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Joe Lapointe

Joe Lapointe has worked as a sports reporter with the New York Times and a segment producer for "Countdown With Keith Olbermann'' on Current TV

August 11th, 2012 1:48 PM

Better than Palin, but Ryan has major flaws

Perhaps Mitt Romney did not speak another “gaffe” Saturday when he introduced Paul Ryan as “the next President of the United States.”  Maybe the Romney-Ryan Republican ticket will lose to President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden in November.
 
That might make Ryan a favorite choice for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, just as Obama and Biden finish their second term.  Ryan then could run against Biden or even Hillary Clinton, now the Secretary of State.
 
Romney quickly corrected his mistake, rushing back to the microphone to say Ryan will be vice-president. Despite the stagecraft of a battleship in their background, the Romney-Ryan ticket will do more defending than attacking in the next three months.
 
Ryan’s elevated profile will bring out his extraordinary negative factors.  Ryan likes to show off his Catholicism but his harsh budget schemes have been bitterly criticized by Catholic clergy for Ryan’s hard-hearted attitude toward the poor and the powerless.
 
Rather than take his cues from the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus Christ, Ryan’s philosophy is based on the gospel of Ayn Rand, a Russian atheist who preached that poor people get what they deserve and the only true path is enlightened selfishness.
 
Ryan’s age, 42, will be touted by conservatives as a plus in wooing young voters.  The flip side of this is that he may come across as shallow and callow to older voters, including the senior citizens who vote in most elections and study the issues more thoroughly.
 
They will be aware that Ryan has attacked Medicare and Social Security and supports lower taxes on the wealthiest citizens.  They will wonder how well-prepared he is to deal with foreign affairs, terrorism, nuclear proliferation and a global economy.
 
Ryan is without a doubt a better choice on these and other issues than Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee of 2008 who embarrassed candidate John McCain, the GOP and the nation with her ignorance of even basic policies and her mean little mouth.
 
Coming from Wisconsin, Ryan represents the state that gave us a Republican progressive like Robert La Follette and a Republican demagogue like Sen. Joseph McCarthy. The state’s current governor is Republican Scott Walker, a Ryan pal best know for attacking unions.
 
All these factors, along with Obama’s popularity and Romney’s utter disingenuousness, make up difficult headwinds for a veep candidate named Ryan, whose name rhymes with “lyin’” and sounds a lot like “ruin.”

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