Democrats were plagued by the usual scandals, which this time befell outspoken Congressman Anthony Wiener and former Governor-turned-inmate Rod Blagoyevich. But when it came to big things, Democrats were able to get some of them done, despite massive GOP roadblocks… Healthcare reform, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, unprecedented consumer protections against bank and credit card fraud, and significant reforms for students to make paying their student loans back less of a life-long burden.

But all along the way, Democrats had to fight tooth-and-nail against an unplanned adversary… Republican partisanship. In 2009 and 2010, the Senate GOP launched an attack never seen before in all of American history. They filibustered EVERYTHING… even many bills that members once themselves sponsored and supported. The purpose of these filibusters weren’t because they believed the legislation was bad, but because any legislative accomplishment would be viewed as a positive for Barack Obama and the Democrats. So on legislation like the Dream Act… Something that has long held bi-partisan champions in the Senate, was killed as they sold their souls to the political devil to prevent any notion of American progress. They put party over country in the ultimate display of partisanship.

Finally in 2010, Republicans were able to reap some benefit from making the Democrats look bad. They won historic victories in the House, and now have a say in the legislative agenda. This historic tide came from a skilled combination of economic frustration, Anti-Democratic messaging and partisan-fueled hostility. But when Speaker John Boehner and his Republican colleagues took control of the House, the gridlock didn’t end… not by a long-shot. They wasted the time and money of the American people on useless repetitive votes, and crafted legislation that they knew would not pass the Senate. It was then that the inner workings of the GOP were exposed, and that all of the partisan firewalls were taking an immeasurable toll.

Well immeasurable in one sense, but others see the price they are paying quite clearly. President Obama even believes, as revealed in a recent Des Moines Register interview, that the careful coalition that the GOP created to win the 2010 election is the same one that could cause them to lose in 2012. The party has gone so far to alienate Hispanic voters, that it may very well help the President get re-elected. And if that happens, the coalition will surely fracture. Why? Because they realize that there is nowhere else they can go without getting serious about Immigration reform, and appealing to a more diverse America. So in a way, the perils of Republican partisanship have produced a silver lining for Democrats. They improve the President’s chances for re-election, help Democrats to pick-up House seats, and almost guarantee an important legislative victory for the President in his first year back.

But one important question remains… if Mitt Romney is elected, what becomes of the GOP? Would it still fracture and regroup for 2016? In short, the answer is no. Whether they’d like to admit it or not, the GOP of 2012 is in desperate need of some changes. As Obama said, they can’t continue down a path to total exclusion. A Romney victory means that many Republicans will have to stick to their guns. They’d be forced to keep up the infighting between the Tea Party and the establishment wings of the party. They’d be forced to answer for the massive, outlandish promises Mitt Romney has made about his “magical” tax plan, self-deportation and repealing many of the GLBT rights advances that we’ve lived with over the last four years. They’d be forced to support Mitt Romney’s candidacy during 2016 and prevent a whole slew of much more “exciting” new candidates from running until 2020. They’d face the possibility of Mitt Romney facing off aganst Hillary Clinton, whom the Democrats would surely flock to if she chooses to run. Essentially, if Mitt Romney wins, GOP lawmakers are going to be asked to do the impossible. See that’s the unintended consequence of partisanship… it’s a short-term fix, but in the long-run it leads to more destruction. As crazy as it sounds, the best thing for those that truly care about the Republican Party’s future may be to re-elect President Obama. Of course, I don’t think Democrats would complain either!!

In two short weeks, we’ll have many of these answers. But for now, we have to wait and see just how thick the GOP’s partisan firewall is.

The VP debate: “Who do you believe?”

With the conclusion of the Vice Presidential Debate, the national spin rooms have come out swinging. Clearly, it was a fast-moving, high-spirited affair. Unlike the first Presidential Debate of 2012, Both Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan held their ground, and represented their opposing views well… for the most part.

Here’s my take. Sorry it’s so long, but this one was power-packed…

-1st impression: THANK YOU to Martha Raddatz for asking clear and direct questions. This is how it’s supposed to be done!

Joe Biden gave an honest answer on the Libya response… mourning the loss of the officials, admitting that Obama administration could have done better, but received conflicting reports from the intelligence community in real time.

