Ryan's Record | Slog:
One last mammoth post from me and then I'm done for the morning. In sifting through the 290-page Ryan file I linked to last night, I saw that Paul Ryan has a highly consistent legislative record. He has voted against regulations of all kinds—environmental protections, work safety laws, controls on the banking, credit card, and health care industries—and against spending on things like food stamps, arts funding, Medicare, and infrastructure. He wants to decimate Pell Grants and he votes against education funding almost every time. He's strongly anti-abortion. He votes against protecting minorities and women—against The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, for example—but he votes for religion, arguing against the separation of church and state whenever possible. He claims to be for small government, but he votes for military spending a whole lot. He was against drawing down in Afghanistan, and he's for government wiretapping and the PATRIOT Act. The only real divergence from that record comes from his votes to bail out GM and his support for TARP, when the entire country was teetering on the edge of a Bush-inspired collapse.
Something that worries me, though, is Ryan has a disconcerting habit of completely denying the reality of his record, in a very convincing way. If a senior citizen asks Ryan about privatizing Medicare, he will toss a word salad that leaves the senior disoriented and convinced that he's actually for a stronger Medicare. He will force his interns to read Ayn Rand novels, tell everyone we're "living in an Ayn Rand novel," and even credit his entire life of public service to Ayn Rand, and then he will tell a crowded room with a straight face that his love for Ayn Rand is an "urban legend." Both of these contradictory truths are on the record.