11 August 2012

The Man Who

When I took my first undergraduate political science class, the instructor described the nomination speeches at the major political parties' conventions as, "the man who" speeches. That is, the speaker, chosen mostly for acceptability, recited a list of accomplishments, and another of plans, each beginning with something like, "We need a man who _____." The speaker never mentioned the name of the candidate, until he was done with the lists because, as our professor sneared, when he finally got to, "I give you and nominate ____{name}____." the "spontaneous" demonstration on the floor began.

Let me offer a brief list for Mr. Ryan whose nomination will be official shortly.

The Republicans are choosing:

  • The man whose economic ideas have be disavowed by the teaching nuns of his own church
  • The man who while claiming to be a Christian, idolizes the late atheist author and self-styled philosopher, Ayn Rand
  • The man who has never run a campaign across one entire State
  • The man who has exactly no foreign policy experience
  • The man whose assault on medicare would if enacted, leave millions of older Americans without healthcare coverage
  • The man who would increase taxes on the middle class while reducing the taxes on the wealthy
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Paul Ryan.

Somewhere in Washington, Democrats are chilling victory champagne. The better Americans get to know Mr. Ryan, the better Vice-president Biden will look.

So why this choice? Mr. Ryan is an ultra-rightwinger. Mr. Romney has a problem: his own conservative party faithful do not trust him. Which leads to a question: why should you?


Anonymous said...

I couldn't care less what a group of over 70 year-old ladies in pants suits say, just as I couldn't care less what a bunch of closet-case 60-70 year-old men in silk robes think. But I'm consistent; would you consider Ryan a hypocrite if he allowed 9 months of abortion, with public funding? (Something, by the way, I support, so please re-stick on the "Fundiegelical!" label back on the paper)
Which group of "his own church" is the "real" representative of it? How do you know? Do you claim that the only "real" authorities of his church (and it's his church, not yours or mine)are the ones that mostly match your views? If so, how would you feel if Catholics claimed that the only "real" voices of Anglicanism/Mainline Protestantism were the ones that disagreed with you on gay marriage or the ordination of women? What would, I wonder, your feelings be then? On what grounds?

JimB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JimB said...

Whatever else Roman Catholicism may be, it is structured. The authority to enunciate official theology, dogma, and this is key -- social philosophy is closely and explicitly held.

I did not call Mr. Ryan a hypocrite. I simply think he is wrong.

The age and dress of the Catholic teachers, be they sisters or clergy, does not in any way change the validity of what they say. From the perspective of the church, they are authoritative.

Mr. Ryan alleges to think of himself as a devout Roman Catholic lay person. The problem is that his politics do not track with that devotion. That is I think, his problem.


Anonymous said...

If it's his problem, why bother with it on a public forum? What would your opinion be if he cheated on his wife-would you say "That's between him and her?"
On what basis do you think he is wrong and why does it matter in this instance? Do you think his economic theories have any more chance of being enacted than Reagan's official position on abortion or his stated wish to reduce the deficit?
Suppose a Mainline Protestant went to church around 1/4 to 2/3 of all Sundays but disagreed with his church's positions on immigration or abortion rights; what would your opinion of his candidacy be then? Or of a Catholic whose position on abortion was to legalize it-would you have the same feelings towards him as you do towards Ryan?

JimB said...


I meant that is the problem he has, not that it is private. Mr. Ryan wants it both ways I think, as does Mr. Romney. On the one hand, they are not interested in doing things for those who lack wealth, on the other they want to claim a faith identity and have believers who vote include that claim in their decision making.

It may be, I do not know, that one can claim the rich-first politics while being a devout Mormon. It is simply not possible for a Roman Catholic.

That however was not the subject of my post. Rather, I find it interesting how Mr. Romney is seeking to shore up support in what should be his base.


Anonymous said...

Great-but since all politicians do this, even the secretly atheist/agnostic ones, this is pretty much a "Dog Bites Man" story. It's about as newsworthy as an urban Democrat giving a speech at a black church-nobody's really surprised that a Democrat's trying to get votes there, even "Progressive" Democrats who support gay marriage and most black churches are, historically, much closer to the Catholics and Orthodox and Mormons on gay marriage than they are to the Unitarians and Episcopal and United Church of Christ despite these churches being much more pro welfare spending.

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