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Paul Ryan and Women, Hispanic, Senior Citizen Voters

By August 16, 2012

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Paul Ryan? Really? Revered Tea Party-darling Paul Ryan is Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney's choice to be a heartbeat away from being President of the United States?

Paul Ryan and Women Voters
Women comprise more than 50% of registered U.S. voters, and more than 50% in crucial battleground states:

Yet Paul Ryan is the Republican Vice President nominee? Rep. Ryan's 13-year Congressional record and public stances are profoundly anti-woman, including:

  • Ryan opposes abortion in all circumstances, including incest and rape.
  • Ryan voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which lowered barriers to discrimination in pay
  • Ryan supports legislation to outlaw some forms of birth control, including in-vitro fertilization methods

Who thinks this radically backward in the 21st century?

Paul Ryan and Senior Citizen Voters
Senior citizens comprise a very sizable portion of voters in a number of 2012 battleground states, especially:

Yet Paul Ryan is the Republican Vice President nominee? House Republican Budget Committee Chair Ryan's much-vaunted fiscal plan, The Path to Prosperity, ends the existing Medicare program. Instead, Ryan's plan leaves all U.S. senior citizens on their own to purchase medical insurance, and grants vouchers to offset only a portion of the cost.

Medicare provides health insurance to 39 million U.S. senior citizens each year, and is widely admired by Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike as a highly successful government program.

Paul Ryan and Hispanic Voters
Hispanic voters made the electoral difference in 2008 for Democrat Obama by turning four traditionally Republican-red states into Democratic blue. And in 2012, the fastest-growing U.S. voter group threatens to do it again in a handful of battleground states where Hispanics comprise a huge portion of the population:

Yet Paul Ryan is the Republican Vice President nominee? During his early Congressional years, Libertarian-leaning Republican Paul Ryan was a lukewarm supporter of pragmatic immigration reform.

Ryan, though, has evolved to now hold hard-line Republican party views on immigration issues that matter deeply to the Hispanic community. Explains Ezra Klein in the Washington Post:

"In late 2005, Ryan... voted for Rep. James Sensenbrenner's highly controversial bill that would have made illegal presence a criminal act (it's currently a civil offense) and turn smuggling and illegal entry offenses into aggravated felonies. In both the Bush and Obama years, he also repeatedly supported efforts to ramp up border security.

"Ryan has since turned against any pathway toward permanent legal status... Ryan has also voted against the DREAM Act to provide a legal pathway for illegal immigrant students, and he wants to implement a nationwide employment verification system to allow employers to check a potential worker's immigration status.

"That's been enough to persuade those who want to deter more immigration that Ryan is sufficiently hawkish on the issue... So there isn't much daylight between Ryan's current position on immigration and Romney's hardline stance."

Mitt Romney's candidacy has proven spectacularly unpopular with Hispanics, and Paul Ryan as his running mate won't improve Romney's faltering approval rate among those voters. Politico reported yesterday:

"What's clear is that Romney's lagging fortunes among Hispanics are unlikely to receive any boost from choosing a vice presidential candidate who has voted in Congress against the DREAM Act and supports overhauling entitlement programs that are extremely popular among Latino voters."

Why Paul Ryan?
I don't get it: why Paul Ryan?

Are these groups of American citizens so invisible to Republican leaders that don't believe they exist or matter? Or do they actually believe they can jerry-rig election laws to keep enough Obama voters away from the polls as means to jettison Republicans Romney and Ryan to the White House?

Either way, friends, we must energize to get-out-the-vote this fall. With his addition of Paul Ryan to the Republican presidential ticket, Mitt Romney has made quite clear that the goals, aspirations, and needs of women, senior citizens and Hispanics (as well as college students, African-Americans, labor union members, and so many other Americans) just do not matter to them. And will never matter in their Tea Party version of America.

Comments

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