Monday, October 15, 2012

Paul Ryan's "charity work" a clear example of GOP smoke and mirrors act

Both Romney and Ryan attempt to deceive the American people

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan visited an Ohio soup kitchen this weekend, where he made time to wash dishes for a photo op on the campaign trail.

The problem with this particular photo op, however, was that it was entirely staged: Ryan didn't even do anything, didn't perform a service of any kind, because the dishes he washed were already clean.

As if that weren't bad enough, Ryan was apparently an unwelcomed guest in the kitchen. According to the president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul, the vp candidate "ramrodded" his way into the kitchen, violating the standards the organization has for political activities in its facilities:

Brian J. Antal...said that he was not contacted by the Romney campaign ahead of the Saturday morning visit by Ryan, who stopped by the soup kitchen after a town hall at Youngstown State University.

"We're a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations," Antal said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. "It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there, and they did not have permission..."

He added: "The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall."
Emphases added.

Ryan's presence could also potentially cause damage to the mission of the charity as well:
[Antal] noted that the soup kitchen relies on funding from private individuals who might reconsider their support if it appears that the charity is favoring one political candidate over another. "I can’t afford to lose funding from these private individuals," he said. "If this was the Democrats, I’d have the same exact problem."
But Paul Ryan's impromptu performance at a soup kitchen (conveniently located in the most important swing state in the nation) wasn't just a flop -- it's also indicative of a greater problem within the Republican Party's presidential ticket. Whether it's talking about how horrible the economy remains under Barack Obama (while leaving out how terrible a condition it was when handed over to him), or erroneously describing Medicare savings through Obamacare as a "cut" towards current seniors' benefits, both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have attempted several times to throw the wool over the collective eyes of every American citizen.

There's still plenty left unknown about the GOP ticket -- for example, they say they can cut taxes for the rich and keep the debt down, but refuse to tell us how. When called out on it, they play the denial card, calling their critics liars but still supplying little-to-no information on the subject.

Americans deserve to know more about their potential leaders, about how they intend to govern the nation and what plans and specifics they will attempt to put into law. We've already received that courtesy from President Obama -- there's no doubt, whether you like him or not, that most Americans know where he stands on the issues; and where confusion does occur, it's not the fault of the president but rather due to confusion conjured up by those who oppose him.

But from the Republican ticket, we're still unsure of where Romney and Ryan stand on certain items. Indeed, when a presidential candidate can switch his positions on an issue of great controversy within a 24 hour period of time, it makes it difficult to understand with great clarity what his positions will be once sworn in.

That isn't to say that a candidate can't change their mind on issues; that's an entirely different can of worms altogether. But shifting your stance on an issue to satisfy the audience you happen to be standing in front of, and then doing so again later on in the day...what sort of candidate is that? Certainly, not one of great integrity.

The Republican ticket is employing a campaign strategy of smoke and mirrors. With Paul Ryan, we see a candidate who is trying to appear more humane, but fails to do even that with his fake work washing dishes; and with Mitt Romney, we see a presidential candidate who is trying to appease everyone all at once, taking several stances on issues when all we need is just one, definitive answer.

Either way, the Romney-Ryan ticket is trying to deceive us all into believing they're two men who stand alongside the people. In reality, they stand directly in contrast with real Americans, promoting the very policies that put us in an economic mess to begin with. No amount of tom-foolery, no clean dishes washed or false advertizing, should cause us to be forgetful of that fact.

1 comment: