Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick was a shot in the arm for the GOP presidential candidate's campaign. Paul Ryan is young, and between his famed adherence to the P90X workout regimen, his skills as a sportsman and his beautiful young family, Ryan's dose of relatability was just what the Conservative wing of the GOP ordered.
And (hello, populism!) Paul Ryan loves Rage Against the Machine.
But Rage Against the Machine doesn't love Paul Ryan back.
In a sharply-worded editorial posted by Rolling Stone, Rage guitarist Tom Morello calls Ryan's admiration "amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades."
Labeling Ryan as "clueless," Morello says the potential veep's stances are the complete opposite of his band's.
"Ryan claims that he likes Rage's sound, but not the lyrics," Morello writes. "Well I don't care for Paul Ryan's sound or his lyrics."
"I wonder what Ryan's favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of "F*** the Police"? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!"
Morello finishes with a good dose of wishful conspiracy theorizing.
"My hope is that maybe Paul Ryan is a mole," he writes. "Maybe Rage did plant some sensible ideas in this extreme fringe right wing nut job.
"Maybe if elected, he'll pardon Leonard Peltier. Maybe he'll throw U.S. military support behind the Zapatistas. Maybe he'll fill Guantanamo Bay with the corporate criminals that are funding his campaign – and then torture them with Rage music 24/7. That's one possibility. But I'm not betting on it."
Ryan's love for Rage is particularly ironic in considering the band-led protest during the 2008 Republican convention in Ryan's home state, Wisconsin.
A Rolling Stone report from September 2008 describes the scene:
The rumors of a secret Rage Against the Machine concert turned out to be halfway true late Tuesday afternoon, when local blogs confirmed the free show on the lawn of the Minnesota State Capitol at 6:30 p.m. But, reportedly, as Anti-Flag — one of the scheduled performers for the Ripple Effect music festival — introduced RATM, police suddenly shut the concert down, despite the fact that the festival had a legal permit until 7 p.m. When the angry crowd's chants of "F*** you I won't do what you tell me" failed to start the show, frontman Zack de la Rocha and guitarist Tom Morello performed an a cappella version of "Bulls on Parade," handing a megaphone back and forth between them for the lyrics and music — Morello making the "bow-wow-wow-wakka-chikkas" with his mouth.
The pair led the assembled crowd on a march towards the heavily guarded Xcel Center and the Republican National Convention. The roughly 2,000 to 3,000 marchers met up with another group of poverty protesters and they reportedly got as far as the main barriers in front of the Xcel Center. About 200 people allegedly refused to disperse from an intersection and police fired tear gas at the protesters. The police said the protest had been broken up but there are reports of continuing scuffles between protesters and police. "I think it's important to call out the economic crimes at home and the war crimes abroad, while they're here," Morello tells Rolling Stone. "Not let them get away with it while the world's media is focused here. It's important to get that message out ... to have that amplified alongside the B.S. messages being spouted from the podium."
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