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About Conservatism Collaboration[edit]

This effort seeks to identify conservatism-related articles that require improvement. The purpose of this page is for nominating and discussing articles for the Conservatism Collaboration. Some advantages of collaboration:

  1. Provides an opportunity for new editors to work alongside more experienced editors
  2. High profile or large articles which may have proven too arduous for one editor may benefit from coordinated editing by Conservatism members

Current Collaboration: National Right to Life Committee[edit]

GA1 Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Paul Ryan/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: The Devil's Advocate (talk · contribs) 18:11, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

While acknowledging the legitimate concerns about the previous reviewer, I do believe the point about the lede is a valid one. Some expansion of the lede to make it a fuller summary of the material in the article body would be good. I plan to do a complete review later, but for now one concern I have is the "political philosophy" section as it seems to not present the situation accurately. As written it seems to imply that Ryan flip-flopped on his views of Ayn Rand, when the National Review source would indicate more that he just does not fully ascribe to Rand's philosophy. Another issue I noticed right away is that there are a lot of single sentence paragraphs that could probably be merged into other paragraphs or expanded with additional information.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 18:11, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Reviewer Comment Cwobeel (talk) 19:05, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Too early to submit to Good Article as the article does not fit the criteria about stability (criteria #5). It can be reviewed again after the elections. Cwobeel (talk) 19:05, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

There can only be one official reviewer for a GA. Anyone is welcome to comment, but it is up to the official reviewer to make the decision. --Rschen7754 19:15, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I always thought that rule was more about "are there edit wars" rather than "is the information changing week to week". It's easy to maintain a GA when the editors reliably contribute well-referenced content. Disavian (talk) 19:20, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
While I did have concerns about this being nominated so close to the election, I think this consideration applies more to articles at risk of fast-paced overall developments. His involvement in the campaign will likely be handled more in the article on the campaign, with only summary material provided here in a single section so I do not think it is a serious concern.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:03, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
"Still as an ongoing article its going to go through a lot of changes in the coming mnths. Theres not hurry to waiting till December/February to nminate it. The page is not running away.Lihaas (talk) 02:49, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Only managed to get through the lede and life sections so far, but I am already seeing a problem with close paraphrasing. While I think most of the problems in those parts have been basically fixed by my edits, I imagine there are more issues later on so editors should be keeping an eye out for those issues. I have added a cite tag to one bit of information that I could not find in the surrounding sources and removed the claim about Ryan's family not working in the company, since the source seemingly said the great-grandfather who founded the company was not involved in the company. :) --The Devil's Advocate (talk) 05:45, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Here is my preliminary review with some general suggestions:

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    Writing seems to generally be good, but there are a lot of issues with close paraphrasing. As I noted already, many section have single sentence paragraphs that could be consolidated or expanded to satisfy the stylistic issue and the lede should be a more complete summary of the material in the article body.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    I have tagged on the article or mentioned below all the areas where I think citations would be necessary or where the material does not quite match the sourcing. The OR issues would similarly be addressed by responding to the parts I have brought up here.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    Does not include any material regarding homeland security. I believe there is some information on this out there that would be helpful to included in the foreign policy section.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    I dare say the level of non-neutral treatment borders on quickfail territory, but hopefully there will be some serious progress made on this given the attention and collaboration devoted to the article. The fiscal policy section is the worst offense, but the budget section is also rather heavy on critical remarks as opposed to supportive or defensive remarks.
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
    Not seeing any problematic issues in the revision history.
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    The image of him at CPAC and the image in the tenure section merely have descriptive captions, rather than captions that establish relevance and draw readers into the article.
  7. Overall:

Below is a comprehensive listing of issues I noticed that should make this go a little faster. If someone resolves one of the concerns it would be helpful to cross out the material that has been addressed or otherwise indicate that a specific bit of material has been fixed:

