Backlash Over Ryan’s Soup Kitchen Photo-Op Goes Against Soup Kitchen.
Once it became public knowledge that Paul Ryan and his entourage had forced their way into an Ohio soup kitchen to wash clean dishes for a cheap photo-op, you knew there was going to be a backlash. No, no, not against Paul Ryan, don’t be silly, but rather one against the soup kitchen.
You see, the soup kitchen by being honest and telling exactly what had happened managed to embarrass both Paul Ryan and the Romney campaign, and predictably the wingnut response has been swift. The charity has suffered a large loss of donors while its workers have been subjected to angry phone calls and abusive Facebook posts.
Ryan may have suffered a few late-night jokes, but the fallout for the soup kitchen appears to be far more bruising. Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, confirmed that donors have begun an exodus in protest over Ryan’s embarrassment. The monetary losses have been big. “It appears to be a substantial amount,” Antal said. “You can rest assured there has been a substantial backlash…”
…Ryan supporters have now targeted Antal and his soup kitchen, Antal said, including making hundreds of angry phone calls. Some members of Antal’s volunteer staff have had to endure the barrage as well, he said. “The sad part is a lot of [the callers] want to hide behind anonymity,” he said, adding that if someone leaves their name and number he has tried to return their call. In addition to phone calls, people have posted a few choice words on the charity’s Facebook wall, including statements like “I hope you lose your tax [sic] emempt status,” Anyone who is thinking about donations to you should think twice” and “Shame on you Brian Antal!”
So Ryan got his misanthropically cynical photo-op that falsely showed him “helping the poor” while, as it turns out, the outcome of his visit was to cause harm to the efforts of those who actually were helping them. I’m not saying that Ryan set out to do anything more malicious than to present a false image of himself to the voters, but I do have to wonder if he cares about or regrets what has happened due to his opportunistic visit there.