Since Mitt Romney nominated Paul Ryan as his running mate, Ryan has been playing the part of the pit bull, doggedly backing up Romney’s positions. Most notably, after Romney decided to stay on the offensive after the “47 percent” video leaked, Ryan basically embarked on a “Takers v. Makers” tour, weaving a rhetorical divide between those who produce for the country and the opportunists who are content to take advantage of entitlement programs. “Takers vs. Makers” was ostensibly about adding to the GDP, but it contained a subtle characterological judgement—it was about those who give back to the community, whose lives have a value for the greater good, as opposed to those content to leech off the system for their own individual support.
Which makes Ryan’s fake photo-op at a soup kitchen in Ohio yesterday especially gross.
As you’ve probably heard, Ryan and his handlers showed up at the soup kitchen not to actually volunteer but after it was closed and all the dishes already washed, for the express purpose of staging a photo-op to make him look like a good guy. The charity president who runs the soup kitchen said “They showed up there and they did not have permission. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.” Antal added, “I certainly wouldn’t have let him wash clean pans and then take a picture.”
After pretending to do some dishes for cameras Ryan talked to a couple homeless people outside the shelter. These are the exact people Ryan has deemed “Takers,” content to take advantage in life. And here he is literally taking advantage of them for a disingenuous press opportunity. And they’re homeless.
Watch Ryan pretending to wash already clean dishes in the video below. You’ll notice that what he talks about on camera is himself—how when he used to wash dishes as a kid the heat would callous his fingers. Compare this to the video below of President Obama actually volunteering at a soup kitchen in DC last year. You’ll notice from the sound that the place is most definitely open and that he’s spreading out an industrial portion of food, because he’s actually doing stuff. You’ll notice he’s also talking about the program, how it helps transition the homeless into paying jobs, about how important the shelter is to giving back to the community.
Looks like Paul Ryan is a big ol’ Taker today.