Ladies and Gentlemen...
In the Red State Corner, hailing from Janesville, Wis., the Gen X, fresh-faced, fearless, ferocious "intellectual leader of the Republican Party," the undisputed Grand New Superstar of the Grand Old Party... Paul "The P90X Kid" Ryan!
And, In the Blue State Corner, hailing from the mean streets of Scranton, Pa., number two in the country, but number one in our hearts, he's not afraid to say exactly what's on his mind (even if everyone else in the White House is terrified of him saying exactly what's on his mind!)... Joe "The Gaffe-Inator" Biden!
Excited for the VP Debates? I am! Excited for the presidential debates? Not so much. Here's why.
The Mitt Who Cried 47 Percent
In light of Romney's "47 Percent" Tape, the presidential debates are irrelevant. It was a fatal error for the already struggling campaign. I disagree with the popular narrative that what we learn from the tape is that Mitt Romney has genuine contempt for 47 percent of American citizens. The true takeaway is that Mitt Romney has no genuine political convictions whatsoever.
Mitt is ambition and a mirror. He will tell anyone, anything at any given time to achieve his current objective.
He told very rich people what he felt they wanted to hear: 'You are rich. You are extraordinary. You deserve to be rich. People who are not rich suffer the indignity of not being rich because they are weak.'
Of course, this is not the first time Mitt has told people what he thought they wanted to hear.
Mitt v. Mitt
On health care:
- "I'm proud of what we've done. If Massachusetts succeeds in implementing [Romneycare], then that will be a model for the nation." Speech in Baltimore, 2007
- "[Romneycare] is something that was crafted for Massachusetts. It would be wrong to adopt this as a nation." Presidential primary debate, 2011
On abortion rights:
- "I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it." Debate with Sen. Edward Kennedy, 1994
- "I do support the Republican platform, and I support that being part of the Republican platform, and I'm pro-life." The Huffington Post, November 2011
On gay rights:
- "I'll be better than Ted Kennedy on gay rights" Interview with Bay Windows, 1994
- "I opposed then, and I do now, gay marriage and civil union." The New York Times, 2012
- "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush." Debate with Sen. Edward Kennedy, 1994
- "I fought against long odds in a deep blue state, but I was a severely conservative Republican governor," Conservative Political Action Conference, 2012
Even if he clobbered Obama in all three debates, he no longer has any credibility. Lincoln's adage holds up: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."
Put a fork in Willard. He's done.
Representative Ryan, Pharmaceutical Grade
With Mitt out of the way, Ryan's moment is now. A national forum. An opponent considered by many to be a gaffe prone loose cannon ("put y'all back in chains," etc... ).
Ryan is the youthful heir to the throne of Republican power, a beltway darling considered by many to be the best spokesman for and "intellectual leader of the Republican Party." The GOP's Ringer v. The Democrat's "Gaffe Machine."
And let me be clear, I don't want a Mitt-Romnified, flip-flopping Paul Ryan. At The Oct. 11 VP debate, I want to see the real deal, unfiltered, unmitigated, 100 percent pure pharmaceutical-grade Paul Ryan. The one who said: "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." The one who drafted the 2010 "Roadmap For America's Future," the intellectual blueprint of the current Republican Congress.
This is Ryan's big moment to argue to the American people why the intellectual leader of the Republican Party's "Roadmap For America's Future" includes the following:
-- Social Security becoming privatized
-- Medicare becoming a voucher system
-- Converting Medicaid into block grants for states
-- Giving massive new tax cuts for the Wealthiest Americans
And for good measure, Ryan should tell the American people why in 2011 he co-sponsored the personhood amendment/Sanctity of Human Life Act, which outlaws in vitro fertilization and some forms of contraception.
And perhaps, most of all, Ryan should explain how someone who relied on Social Security Survivor Benefits, went to public high school, went to public university, worked for the government since graduation and inherited a fortune from a family business that built roads for the government is in any position to argue that government should have almost no role in the lives of American citizens.
This is your moment of truth, Representative Ryan. Your bright, hot spotlight. Time to lead. You will never have another chance like this. Persuade the American people of your vision or forever hold your peace.
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