Philosophy section
  • "Ryan tried to get all of the congressional interns in his office to read Rand's writing. He also gave copies of her novel Atlas Shrugged to his staff as Christmas presents."
  • Almost word-for-word what is said in the New Yorker source.
  • "According to AP, he supports their belief in individual rights, distrust of big government, and respect for America's founding fathers"
  • More close paraphrasing and I am pretty sure the source provides enough material to cast his views in a more original manner.
 Done. Thank you for the excellent comments (which required actually reading the source!). -SusanLesch (talk) 18:56, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Tenure section
  • "Early in Ryan's congressional career, he held office hours in some remote parts of his district in an old truck converted into a mobile office."
  • Closely resembles the wording in the source.

*"Ryan has also co-sponsored 975 bills."

  • It would be helpful to get an idea of how many bills he co-sponsored ended up passing, since the bills where he was the initial sponsor are noted as having a low success rate.
176 have passed, I've added it to the article. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:18, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Political positions intro

*"According to the Washington Post, 22 percent of the bills co-sponsored by Ryan were sponsored by Democrats, and 'by this measure, he is slightly more bipartisan than the average Republican, with a figure of 19 percent.'"

  • Part of this is a close paraphrasing and the rest should probably be paraphrased.
I've changed it a bit, and moved it to the relevant part about the 975 bills. To me this makes more sense since we are talking about the bills he has co-sponsored. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:27, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Fiscal policy section

*"Ryan, 'though best known as an architect of conservative fiscal policy,' has also been described as a 'big-spending conservative.'"

  • Combining two separate and unconnected quotes in this way is suggestive and POV editorializing. We can probably paraphrase those two terms, though I think a rewrite of the whole paragraph is in order.
I've just removed the both of them; they are unnecessary and are being synthesised together. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:35, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

*". . . criticized Ryan's votes for these deficit-causing policies . . ."

