As you all know, Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential pick on Saturday morning. And as most of you probably know, he’s kind of a terrible person. His infamous budget plan would decimate safety net programs for the poorest Americans, he pretty much believes that climate change is a conspiracy theory, and is a huge fan boy of big oil. The man’s priorities are just about as toxic as his hair gel.
But when Andrea Mitchell noted this weekend that the VP pick is a bad one for women, her comments set off conservatives, calling the remarks “demeaning” against conservative women. (While calling her a sour, bitter, old “psychopath” hag. Gawd, she’s sooo sexist!) But Mitchell is right; women’s votes are really critical for both candidates, and could be a game changer in this election. Obama is up significantly against Romney in the polls (56-37) for American women voters, so Romney needs someone who is going to care a shmidge about the issues they care about (or at least pretend to really well). But unfortunately for him, Paul Ryan is a potential Veep who has no interest except to disenfranchise most women — and basically everyone else except the super wealthy — in pretty astounding ways. Let’s see how his record fares for women and other communities we care about:
He voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This isn’t a controversial issue, y’all. It simply protects women from being denied equal pay for equal work. I think we can all agree this is a no-brainer. (Except Paul Ryan.)
He is the anti-choice poster boy. Ryan would overturn Roe v. Wade, banning abortion in cases of rape and incest and when the mother’s life is at risk. He also was a co-sponsor of the Sanctity for Human Life Act, a personhood amendment which would ban abortion as well as certain kinds of fertility treatment and birth control. He’s voted at least four times to defund Planned Parenthood (and all of the preventative health care that comes with it for millions of people).
He’d like to steal from the poor and give to the rich. Women are the majority of the recipients of both Medicare and (a sizable 69% of ) Medicaid, and the majority of the Medicaid population are people of color. Not to mention the programs provide critical care to people with disabilities, older people and children. Ryan’s budget (which Romney has come out embracing) would have cut food stamps, child care, and a ton of other often lifesaving assistance for marginalized communities, while cutting taxes for billionaires like Romney to .83%, Literally.
He’s against the Affordable Care Act. Which speaks for itself. He’s also vehemently against the law’s birth control coverage, saying it “violates our founding principles” to not allow people to deny women basic health care needs. Nice.
He’s consistently against LGBT rights. Ryan has voted against gay couples adopting, against marriage equality, and voted no to repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. It seems fitting that Romney and Ryan call themselves the “Comeback Team.” Social progress? Pshh.
His record on immigration is terrible. He’s voted against the DREAM Act and for extreme legislation in 2005 that would have made immigration violations felonies in Wisconsin, resulting in many undocumented immigrants being subject to indefinite detention. This summer, Ryan joined House Republicans in criticizing President Obama’s “deferred enforcement” plan, which would allow children of undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation.
So yes, Paul Ryan is a bad pick for women, and everyone else who cares about their future, and the economic future of this country. But then again, so is Romney.