Earnestly trying to lie his way to the White House, Ryan recently dumped Ayn Rand in favor of….wait for it…Thomas Aquinas. Yes, he of the Summa Theologica and the Five Proofs for God.
Perhaps that is what inspired the audacity of his lies in his convention speech—his own easily disproved Summa Republica or Proofs for the GOP as Protector of the People.
With all the wide-eyed innocence of an altar boy, Ryan thundered about America being the kind of country where the strong protected the weak. (That’s why he wants to cut Pell Grants and other Federal aid to students, food stamps and other critical services for seniors?) Wealthy himself, he just knows that while “for every person there is hope” and we are all made “in the image and likeness of the Lord of Life,” all our rights actually “come from nature and God, not from government.” (Apparently the role of government in enacting laws for universal suffrage, civil rights, labor rights, children’s rights and more is news to this lawmaker.)
That may explain why he has done nothing to advance and everything to stymie the President’s efforts to get an American Jobs Act passed. It may explain why he has done nothing to stop fellow Republicans in state governments from passing a flurry of laws to suppress the vote.
Because he knows that our rights come from nature and God, not from government, he said nothing about the relentless efforts of the GOP to get between a woman and her ob/gyn. Chris Christie had laid the groundwork the previous day, yelling that the Affordable Care Act was just plain wrong because a government should not come “between a woman and her doctor. “
The chutzpah is breathtaking. To assert you are protecting women even as you pass law after law, in state after state, to limit a woman’s reproductive rights, defund Planned Parenthood, limit contraception and basically tell women that her priest or her Congressman is better able to make the most personal decisions a woman faces about her health and her family? The Ayn Rand-turned-Aquinas acolyte had no proof to offer of why his authorship of the repugnant notion of “forcible rape” (as opposed to other kinds of more acceptable rape, see?) should not make women flee for their lives from him and his party.
Christie had also blustered his way the previous day through a speech that should have been about Romney, talking about how he created New Jersey in six days. He declared that the American people are smart, rugged individualists who understand the need for “sacrifice.” But who exactly would be doing the “sacrificing?”
Perfect cue for Ryan, believer in Catholic social justice, right? He could have come out saying, “OK, elect me and I will make sure my GOP friends in Congress agree to restore taxes to what they used to be before George W. Bush cut them for the really wealthy.” But no. Not a word about ending those tax cuts, not a word from the wonky numbers man about the huge debt created by the unfunded wars started by George W. Bush that Ryan voted for even as he railed against President Obama for the debt ceiling crisis created by GOP intransigence. Not a word about him and Romney not needing more tax breaks. Not a word about the middle-class needing the tax breaks now enjoyed by the wealthy. Those tax breaks must have come from God: they are too sacred to touch. Roll over St. Thomas. Not a lot of room in Ryan’s world for justice–what St. Thomas cited as one of the four cardinal virtues.
The chutzpah ran thick with Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice as well. She lamented the decline in US standing globally with nary a shred of remorse about her dire “mushroom cloud” warnings that helped pave the way for the invasion of Iraq. She gave the audience the cover of her high profile appearance to attest to room at the RNC table for the Black experience. She told her personal story of surviving her childhood in the Jim Crow South and rising to become the Secretary of State. A great story of American success. Guess if she did it, all those people still poor, still in need could do the same. If they would only set their minds to it and not expect to be “coddled” by government.
No, no coddling from government if Congressman Ryan, from that institution whose public approval rating languishes around 10%, rises to be Vice President. He promises to “make the safety net safer” with a budget that even a FoxNews contributor, Sally Kohn says would “eviscerate programs that help the poor and raise taxes on 95% of Americans in order to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires even further and increase — yes, increase —the deficit
The Republican National Convention was a truly breathtaking display of Republican National Chutzpah.
Dare we hope that Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s benediction might wash some of the hypocrisy out of the convention hall the way JC drove the traders out of the Temple? Instead of validating the RNC platform, perhaps his presence might remind the audience that both the Bishops and the nuns have found that Ryan’s budget fails the moral test of Catholic social teaching.