By Robert Taylor
It has been a few days since former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney selected Congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate. The dust has settled a bit, and the left and the right have predictably, and incorrectly, caricatured Ryan as a villain and a hero. Liberals see him as a radical right-wing extremist who wants to gut Medicare and the social welfare state, while conservatives have hailed him as a fiscally responsible, Ayn Rand-influenced champion of limited government.
A closer look at Ryan, however, proves that that he is little more than a political opportunist, a sheep in wolf’s clothing eager to wrest power and control away from the Democrats. He may, like any good politician, give a good speech and flatter his audience with talking points; his voting record and actions only enhance Romney’s ticket as a carbon-copy of President Obama.
When it comes to the issue that a president has the most power over – foreign policy – Ryan believes in a virtually unlimited government. While somehow earning his reputation as some type of “deficit hawk,” Ryan firmly supports the Pentagon’s welfare programs. In his “Path to Prosperity” plan, Ryan calls for massive increases in the Pentagon’s budget. According to the Daily Beast, Ryan has received briefings and immense praise from Elliot Abrams and Fred Kagan, two of the most infamous neocon holdovers of the Reagan and Bush Administrations. And in a June 2011 foreign policy speech, Ryan criticized “isolationism” and argued that America – while propping up dictators and enforcing police states throughout the globe – is “the greatest force for human freedom in the world.”
In other words, Ryan fits right in with the bipartisan foreign policy that has dominated Washington for decades and sees no problem with borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars a year in order to maintain, and even expand the empire. Ryan is no “deficit hawk,” just a hawk, screeching for more war, debt, and government growth.
Like Ryan, President Obama is a favorite of the neocon/interventionist cabal inside the Beltway. Obama has admitted that he was “enamored” by Fred Kagan’s writing and foreign policy recommendations. Bill Kristol hailed Obama as a “born-again neocon” for his war in Libya. Since the day he was inaugurated, President Obama expanded current wars, started new ones, opened new bases in Africa, and thumped his chest over his extrajudicial assassinations, drone strikes, and kill list.
Obama and Ryan may temper their warmongering and overseas aggression with different rhetoric, but their foreign policies are indistinguishable.
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