Paul Ryan Is The Most Politically Extreme Vice Presidential Pick In At Least A Century

Mitt Romney’s newly minted November running mate Paul Ryan is known for a radical right wing outlook — at the core of his agenda is the slashing of taxes for the rich, ending Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and any sort of sort of social safety net as we know them, and gutting all functions of the federal government with the exception of the military. But just how extreme is he? Via the FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times, statistics wiz Nate Silver explains that by a large margin, Ryan holds the most far-from-center voting record of any Congressperson to run for vice president in at least a hundred years, if not ever:

Based on his Congressional voting record, the statistical system DW-Nominate evaluates him as being roughly as conservative as Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. (The statistic does not provide scores for governors and other vice-presidential nominees who never served in Congress.)

By this measure, in fact, which rates members of the House and Senate throughout different time periods on a common ideology scale, Mr. Ryan is the most conservative Republican member of Congress to be picked for the vice-presidential slot since at least 1900. He is also more conservative than any Democratic nominee was liberal, meaning that he is the furthest from the center.

31 Comments on "Paul Ryan Is The Most Politically Extreme Vice Presidential Pick In At Least A Century"

  1. Not like it matters anyway, if elected, he and Romney aren’t going to be making any real decisions. 

    • Jin The Ninja | Aug 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |

      well it does matter because romney and ryan will lead the political discourse. it is already framed from a neo-liberal centre-right perspective. all mainstream political opinions in one way or another align themselves with this perspective. the more right politics shifts, the more right wing the discourse becomes- the more centrist appears revolutionary. it is a way to disempower  all left wing/ social justice ideologies. and a radical right perspective will grow to be mainstream opinion. that’s a scary thought.

      • Maybe, and maybe this will accelerate the inevitable slide to Rock Bottomvillle.

        The sooner the ashes appear, the sooner something better can rise from them.

        I’m tempted to vote for that cunt Romney just to hurry things along; fuck, the process as it exists is like pulling a Band-Aid off a millimeter at a time instead of just ripping it off and getting it over with.

        • US elections seems like choosing between cancer and aids.

          • Jin The Ninja | Aug 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

            that is a great analogy.

          • I think I took it from Vargas Llosa, but it seems to work as well in the context of US elections, not only Peruvian ones; I wonder what does that say of democracy as it is being practiced right now.

          • Jin The Ninja | Aug 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm |

            i think, that to mitigate democracy with either republicanism or parliaments, with capitalism and western hegemonic constructs (to say nothing of western neo-imperialism)- is really NOT democracy, nor democratic. to even mitigate it at all, to allow hierarchies and ruling legacies- completely undermines what it should be.

          • I couldn’t agree more Jin, you have said it perfectly.

          • This isnt a Democracy. More like an Oligarchy, under British rule (it seems)

          • Jin The Ninja | Aug 13, 2012 at 11:14 pm |

            i don’t envy electoral colleges or the US republican system at all. BUT i HATE the british parliamentary system that we have. you’re almost lucky to be spared it. almost.

          • Bentpyramid | Aug 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

            If you like the status quo then you’ll love this year’s choices. 

            Prezidunce Bongo has shown no inclination to do anything other than carry Bush’s policies forward (see:  jobs offshoring, enormous transfers of public wealth upward to the elite, continual encroachment on civil liberties, exploding public debt, no prosecution of wall street criminals, etc). Romney has shown no signs of wanting anything different except perhaps in superficialities.  He’s an actual corporate vulture, for G_d’s sake.We have a problem, people; we need a reboot, but none appear to be in the cards anytime soon.

        • Jin The Ninja | Aug 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm |

           i actually thought of that as i was writing my above comment. that the decline of mainstream politics could lead to an emergent revolutionary brand of post-left democratic tendencies. but i won’t hold my breath. and even so, living in the context of a ryan/romney america would less than pleasant even for 4 years.

        • mannyfurious | Aug 14, 2012 at 11:21 am |

          It’s a fallacy to believe that if things become bad enough, people will finally snap out of their collective stupor and start changing for the better. If it’s one thing I’ve learned in the past 12 years, it’s that the right-wingers are incredibly slick manipulators of the political market. This country has moved to the extreme right and things continue to get much worse and yet they’re able to convince people that it’s somehow “teh gehys” and “teh messicans” and the mostly mythical “welfare queens” that have destroyed whatever was left of this country after the Reagan empire….