Ryan’s criticism of how they handled the Libya incident is valid, so I give that point to him. But only due to the fact that he’s the challenger and had no real responsibility for the incident. B-FAIL.

So Ryan agrees that we should apologize for burning Korans, and for the film, but not for our values. So how would you make that distinction instead of just talking about it?? A bit of a tangled web there.

-Iran:

Ryan is critical of the Obama admin because they should have been more harsh on sanctions. He’s definitely studied up on Foreign Policy matters.

Obama policy is BAD. Umm… ok, but what would you do differently?

Joe Biden smiles every time he hears a disagreement, assertion or lie. I get it… for some people, that’s the only way to handle it.

He also points out that the sanctions aren’t just placed by the US, but a world cooperative effort. “So all this bluster I keep hearing, all this loose talk… What are they going to do… unless he’s talking about going to war.”

Ryan: “They see this administration trying to water down sanctions in Congress.” WHO DID THIS? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? Iran is “not changing their mind, we have to make them change their mind.” Umm, how??? No solutions, just criticism.

Biden comes back and defends sanctions. “This is a bunch of stuff”… is he going to curse during this debate?

Ryan: Thank heavens we have these sanctions in place, and because of these sanctions, Iran is 4 years closer to a nuclear weapon. So you either SUPPORT the sanctions, or you don’t. Which is it, and what would YOU do differently?? R-FAIL.

Ugh… Biden laughs a lot. It gets annoying because it’s read as not taking the debate seriously.

ECONOMY:

Wow Biden came out SWINGING with all of the buzz words “Romney said ‘let Detroit go bankrupt’, ’47 percent comment’ and ‘Grover Norquist pledges’… “They’re holding hostage the middle class tax cut.” INCREDIBLE

Ryan’s counter was WEAK. Ryan didn’t address anything that Joe Biden accused the GOP of. Now he’s re-legislating the GOP convention… trying to humanize Romney. Answer the question, and take on Biden’s assertions. R-FAIL.

Ryan on 47 percent: “The words that come out of your mouth don’t always come out the right way.”

Biden counters GOP Congressional obstruction head-on: “If they’d get out of the way and let us pass the middle class tax cut. If they’d get out of the way and let us pass the Jobs Bill. Stop talking and SHOW ME SOMETHING.” Very effective point to Biden.

Raddatz asks Ryan directly: “When could you get unemployment below 6 percent?” He doesn’t give a time frame. Ramble, ramble.

Ryan attacks Stimulus funds as “green pork”, and Biden CALLS HIM OUT for requesting Stimulus funds!! Biden: “This is such a ‘bad program’, but [Ryan] writes me a letter saying the Stimulus will create JOBS. R-FAIL.

MEDCARE:

Ryan did a good job on this, getting ahead of some of Biden’s points, but once again, he never even entertains the possibility of increased REVENUES. Not that I want to pay more taxes, but if it means that I’ll have a Medicare program, even I am willing to pay a little more. Stop demonizing taxes!!

Biden on Medicare: Calls out Ryan for his first budget, which did destroy MediCare. If that’s not your plan, then why did you create a budget that does it?

Martha calls Ryan on premium support, and he goes into some interesting detail, saying that he’ll ensure “100% MediCare for poor seniors by taxing/scraping benefits from wealthier seniors.” I guess he’s not aware that the income gap among Seniors is actually worse than the young, and has been decimated by savings losses in the Great Recession. Save for the Romneys and Warren Buffet, there won’t be many “wealthy seniors” left. Pie-in-the-sky economics here.

Biden is getting rude here, have to call it when I see it. B-FAIL. Thankfully, Ms. Raddatz is good at shutting it down.

TAXES:

Biden’s numbers got a bit confused. “800millionbillion dollars” Oh, boy. Thankfully though, he’s not meant to be the wonky one.

