Paul Ryan showed up in Racine over the weekend to speak at the ground breaking of Rev. Willie Scott's new church in Caledonia.
That's nice for him.
Willie Scott is a respected leader in the African-American religious community and like many of his peers, he has more in common with Paul Ryan than one might think.
Scott has appeared on behalf of Wisconsin Family Action - the anti-marriage equality group (also closely associated with the anti-choice - forced ultrasound - movement). They don't like the gays and certainly don't like gay marriage.
It's a coincidence because Paul Ryan doesn't like the gays much either, so he and Scott have an issue in common. There are more than few African-American ministers around who find no conflict in supporting the President while also extolling the virtues of that nice Congressman from Janesville, who supports traditional marriage - just like us.
So, Ryan took precious few hours at home over the weekend to appear in a field in Caledonia for Rev. Willie Scott. How...helpful.
Another "helpful" item on Ryan's list is his bi-lingual listening session in Racine this coming Friday.
Immigration reform is Ryan's ticket to rebranding himself ahead of the 2014 election. Ryan has discovered that his Ayn Rand, dystopian world view has become a real problem for him. His privatization of Social Security and Medicare voucher schemes have cast him as the heartless, fuck grandma guy that he really is.
Ryan needs a feel good issue. Preferably an issue that resonates with an up and coming voting base. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why Ryan would stick his neck out on immigration reform. Plenty of area Hispanics and immigration reform supporters have appreciated Ryan's attention on the matter.
They are kidding themselves.
Because this is Paul Ryan we are talking about, it was only a matter of time before he started to say and do things that indicate more truthfully where he stands on immigration than his Power Point presentations would let on.
Ryan has been leading off his pressers with a song and dance about his own family's immigration to America by way of the Irish potato famine. Ryan practically puts on a derby and knickers and breaks out into "Danny Boy" to let young immigrants know he feels their pain. It's bullshit.
Ryan comes from a family of construction millionaires who have been getting rich off of state road contracts for generations.
Ryan's mother didn't labor away in a field for less than minimum wage, worrying she might be detained or deported at any minute. When Ryan's father died, he got Social Security benefits he used to pad his college fund.
Then last week, Ryan let his good guy mask drop and reminded us that immigrants aren't really all that interested in becoming citizens, they just want jobs.
“We don’t want to push people into citizenship,” Ryan said. “Most people just want to have a legal status so they can work to provide for their families.”Oh, that's interesting. We must have misread all their posters and banners in those hundreds of demonstrations across the country. They don't want rights - they just want to cut our grass in peace. Stop pushing them everyone!
It's funny because 9 out of 10 undocumented immigrants say they would apply to be citizens if given the chance - but king of the leprechauns knows better. Maybe someone should ask him about it at the listening session on Friday.
When immigration advocates meet with Ryan they would be wise to focus not on Ryan's words but his votes:
- 2005 - Voted for immigration reform with no amnesty.
- 2006 - Voted to fund the Minuteman Project.
- 2008 - Voted against financial assistance for undocumented to buy foreclosed houses.
- 2010 - Voted against the DREAM Act.
- 2011 - Voted to limit green card limitations by country.
- 2013 - Voted yes on House Amendment 136 to deport DREAMers & spouses of military.
Something Ryan's ancestors could have never imagined.
Paul Ryan's staff see the same census reports that we do and they know the Hispanic population is growing in his district. He is no more of a friend to the Hispanics in this community than he is to the African-American community.
As long as some community leaders are flattered enough by his appearance to not ask him the hard questions about his votes, he'll remain that nice man from Janesville with too few people the wiser.