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Paul Ryan compares NFL replacement refs to Obama, inadvertently backs collective bargaining

Sep 25, 2012

Paul Ryan’s messaging was all over the map at a campaign appearance in Ohio today when he brought up the NFL’s debacle that gave the Seattle Seahawks a last-minute victory over Ryan’s home-town team the Green Bay Packers.

You guys watch that Packer game last night?” he said. “I mean give me a break. It is time to get the real refs, and it reminds me of President Obama and the economy: if you can’t if you can’t get it right, it’s time to get out.”

Wait, wait—Ryan rode a wave of notoriety early last year when he sidled up with Wisconsin governor Scott Brown as a union buster arguing against the collective rights of teachers. Opposing unions is all about opening up the doors of competition to whomever will swoop in to do the job for the lowest pay, maximizing efficiency for the company and theoretically the market overall. The existence of unions is union members’ way of demanding fair treatment and good pay for those with high enough skill to qualify for the union. Unionization is supposed to be about accountability—accountable pay for accountable skill.

As soon as the NFL brings low-skilled referees to replace the union refs on strike, Paul Ryan throws a fit about needing to get the skilled refs back in the game. Which is the whole point of unions—you want accountable skill, you have to pay for it. (Scott Walker himself begged for the return of the union refs today over Twitter).

But how are union-busting replacement refs like the Obama administration? Obama has worked in favor of union labor, not against. Is it because they’re both supposedly incompetent? The stimulus that Obama passed and Romney and Ryan railed against (while Ryan requested money from it from his home state) prevented the crisis from being worse than it was, and the Obama administration did create 4.5 million jobs. I wouldn’t exactly call that catastrophic incompetence.

But of course Ryan is now part of the Romney campaign—crazy metaphors are par for the course.

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