Ryan again, not explaining WHY the rich can’t afford to pay more in taxes, but tries to diffuse it into everyone’s spending. But he also points out rightfully that tax increases on the rich alone won’t make up for the deficit. That’s TRUE. Great line here… “Watch out middle class, the tax cut is coming to YOU”

Raddatz asks Ryan directly: “You have refused to offer specifics on how you pay for that 20% across-the-board tax cut. Do you have the specifics?” Ryan answers: “We want to have bi-partisan agreements.” She asks again. Ryan answers: Well here’s what Ronald Reagan did. You’ve got NOTHING. R-FAIL.

Ryan: “Jack Kennedy lowered taxes and increased growth”. Biden: “Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy?” ZING!! Ok Ryan, stop trying to lecture Biden on what Congress does. He’s been in Congress since you were 2!!

Ryan made some interesting promises… now he wants to close the really big loopholes for high-income people? No home mortgage deduction for high-income people? I think he’ll regret that statement later.

DEFENSE:

Oh boy… Ryan call the cuts he VOTED for “devastating”. And of course, Biden calls him out on it. R-FAIL.

Ok Biden, you’re debating Paul Ryan, not Martha Raddatz. Don’t get testy with her. B-FAIL.

Ryan: “We agree with the administration on their 2014 transition.” But yet you keep arguing against the timeframe? Why?

Biden say we have trained Afghan troops, and it is their responsibility to take care of their nation. “We are leaving in 2014.” Nice, clear answer. Yet Paul Ryan continues to argue around the edges.

Ryan: “We don’t want to broadcast to our enemies” our departure date. Biden comes right back saying it’s not just the US involved… 49 other allies agree to the timeline. Granted, the US is invested FAR MORE than the other countries, but Ryan didn’t counter with this point.

Raddatz asks Biden directly: “Do you think the Taliban will take advantage of this timeline?” Biden says “Unless you set a timeline, the Afghan government will not step up.” Then cites Iraq as an example. Oh, that’s right… this administration as already ended one war!! Good job here.

SYRIA:

Biden accuses Ryan and Romney of “loose talk” on Syria, saying they’re too quick to threaten war. Ryan counters with shoulda woulda coulda, but doesn’t say what they’d actually DO. He also manages to diss the UN and Russia in one fell swoop. Ryan has been pretty solid on foreign policy so far, but this was a very careless answer.

Biden: “What would my friend do differently?” Raddatz asks “So what would Romney/Ryan do differently?” Then Ryan simply AGREES with Obama administration, with NO new ideas. Trying to sound tough, but no substance. R-FAIL

ABORTION:

Ryan: “I don’t see how a person can separate their public life and their faith.” He then clarifies that policy of Romney administration will be to oppose abortion WITH exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. This is news.

Biden: “With regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position… in my personal life. But I refuse to impose that on others. I do not believe that we have a right to tell women that they can’t control their body.” Biden also pins Ryan to his past record on trying to change abortion law through Congress.

Raddatz to Ryan: “If the Romney/Ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe abortion should remain legal be worried?” Ryan let’s out a HUMONGOUS sigh of despair. You can tell he did NOT want to defend the ticket on this!!! Here’s Ryan as he abandons his last shred of principle, and sells his soul to the political pundits…

“We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision. That people through their elected representatives, and reaching a consensus through a Democratic society should make this determination.”

STOP. Please remember this answer, if you forget everything else from this debate. I believe this is going to haunt Ryan for the rest of his political career, and here’s why. As you already know, the Supreme Court, our highest court in the United States, is UNELECTED. Those unelected judges ruled on Roe V. Wade in the first place. If it’s not up to them to make a decision like Roe V. Wade, what else should unelected judges not be able to do? This answer was meant to make Ryan sound like he’s reasonable, but it’s acutally questioning the very core of the role of government.

ADVICE TO A HERO/ CAMPAIGN UGLINESS:

Biden talks about his son as a part of the 47 percent. It was a good summation of the Obama admin’s actions as well. Much better than his closing statement.

Ryan: “If you don’t have a good record to run on, then you paint your opponent as something to run from.” Of course, Mr. Ryan spent a lot of time running from his own record.

On Biden’s closing statements, find a camera!! Great way end with 47 percent comment though.

Ryan’s closing statement was at the camera, but mostly criticized Obama, and wasn’t very hopeful. “This is not what a recovery looks like.” Some will agree, but some won’t.

