Paul Ryan is a Republican congressman from Wisconsin who is beginning to make noises about a possible Presidential run - and he might just have a shot, just as long as no one pulls the curtain aside to see what is really there.
Ryan has managed to keep his name and face in the news this year through his chairmanship of the House Budget Committee. He is the one who finally put to words an idea that wealthy Republicans have fervently prayed for and been salivating over since the sixties. The Ryan plan to get and keep America's fiscal house in order begins by turning Medicare into a voucher system - and Social Security and Medicaid won't be sacrosanct either.
So a presidential run is a possibility. Ryan has his ultra-conservative street cred, and he appears to be every bit as mean-spirited as Dick Cheney in his prime. He is also photogenic, being nearly as pretty as Romney and Huntsman. And numbers? Why Paul Ryan can spit out numbers like an adding machine on steroids - and make the dumbest among us think they actually mean something! What's not to love?
But there are a few voters in his home district back in Wisconsin who have issues with the congressman. A hundred people gathered at his Kenosha office last Thursday to protest over the miserable job market. They didn't get to see Congressman Ryan because he was on vacation with his family in Colorado, but they did get to exchange pleasantries with his office staff - who handed them a written statement from Mr. Ryan stating, in part, "I pride myself in being accessible to those I represent." Staff then called in the police.
One thing that has residents of Ryan's district more than a bit tweaked is the fact that he has stopped the practice of town hall meetings - well, at least free ones. Ryan apparently didn't enjoy the hecklers who showed up at his town hall meetings in April to complain about his plan to gut Medicare, so he is now charging for the privilege of allowing people to meet with their congressman face-to-face. He has an event scheduled in the Milwaukee area on September 6, and the ticket price is a very affordable $15.00. (Well, it's affordable if you have a job.)
It would appear that as the right-wing loonies in the GOP begin to unravel the social safety net, they are also focused political disenfranchisement. If the underclass can be made to spend every waking hour running between two or three minimum wage jobs in order to barely survive, they won't have time, energy, or the money to engage officials in public discourse. Then government can be left to those with means - the way God intended.