Mud puddle politics: The pattern of attacks on Romney and Ryan

This is when the shallow narrative developing over the past four years begins to culminate. Why tread deep water when mud splashes further with less effort? Photo: Associated Press

OHATCHEE, Al., August 29, 2012 — If Mitt Romney is Batman, he has found an able and willing Boy Wonder in Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan is either the dreamy-eyed, intellectual heartthrob of the “Hey Girl, It’s Paul Ryan” memes going viral among conservative women everywhere, or the cold-hearted destroyer of grandmas, depending on whom you ask.  

More importantly, Ryan is the current House Budget Committee Chairman who years ago explained that “hiding spending doesn’t reduce spending,” drawing hollow stares from President Obama and quiet doodling from Vice President Biden. Also, he’s that nerdy Wisconsin Congressman who corrected the math of perpetually flustered Chris Matthews on MSNBC.

How should a hostile media respond to the freshly energized Romney-Ryan ticket?

This is where the shallow narrative developing over the past four years begins to culminate. Why tread deep water when mud splashes further with less effort?

In Ron Reagan’s opinion, Ryan is in a “prolonged adolescence” because he appreciates Ayn Rand and even tries to get his interns to read Atlas Shrugged. The reasoning is thus: Because Rand was an atheist with Darwinian presuppositions about the value of human life, surely no real conservative would be able to discern anything useful from her capitalist observations – and no liberal wants to do so. Ryan is, therefore, an all-around unlikable freak of nature.

Ron evidently overlooked his own father Ronald Reagan’s 1966 letter to William Vandersteel, in which he described himself as “an admirer of Ayn Rand” (see Reagan: A Life in Letters, pg. 282).

To the factions of this country that operate on emotional slogans and regurgitated talking points rather than critical thinking, this is mystifying. They do not understand that it is possible to wrestle with ideas without wallowing in them.

Much can be said about the nuances of political philosophy, but for the moment let us examine how this angle of attack on the Romney-Ryan campaign is just one in a consistent trend of shallow, mud puddle politics.

Women bear the brunt of this splattering, as we are expected to be irascible sex objects who can only pay attention to politics if we have dangled before our eyes the pregnancy-by-rape faux pas of a relatively obscure senatorial candidate from Missouri.

Sound the alarm! Summon Sandra Fluke to rally the Damsels Needing Contraception! (Apparently that’s what DNC stands for now.)

This lack of respect for logic is evident in the proverbial rape question: “So, you’re against abortion because you believe life begins at conception. But what about in the case of rape?” (As if a child conceived in rape is somehow biologically less human.)

SEE ALSO: “Piers Morgan, Herman Cain and the role of government in the abortion debate

The Obama campaign apparently doesn’t think the state of nation could get bad enough to warrant any increase in citizens’ attention spans.

They accuse Romney of planning to raise taxes on the middle class only because they cannot imagine it is possible to cut taxes without raising more taxes – and they shamelessly argue this while ignoring the law of the land that defines the Affordable Care Act mandate as a tax; that legislation is itself a bundle of tax increases on the country.

Speaking of taxes, have you taken a look at the tax issue pages on these candidates’ websites? These pages give a sampling of each candidate’s approach to the issues.

Romney’s tax page has two bullet point lists, a 9-page PDF on tax policy, and an 87-page PDF on his plan for jobs and economic growth.

Obama’s tax page consists of 8 sentences written on (maybe) the 6th grade level, with class warfare buzzwords emboldened for dramatic effect.

Oh, and a magic how-much-would-you-save-under-Obama’s-plan calculator that has a disclaimer almost as long as the tax page itself. I almost wondered for a moment if I was on some sort of unofficial fan website.

Citizens can learn more elsewhere, of course. But this is the message that Obama’s campaign hopes will win votes at first sight. Economics is for boring, out-of-touch candidates who think Americans actually care to research beneath the surface.

Condescending, isn’t it?

Americans should be ready for and demand something deeper than mud puddle politics.

Amanda Read is a political columnist for the Communities at The Washington Times. A professional writer and researcher, Amanda is also a Christian homeschool graduate, unconventional college student, military daughter, and eldest of the nine Read children at Fair Hills Farm. Find more of her work at www.amandaread.com.


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Amanda Read

Amanda Read is a columnist for the Communities at The Washington Times. Trained as a historian, skilled as a writer, and aspiring to be a filmmaker, Amanda investigates the ideas behind contemporary culture and politics. A professional writer and researcher, she is also a Christian homeschool graduate, unconventional college graduate, military daughter, and eldest of the nine Read children at Fair Hills Farm. Find more of her work at www.amandaread.com

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