As she said last night, “this is a very exciting time.” And then she showed us why she thinks it’s an exciting time: Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate in “Welcome Back, Cutter“.
Maddow: “It was a year ago this week that Mitt Romney at the Iowa State Fair sort of broke down under the pressure of some really persistent heckling and said something on tape that will probably haunt his campaign until the very end as if it were a poltergeist.”
Romney: we have to make sure the promises we make in Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are promises we can keep. And there are various ways of doing that. One is we can raise taxes on people. That’s not the way [Man: Corporations!] corporations are people my friend [Man: No they’re not!] we can raise taxes of course they are – everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people[Man: Laughter], so where do you think it goes? [Man: In their pockets!] Whose pockets? Peoples’ pockets. Human beings, my friend.”
Maddow: For the one year anniversary of the corporations are people moment at last year’s Iowa State Fair, this year the Romney campaign decided to send their brand new vice presidential pick not only to the Iowa state fair but to the exact same stage, that exact same microphone to face, it turned out, pretty much the exact same kind of persistent heckling. And while Paul Ryan did not get flustered that he blurted out corporations are people, still it didn’t go well today.
Ryan: You know, I heard that President Obama started is starting his bus tour today and I heard he wasn’t going to come to the Iowa State Fair [Woman: Are you going to cut Medicare? Are you going to cut Medicare?] I think it’s become so [laugh] You know what, it’s funny [Woman: It’s a simple question!] You know it’s funny because Iowans and Wisconsinites, we like to be respectful of one another and peaceful with one another and listen to each other. These ladies must not be from Iowa or Wisconsin [as woman is hauled out by State Troopers] Hey, like I said, she must not be from Iowa! Hey alright!
Maddow: This is the big rollout of the new Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan Republican ticket. They sent Paul Ryan for his first solo event to have a very difficult time being heckled at the Iowa State Fair.
Good times… Hard not to smile, watching that. Classic Paul Ryan, laughing as he has dissenting voices forcibly removed from the equation.
Maddow says “You can tell that he’s new at this. And understandably uncomfortable with people shouting stuff at him. And with the dynamics of a crowd like that. Paul Ryan is not used to this. Paul Ryan is used to traveling in Republican circles where he is treated like this.” [cut to Fox News Sunday and presentation of a birthday cake to Ryan].
Maddow: Paul Ryan is not much used to people thinking he is anything other than awesome.” He is used to being treated as a king, she says, in Republican circles. The conservative love affair is “hot, hot, hot!”
As Maddow puts it, Ryan is making the trip from Republicanville to Normalville, which as she points out, is a jarring transition: The Republican news bubble is hermetically sealed from reality. Now Ryan is being exposed to that reality and the people exposed to some facts about Ryan they would never have been exposed to on Fox News or conservative news radio or blogosphere.
So now Romney heads to Florida of all places, after picking the Kill Medicare Guy and the headlines are not friendly. In paper after paper: bad news for Team Romney and Romney is actually forced to distance himself from his own running mate. How great is that?
Maddow: “You see, in Republicanville Paul Ryan may be some combination of a reincarnated Ronald Reagan and rockstar but in Normalville, outside of that bubble, he’s the Kill Medicare Guy. And again, I mean, I think this may be a shock to them. Republicans have their own echo chamber and if you listen to conservatives just echoing each other, just talking to each other about Paul Ryan, you’d think that selecting him was not only non-controversial but you’d think it was being treated with universal acclaim. It was not.
Cut to the polling, where USAToday shows that Ryan “is seen as only a ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ choice by 32% of Americans vs. 39% who think he is an ‘excellent’ or ‘pretty good’ vice presidential choice.” He is even less popular than Sarah Palin, as Jason Easley reported here last night.
Maddow: “Numbers this bad for Paul Ryan must not only be disappointing for republicans but shocking to conservatives who in their world have really never heard anything negative about him at all. They didn’t even know he was controversial. But in the real world, Paul Ryan comes from the most unpopular congress in the history of polling of popularity on Congress…and Paul Ryan is the most famous face of the current congress because he is the Republican budget guy and the republican budget guy is really, really famous because the republican budget would kill Medicare and that’s really unpopular.”
Maddow hit the nail squarely on the head. Mitt Ryan and Paul Ryan are in trouble. They have stepped out of their protected little bubble where the world is as they insist it must be only to find out it ain’t so, and they don’t know how to react to that reality they’ve so long been protected from. Two rich white guys find out they’re not just a couple of average Joe’s when they try to relate to those average Joe’s. Everybody hates Ryan’s Medicare plans. Every demographic, especially people over 60 – the very same people Obama did worst with in 2008. Only in Republicanville can the choice of Paul Ryan have made sense. As Maddow says, this is “Christmabirthdayquanzica” in August.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.