IN SUMMATION:

I genuinely thought both men did their jobs tonight. Paul Ryan stood up to a much older incumbent, and represented his views about as well as one could. He came out swinging and was able to take great advantage on the Libya incident. But what he couldn’t do was run away from his record. He did ask for Stimulus money after calling it “wasteful”. He did pursue Personhood amendments. He couldn’t name a single proposal for how he was going to cut tax rates by 20%… instead he said that they would look for bi-partisan solutions (as if that’s working now??).

Biden lost some style points, and there were a few times that got overly testy and combative. But he dominated this debate, and left Paul Ryan holding the bag for several parts of his Congressional record. And prhaps, most important to the Right-Wing portrayal of him, Biden never delivered a truly terrible gaffe for them to use to their advantage. He made his points, and backed them up with old-fashioned facts.

Final tally: Biden 3 Fails. Ryan 6 Fails. Advantage, BIDEN

Historical fact: Paul Ryan LOVES stimulus spending

As we’ve covered in K is for Karma, Congressman and presumptive Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan has a bit of a stimulus problem. Over the last few years, he has decried stimulus spending as “waste” yet he seems to have little problem wasting money in his Wisconsin district.

This weekend Chris Hayes revealed that Mr. Ryan hasn’t always been opposed to Stimulus spending, or even Keynsian economics. On Up with Chris, this little gem of C-Span video was uncovered…

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This needs to be an Obama ad. He makes the case for Stimulus spending more eloquently than the President ever has!!

The ABCs of the GOP: K is for

Karma

When we take a moment to reflect on the past year in American Politics, it’s mostly been a time of focus on the GOP. After all, Democrats have had our 2012 Presidential candidate since the 2008 election. There’s not much of a need for controversy in that party. But relative quiet on one side of the political aisle does not mean we’ve been short of drama… the GOP has gotten VERY good at it all on it’s own. The drama of the Presidential Primaries was particularly intense. But you have to ask… After so many candidates, did the GOP really have to select Mitt Romney? How did this happen?

Sure most of the field was “weak”, and Mr. Romney was well organized and well funded. The few candidates that showed real promise at the start, like Jon Huntsman or Tim Pawlenty, were not able to get much traction out of the gate. Promising future prospects like Chris Christie decided to sit out the 2012 cycle (perhaps not wanting to be thrown to the wolf pack). But as the Republican Party continues to cleanse itself of moderates in favor of the Far-Right, why would they tolerate a “moderate” flip-flopper like Romney to be the leader of their party? The answer is simple: KARMA.

The GOP used to be a party that emphasized small government and fiscal responsibility. But today’s party doesn’t really have a central philosophy. Instead they are caught in a complex web of lies. How can you be for small government when you continue to overfund the Department of Defense… the world’s largest employer? How can you be for fiscal restraint, when you voted to fight two wars without raising even a penny of revenue to fund them? How can you be for further tax cuts for the wealthy, when their taxes are already at historic lows? This is the web that modern Republicans have woven for themselves. As opinion columnist Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast writes, the GOP now has to lie in order to win a major election. If Republicans told the truth about their real intentions for government, they would be rejected by all for their hypocrisy.

That’s where the karma comes in. Mitt Romney is the closest thing to a sole embodiment of the GOP’s hypocritical history. Romney’s business experience (and his wealth) is basically built from the destruction of thousands of American workers. He became rich because other companies took the advice of Bain Capital, laid off much of their work force, then paid Bain in consulting fees. There’s a big contradiction there considering he’s running for President on his ability to “create American jobs”.

Mr. Romney of course has a public record as well… four years as Governor of Massachusetts. And during that time, his single greatest legislative achievement was the passage of mandatory health care for all Massachusetts residents. Make no mistake, this was Governor Romney’s signature achievement in the Bay State. Listen to him defend his universal health care plan with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto. I Had to transcribe my favorite part here…

Cavuto: “Let me step back from this Governor, if you don’t mind. When people are polled on this issue of universal healthcare coverage, a Fox Poll that we did… 2 out of 3 folks say ‘don’t want it, don’t see the need for it.’ What do you say about that?

