As they watch the Republican fibfest in Tampa, I wonder how many potential voters will notice that some Romney and Ryan statements-of-policy bear an uncanny resemblance to the classic Abbott and Costello routine from "Meet the Mummy?"
In that 1955 comedy, Bud and Lou are amateur archaeologists looking for the entrance to the mummy's tomb. Money-hungry con man Bud orders simple-minded Lou to "Take your pick" and break the seal on the door (in archaeological excavations, a small pickaxe is used for close work, while a shovel merely tears things up). Costello (of course) grabs a shovel. Abbott says "What are you doing? I told you to take your pick!" Lou replies "The shovel IS my pick!"
Mitt Romney's V.P. "pick" is Paul Ryan, a dedicated right-wing ideologue who wants to use a "shovel" to "bury" nearly every progressive reform enacted since FDR's New Deal. Ryan wants to turn Medicare into a "voucher" system, a plan that would "bury" future seniors under a mountain of debt. He wants to "bury" the President's Affordable Care Act - including the provision that would prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to persons with "pre-existing conditions." He wants to "dig" another "doughnut hole" that would allow pharmaceutical companies to continue charging higher prices for prescriptions. Ryan has even suggested "privatizing" Social Security!
Romney - the Abbott-like (or should we say "Babbitt-like"?) part of the G.O.P. team - wants to "pick and choose" parts of the "Romneycare" law he signed when he was Governor of Massachusetts - provisions identical to those contained in what some like to call "Obamacare."
Which of these conflicting views will prevail? When the tea party silliness at the convention is concluded, it will probably come down to a matter of "who's on first"!
Abbott and Costello were funny guys. Romney and "Ruin" aren't!