          In short, the worse things get and the more we move to the right, the more everyone thinks moving to the right is the answer. It absolutely boggles the mind, but it’s also quite impressive in a certain way.

    • lifobryan | Aug 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm |

      In principle, I completely agree with you. The US two-party system is the Coke & Pepsi challenge. Two artificial, mass-marketed products, nearly identical, fizzy, equally bad for health, and differing only in mega-corporate sponsors. 

      That said …. I do think there are situations where a vote for one “President Product” over another actually does make a difference …

      If GW Bush had not been selected President in 2000, there would be a million more people alive in the world today. 

  2. Stupid face.

  3. Redding2012 | Aug 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |

    More political misinformation. 

  4. Bentpyramid | Aug 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm |

    Gee, “extreme” is one of those lefty buzzwords, isn’t it?  He’s “out of the mainstream” is he?  Aren’t you people tired of this left/right paradim yet?  Didn’t Robert Anton Wilson teach you anything?

    • I’ve heard lots of righties use it too.

    • Jin The Ninja | Aug 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm |

      a) who are ‘you people’ ?
      b) he is, in fact, on the right. to say so, should not be polarising. the only people who benefit from non-qualified language in regards to political discourse are also on the right.

    •  The Paul Ryan pick makes absolutely no sense at all. He marked himself up as a suck up loser with that stupid rolling up the sleeves mass media styled commercial for that lobbyists created budget, douching it up pretending he wrote it and he was going to ‘work hard’, what a crock.
      Then he destroyed his catholic pretend religiosity by pretending to be an Ayn Rand intellectual, the narcissist toddler mine, mine, mine philosophy.
      The most important role for a running mate is to gain additional votes, Ryan adds not vote and only appeals to tea-baggers a group guaranteed to vote for Romney any how.
      The only reason he got picked likely is because campaign dollars were associated with it, a handful of major campaign donors who have total control of every word that comes out of the suck ups mouth bought his way onto Romney’s campaign ticket.
      So will that money buy more votes with B$ mass media commercials than Paul Ryan will lose, that’s the only real question.

    •  I can’t stand you assholes who play it down the middle. There is a HUGE difference between someone like Burnie Sanders who advocates for social justice and someone like Ryan who is a Randian sociopath who advocates polices directly harmful to women, poor people, children, middle class working families, and basically anyone who isn’t a millionaire.

      • Bentpyramid | Aug 14, 2012 at 9:11 am |

        “Social justice”:  another lefty buzzword.  Why don’t you just come out and say “income redistribution” and quit hiding behind words?

        • You sure do use “lefty” a lot for someone supposedly “tired of this left/right paradim.”  How often do you criticize righties and their buzzwords (like “income redistribution”)?

          • Bentpyramid | Aug 14, 2012 at 10:16 am |

            Fair catch.  It comes from having been a Democrat for most of my adult life, before I became disgusted with them (not to mention the Republicans, whose stupidity is just as profound).

          • Jin The Ninja | Aug 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

            democrats are not the ‘left.’ never have been, never will be.

    • Kompressor0 | Aug 14, 2012 at 11:56 pm |

      Yes, cuz obviously ‘extreme’ can only mean the right side of things. You may have read Robert Anton Wilson, but you didn’t learn anything. 

  5. based on this story
    you’d almost think the election of the Puppet Prez 2012
    wasn’t already rigged
    so that no matter who wins, the elites win

  6. Apathesis | Aug 13, 2012 at 9:17 pm |

    Politicians should have to fight each other to death to get elected/reelected.

  7. D. Ch'an-Moriwaki | Aug 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm |

    Look at his eyes.  Those pupils don’t look right.  Instead of rounds, they look like slits.  They in fact look reptiloid.  Reptilian cabal Illuminati NWO global handlers Luciferian agenda perhaps . . . ?  Etcetera?  Be aware . . . … ..

  8. Should read “Paul Ryan Is The Most Politically Extreme Vice Presidential PRICK…”

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