Romney: “Well what they don’t recognize is they’ve already got it, and that’s the big surprise. Everybody in this country does get free health care. If people get sick… they go to the hospital and they get treated. And everybody else pays the cost of those individuals if they don’t have health insurance… So we have universal health care. For people that can afford to pay, it’s time for them to step up to the plate.”

The eloquence and conviction with which Mr. Romney defends his plan (to the Fox News audience, no less) is simply shocking. No wonder a symbol for health care is painted into Governor Romney’s official Massachusetts portrait.

Then there’s his time with the Salt Lake City Olympics. No one doubts that the games were a success, but Romney continues to forget HOW he funded those games… from over $1 Billion dollars in GOVERNMENT contracts. Yet today, he decries many public projects as “wasteful spending”. So it wasn’t a waste when he oversaw the funds?

Of course many Republicans are caught in this trap… the ones that publicly bashed the Obama Stimulus as wasteful, but then request portions of the funds for their district. Mr. Romney’s newly minted running mate Paul Ryan was caught red-handed lying about stimulus funds, saying that he never requested any of the money for his district, and even going so far to say “I’m not one who votes for something and then writes to the government to ask them to send us money,”. Actually, he did, so if it’s a test of character, Mr. Ryan would fail almost as quickly as Mr. Romney.

So as karma would have it, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have turned out to be quite the fitting match for their party’s national leadership. Romney is the embodiment of hypocrisy and convolution, While Ryan is the party’s ideology gone wrong. Karma is definitely at play in this year’s Republican Party.

Paul Ryan… and what’s next for Democrats

As the aftermath of this weekend’s big political news continues, Democrats may be left to wonder what their next move should be. Some, like Rachel Maddow think it’s obvious… attack the “Ryan Budget” and all of its drastic cuts. This is a great strategy for the Democratic base, but it’s not going to advance the argument to low-information, undecided voters. Instead, here’s what Democrats should do…

Sure, there’s many people out there that are taking a first look at Paul Ryan. He just rose onto the national spotlight in 2010, and given his charm and looks, there’s a bit of a “Sarah Palin effect” going on. But the big difference between Ryan and Palin? He’s not a pure unknown. We’ve got a 14-yr voting record and history in Washington with Paul Ryan.

Lest we forget that Mr. Ryan is an elected official in Congress… the WORST performing Congress in United States history. Every American, no matter how little they have followed the Presidential Campaign, knows that Congress sucks right now. The addition of Ryan to the ticket is already causing issues for other Congressional Republicans in tight races. Remember that the GOP controls the House of Representatives. They promised the American People “jobs, jobs, jobs” in 2010, but instead they deliver a record number of anti-abortion bills, a persecution of the US Attorney General, and 33 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act while wasting the precious time and money of American taxpayers. The President even sent them legislation like the American Jobs Act that wasn’t even brought up for a vote. Paul Ryan owns all of these votes, and that is fact that the American people need to know about. Here’s a link to Paul Ryan’s full voting record.

Finally after promising to run against the “Do-Nothing Congress”, Mr. Obama has actually been given a great gift in Paul Ryan. His campaign team (and non-associated Super PACs) can now attack both the Romney-Ryan ticket and Congress in one fell swoop! It’s time for Democrats to do this. Right now to most Americans, Paul Ryan is an unknown entity. If the Obama campaign can define him as a leader in a terrible Congress, then the advantage will remain with the Democrats.

But Ryan isn’t the main fight… it’s time for Dems to go all-in for exposing Romney’s flip-flops and lies. Our side continues to be very cordial to Mr. Romney by talking about tax returns and secret money. But in this era of big Republican money, that’s simply not going to be enough. Democrats have to show Mitt Romney for the flip-flopper that he is… every lie he’s ever told should be turned into a political ad. Even with the Ryan buzz providing a brief (and much needed) distraction for the Romney campaign, he is the top of the ticket. Romney is who America has to vote for, and ultimately who they have to trust to lead the country. The timidity for the Democrats has got to go. As we all know, if the shoe were on the other foot, the GOP would have already DESTROYED a candidate half as weak as Mitt Romney. If there was ever a time for the Left to grow a spine and FIGHT, this is it.