  • The term "deficit-causing policies" should not be used in the editorial voice as it is here. Some use of the term "deficit-spending" would be appropriate. As noted above, the whole paragraph should be rewritten to be more balanced and less argumentative.
Attributed it to the commentators. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:51, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • "President Barack Obama initially saw Ryan as 'someone he could possibly work with to reverse the building federal debt.'"
  • This quote should either be paraphrased or attributed since it is from the article and not Obama.
done IRWolfie- (talk) 15:51, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • "However, in 2011 Obama criticized Ryan as being 'not on the level' for describing himself as a fiscal conservative while voting for these policies, as well as two 'unpaid for' wars."
  • When it says "these policies" I take it as referring to the votes mentioned in the paragraph above it. This should be clearer and based off what is said in the PolitiFact source. Also the wording "However, in 2011" should be modified since it appears to be implying some sort of flip-flop on Obama's part regarding Ryan.
  • "Columnist Ezra Klein wrote in 2012 that 'If you know about Paul Ryan at all, you probably know him as a deficit hawk. But Ryan has voted to increase deficits and expand government spending too many times for that to be his north star. Rather, the common thread throughout his career is his desire to remake the basic architecture of the federal government.'"
  • We shouldn't just plop a quote like that down. I think this can be paraphrased rather effectively by drawing on more of the material from the column.
  • " . . . repeal the requirement that the Federal Reserve System reduce unemployment."
  • I think this can be re-worded a bit with more original wording.
  • "Ryan voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.[81] Ryan also voted against the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2009 and the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which Ryan characterized as 'class warfare.'"
  • Given the rather friendly-sounding names of these pieces of legislation, I think there should be a little bit of detail about what he was opposing and why beyond the "class warfare" comment that seems to be argumentative.
  • "Ryan pushed the Bush administration to propose the privatization of Social Security. Ryan's proposal ultimately failed when it did not gain the support of the then-Republican presidential administration."
  • This claim that it failed because "it did not gain the support of the then-Republican presidential administration" is more argumentative wording and, in this case, is not clearly supported by the source. For one, it is clear Bush did support these proposals on Social Security so the claim about it not getting the support of his administration is simply not accurate. Secondly, the use of "then-Republican presidential administration" could be taken together with the claim about support as implying his ideas were too extreme for Bush. Another issue with this material is where it says "Ryan pushed" and calls the change "Ryan's proposal" as the source indicates there were other conservative voices supporting this change, including at least one who is named in the article. It would probably be good to expand on his involvement in the 2005 Social Security debate, as well as making the material more accurate.
  • "Ryan's budget proposals 'would mean significant cutbacks for education across the board
  • Another instance where we should paraphrasing as including the quote in this context a bit POV.
  • "In particular, the Ryan plan would lower the income level qualification from $33,000 to $23,000 for the Pell Grant program, and set a maximum grant of $5,550, about one-third the average total year cost of college . . . According to an analysis by the Education Trust, this would result in more than 1 million students losing Pell Grants over the next 10 years."
  • More very close paraphrasing. The wording here is just slightly altered from the HuffPo and NPR sources.
  • "Ryan states that his education policy is to 'allocate our limited financial resources effectively and efficiently to improve education.' Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic said that Ryan's vision on education policy is to 'cut and privatize.'"
  • The placement and wording of these two statements is argumentative in an almost flippant and snarky manner. I would say there is general weighing issue with this entire paragraph on education, that overwhelmingly favors a critical view.
  • "The National Education Association teachers' union has criticized Ryan's positions on education."
  • It actually is not accurate. This appears to be referring to a statement by the president of the NEA and the source provided actually does not contain any specific criticism. However, the full statement does include some criticism of Ryan's ideas on education so that source can be provided. There should be some specifics about the criticism and it should be clearly noted that this is after Ryan was selected as the VP candidate and that the union affiliated with the NEA is supporting Obama.
Budget section
  • "It would have also phased out Medicare's traditional fee-for-service model; instead, starting in 2021 . . . "
  • Another instance of close paraphrasing of the source.
  • "Ryan's proposed budget was criticized by opponents for the lack of concrete numbers."
  • Not what the source says. In fact, it appears to be saying Ryan was the one complaining about "the lack of concrete numbers" because GOP leaders decided to reveal the budget before he finished it. That would certainly be something on which to elaborate.
  • "Economist Ted Gayer wrote that 'Ryan's vision of broad-based tax reform, which essentially would shift us toward a consumption tax... makes a useful contribution to this debate.'"
  • The thing to note here is what is left unsaid. It is included in the paragraph on Krugman's criticism of the 2010 budget, but does not mention that Geyers was providing a direct response from the Tax Policy Center that Krugman cites in his criticism and that they rebutted several of his claims, including the "fraud" claim that is included in this article.
  • "An analysis by the CBO showed that the Ryan plan would not balance the budget for at least 28 years, partly because"
  • Nearly the exact same wording as in the cited source with some minor re-arranging.
  • " . . . but Ryan rejected their criticism."
