Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How Dare Ryan and Romney Claim They Made it on Their Own?

Maureen Dowd really nails Paul Ryan in today's NY Times:

When Cruelty Is Cute

I won't even get into the Ayn Rand (pro abortion, atheist, every man and woman for themselves) stuff. Ryan is already taking a beating (some are saying that ultimately he is a worse choice than Sarah Palin who someone on NPR said, "didn't read while Ryan did read Rand"). This is what set me off:
Like Mitt Romney, Ryan truly believes he made it on his own, so everyone else can, too. He shrugs off the advantage of starting as the white guy from an affluent family, able to breeze into a summer internship for a Wisconsin Republican senator as a college student.
Only 16 and the youngest of four when he discovered his lawyer dad dead in bed from a heart attack at 55, Ryan had to grow up fast.
I read this to my wife and we looked at each other and said, "WE truly made it on our own, not Mitt or Ryan." Well, let me qualify that.

My wife has Ryan beat by 2 years with the death of her father when she was 14. She didn't just find him dead, she saw him die in front of her. He was 47 and owned a small grocery on Rogers Ave. My wife's brother was 11 at the time and he grew up right then and there. When I met him when he was about 17 he could do just about anything. And still can. The family was left with little and mom had to go to work.

Both my wife's parents graduated from high school.

My parents parents barely went to school. My mom came over form Europe in 1920 at the age of 15 and went to work right away in the garment industry. My dad who was born here in 1918 (yes my mom was a cougar) had a few accidents as a kid which left him blind in one eye and possible slightly brain damaged and never felt he could concentrate in school. He dropped out in the 8th or 9th grade. He too went to work in the garment industry as a presser and was a union member -- the ILGWU. I was proud when he was a picket captain during a strike.

As an only child born to my mom when she was 40 I received way more attention than I wanted or needed. But school for my mom was at the top of the list despite being barely able to read or write (she was embarrassed to go into a bank to sign her name because she couldn't). She was up there every open school night arguing my case. I resented her interference. When I had reports to do even as early as the 4th grade we were off to the library. I remember we all spend one entire Saturday at the main Grand Army Plaza branch where my dad copied parts of the entire encyclopedia for me to take home and work from.

Regular visits to the Schenectady and East Pkwy branch where I took out books galore -- my home didn't have any books  -- my parents I do not think ever read a book. My school library at George Gershwin JHS (now to be closed) was a haven on Fridays after lunch with ancient Miss Gouldsmith.

My wife has a BA and MA and I have a BA and MA in ed and in computer science. My wife was highly successful as a hospital admin and made very good money managing the affairs of a corporate entity there.

Yes, we sort of made it on our own.. But we really didn't. With parents of very modest means we still couldn't have done it without them. So how dare Mitt and Paul even suggest they made it on their own. All of us would never have made it without family support. In my almost 40 years in the school system I met many wonderful families and also many struggling families (many of whom were also wonderful) but with nowhere the resources and support my wife and I received.

Really, how dare Mitt and Paul even suggest that these people should make it on their own like they did.

Below is Dowd's full piece.

