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.
So the most important job of the Obama campaign is to get the truth about Ryan out there so quickly and so completely that there can be no doubt about it. I'm kind of surprised I only woke up to one Obama campaign video about Ryan this morning. It's a sign of the times that the best vetting of the Republican vice presidential candidate I've seen so far is on Reddit:
Rated 13% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
Rated 36% by NAACP, indicating a mixed record on affirmative-action. (Dec 2006)
Rated 8% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes. (Dec 2003)
Rated 30% by CURE, indicating anti-rehabilitation crime votes. (Dec 2000)
Rated 0% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence. (Dec 2006)
Rated -3 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
Rated 11% by APHA, indicating a anti-public health voting record. (Dec 2003)
Rated 0% by the AU, indicating opposition to church-state separation. (Dec 2006)
Rated 10% by the ARA, indicating an anti-senior voting record. (Dec 2003)
Voted YES on $15B bailout for GM and Chrysler. (Dec 2008)
Voted NO on $60B stimulus package for jobs, infrastructure, & energy. (Sep 2008)
Don't forget that he got a 3% from the League of Conservation Voters (environmental issues). He never scored higher than a 27% in his entire career.
He also got a 13% from the Humane Society Legislative Fund, having just voted to gut the Endangered Species Act (bill removes the US Fish & Wildlife Service's ability to add any new species or territory to the list of protected species and habitats), and having voted for the government funding helicopter shootings and poisoning of wolves in the Northwest.
Most of that information came directly from Ryan's OnTheIssues page, which can be found right here.