By Gary C. Collins and John Isaacs
The bumper stickers can be printed: Obama-Biden vs. Romney-Ryan.
Almost all Senate and House primaries have been held and the general election candidates selected.
With about 60 days to go, all these elections are too close to call!
The Obama–Biden team has built a narrow but remarkably durable lead nationally and in key electoral states such as Ohio, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. But the presidential election remains subject to the vicissitudes of the electoral currents, the economy and world crises.
Similarly, the competition to determine if Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell will call the United States Senate to order in 2013 remains even. There are too many campaigns that are neck-and-neck, even in states such as North Dakota and Arizona that, at the beginning of the election cycle, were considered firmly in Republican hands.
The House is likely to remain in Republican control – unless there is a wave benefiting Democrats on Election Day.
The starting point of that wave may have been August 11, the day Romney chose U.S. Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate.
By selecting Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney changed the debate from who was most capable of dealing with a sour economy to whether the Republican orthodoxy exemplified by Congressman Ryan should become the law of the land.
Ryan, the House Budget Committee Chairman, burst onto the national scene last April with his disastrous economic plan that cuts taxes for the wealthy, transforms Medicare and slashes Medicaid and much of the social safety net for the poor. The Ryan Plan continues funding for expensive and unnecessary Cold-War era weapons systems while gutting social programs.
Last year, Congress adopted a plan for automatic across-the-board spending cuts of nearly $1 trillion over 10 years, half from defense, and half from domestic programs. Ryan’s budget plan directed that instead of cutting defense by half a trillion dollars over the next 10 years, it would increase the military budget by $300 billion over the decade and engineer even deeper cuts in domestic programs.
This is the same Paul Ryan who voted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and said: “Our ability to affect events is strongest in Iraq and Afghanistan, where for the last decade we have been fighting the scourge of global terrorism.”
With his selection as nominee for Vice President, the Ryan ideology is now clearly the Republican dogma and is at the heart of the debate over the direction and priorities of the United States.
In this environment, candidates clearly opposed to the Romney-Ryan direction of the country deserve our full support.
Elections that started ominously last year may have taken a significant turn for the better. You assistance to candidates supported by Council for a Livable World can help propel that wave but time is short.