I’d been wondering how long it would take Republicans to realize that Paul Ryan is their guy.
He’s the cutest package that cruelty ever came in. He has a winning air of sad cheerfulness. He’s affable, clean cut and really cut, with the Irish altar-boy widow’s peak and droopy, winsome blue eyes and unashamed sentimentality.
Who better to rain misery upon the heads of millions of Americans?
He’s Scrooge disguised as a Pickwick, an ideologue disguised as a wonk. Not since Ronald Reagan tried to cut the budget by categorizing ketchup and relish as vegetables has the G.O.P. managed to find such an attractive vessel to mask harsh policies with a smiling face.
The Young Gun and former prom king is a fan of deer hunting, catfish noodling, heavy metal and Beethoven. He’s a great dad who says the cheese, bratwurst and beer of Wisconsin flow in his veins. He’s so easy to like — except that his politics are just a teensy bit heartless.
Rush Limbaugh hails Ryan as “the last Boy Scout,” noting that the tall, slender 42-year-old is a true believer: “We now have somebody on the ticket who’s us.”
For the rest of us, at least, Ryan is not going to raise our hopes only to dash them. Unlike W., he’s not even going to make a feint at “compassionate conservatism.” Why bother with some silly scruple or toehold of conscience?
Unlike some of the right-wing ayatollahs, Ryan doesn’t threaten with moral and cultural gusts of sulfur. He seems more like a friendly guidance counselor who wants to teach us how to live, get us in shape, PowerPoint away the social safety net to make the less advantaged more self-reliant, as he makes the rich richer. Burning the village it takes to save it, so we can avoid the fiscal cliff, or as he and his fellow conservative Cassandras ominously call it, “the debt bomb.”
Like Mitt Romney, Ryan truly believes he made it on his own, so everyone else can, too. He shrugs off the advantage of starting as the white guy from an affluent family, able to breeze into a summer internship for a Wisconsin Republican senator as a college student.
Only 16 and the youngest of four when he discovered his lawyer dad dead in bed from a heart attack at 55, Ryan had to grow up fast.
The Midwestern kid was guided by what David Stockman calls “Irving Kristol’s ex-Trotskyites” turned neo-cons; Jack Kemp, the cheery supply-sider who actually cared about the disadvantaged, and by one of Kemp’s favorite authors, Russian √©migr√© and cult leader Ayn (pronounced like swine, as she used to say) Rand.
“And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism,” Ryan said in a 2005 speech to the Atlas Society. He even gave copies of “Atlas Shrugged” to staffers at Christmas. He did not emulate Rand on everything, given that she adamantly opposed Ronald Reagan, saying, “Since he denies the right to abortion, he cannot be a defender of any rights.”
Ryan co-sponsored the Sanctity of Life Act enshrining a fertilized egg with the definition of “personhood” and supported a bill Democrats nicknamed the “Let Women Die Act,” which would have let hospitals that get federal money deny women abortions even in life-threatening circumstances.
And Rand would not have approved of Ryan’s votes in the House backing W.’s profligate spending on unwinnable wars, a bank bailout and a Medicare expansion. She would no doubt have been thrilled, however, that under the Ryan budget plan, the megarich Romney would go from paying shamefully as little as possible in taxes to virtually no taxes.
Ryan was drawn to Rand’s novels, with their rejection of “the altruist morality,” making narcissism a social virtue; her exhortation that man must not only strive for “physical values” — her heroes were hot — and self-made wealth, but a “self-made soul.” Like John Galt, who traces a dollar sign “over the desolate earth” at the end of “Atlas Shrugged,” Rand idolized the dollar. She wore a brooch shaped like a dollar sign, and a 6-foot dollar sign stood beside her coffin at her wake.
Although the Catholic Ryan told Fox News’s Brit Hume in an interview that aired Tuesday night that he “completely disagreed” with Rand’s “atheistic philosophy,” he said his interest in economics was “triggered” by her.
His long infatuation with her makes him seem even younger than he looks with his cowlick because Randism is a state of arrested adolescence, making its disciples feel like heroic teenagers atop a lofty mountain peak.
The secretive, ambiguous Romney was desperate for ideological clarity, so he outsourced his political identity to Ryan, a numbers guy whose numbers don’t add up.
This just proves that Romney will never get over his anxiety about not being conservative enough. As president, he’d still feel the need to prove himself with right-wing Supreme Court picks.
Ryan should stop being so lovable. People who intend to hurt other people should wipe the smile off their faces.

The opinions expressed on EdNotesOnline are solely those of Norm Scott and are not to be taken as official positions (though Unity Caucus/New Action slugs will try to paint them that way) of any of the groups or organizations Norm works with: ICE, GEM, MORE, Change the Stakes, NYCORE, FIRST Lego League NYC, Rockaway Theatre Co., Active Aging, The Wave, Aliens on Earth, etc.


  1. Norm,
    Both my parents had cancer. And if it weren't for Medicare, they would never have received the best care available. My dad was at NYU. He was able to get into their co-op care program that allowed him and my mom to have a residence at the hospital while he received chemo daily. My father was a tailor by trade. My mom a housewife. They never would have been able to afford this type of care. My dad lived long enough to walk my niece down the aisle at the wedding. And any money they had, they helped my sister and I out.

    What would have become of them under Ryan's plan? Many states are already saying if you make more than $11,000--$15,000 a year, you are not eligible for Medicaid.

    Ryan scares me more than Romney. Romney has no clue.



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