  • Many problems with this, most notably the source. The opinion blog of Rachel Maddow is being used to support material suggesting a flippant dismissal by Ryan of concerns regarding how the budget reflects on his faith based off a truncated video clip. A better source for his response would be this one: [1].--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:55, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • "Ryan's budget 'envisions continued increases in Pentagon spending' and 'significant cuts to the much smaller appropriations for the State Department and foreign aid,' with diplomacy and development spending being reduced sharply"
  • It would be better to have paraphrasing here and the material on diplomacy appears to be almost exactly the same as the material in the citation.
Social issues section
  • "During Ryan's 1998 campaign for Congress, he 'expressed his willingness to let states criminally prosecute women who have abortions," telling the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the time that he "would let states decide what criminal penalties would be attached to abortions,' and while not stating that he supports jailing women who have an abortion, stated: 'if it's illegal, it's illegal.'"
  • Paraphrasing would be better here rather than quoting the article.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:55, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
  • "This could lead to laws that would 'criminalize all abortion, as well as in vitro fertilization and some forms of birth control.'"
  • Source is a very strong opinionated criticism of Ryan and should be noted as such, not quoted in a manner that treats the statement as fact.
  • "Ryan has also supported legislation that would impose criminal penalties for certain doctors who perform 'partial-birth abortions.'"
  • Another instance of close paraphrasing.
  • "Ryan was one of 227 co-sponsors of the 2011 No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act bill in the House of Representatives that would have limited funding for federally funded abortions to victims of 'forcible rape'. 'Forcible rape' was not defined in the bill, which critics said would result in excluding date rape, statutory rape . . . The language was removed from the bill before the House passed the bill, the Senate did not vote on the bill."
  • Close paraphrasing again.
  • "He voted against a bill for stronger background check requirements for purchases at gun shows and supports federal concealed-carry reciprocity legislation, which would allow a person with a permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state to carry a firearm in every other state, a top National Rifle Association (NRA) priority."
  • More close paraphrasing.
  • "Ryan, who owns a rifle and a shotgun, is an NRA member . . . "
  • Almost the exact same words used in the source.
  • "Ryan supported legislation that would have allowed some illegal immigrants to apply for temporary guest-worker status, including one bill that would provide a pathway to permanent residence status (a Green Card) for such immigrants."
  • Close paraphrasing again as the citation for this statement includes nearly identical wording.
Campaign section
  • "Dan Balz of The Washington Post wrote that Ryan was promoted as a candidate for Vice President 'by major elements of the conservative opinion makers, including The Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Weekly Standard and the editor of National Review.'"
  • This could use with quite a bit of paraphrasing.
  • "According to a statistical-historical analysis conducted by Nate Silver, 'Ryan is the most conservative Republican member of Congress to be picked for the vice-presidential slot since at least 1900' and 'is also more conservative than any Democratic nominee [for vice president who previously served in the Congress] was liberal, meaning that he is the furthest from the center'"
  • Definitely another instances where this would be better to paraphrase.
  • "Political scientist Eric Schickler commented that while Ryan 'may well be the most conservative vice presidential nominee in decades,' the NOMINATE methodology 'is not suited to making claims about the relative liberalism or conservatism of politicians' over a long time span."
  • Similar to above, this material would be more suitable if it were paraphrased.
Personal life section
  • "Ryan pursues an intense cross-training fitness program called P90X. He is careful about what he eats and has made close to 40 climbs of Colorado's Fourteeners (14,000-foot peaks)."
  • Another sentence with very close paraphrasing.
  • "Ryan is a hunter and fisherman who makes his own bratwurst and Polish sausage. A bowhunter, he is a member of the archery association the Janesville Bowmen . . ."
  • Yet again there is close paraphrasing of the sources in the citations.

--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:55, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

I forgot to note that I am going to try and see if improvements can be made to the article that will address the issues here. Putting final review on hold.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 21:17, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

I'll see how I can fix stuff here. I should be open for the next few days so I'll have some time to work on it. :) Toa Nidhiki05 14:10, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

This review is being closed as fail due to an ongoing edit war. I suspect it may be best to wait until after the presidential election to nominate this article again. Whether Romney/Ryan win or lose the three months window between the election and inauguration should provide a decent time-frame for stable work on the article.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 14:01, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

political philosophy[edit]

I have a concern that the very title might be OR. Is it a fair heading to say the section is about the figures actual political philosophy? Do the references show these views from Ryan as political philosophy or have we added this by extrapolating or synthesizing the information from the varied sources to make a conclusion? Is the section written to express what sources are saying or has there simply been too much editing without checking the reference and the information is just getting away from us. First, I really think, if this information stays, it should be a more accurate and encyclopedic heading. Perhaps this is undueweight to all of this in its own section and could be incorporated into "Personal life" under the subheading (and only if needed) "Any Rand". I think we should drop at least one reference, the Atlas Society reference is an "archived" site blog. It does not qualify as a news blog with no author information and the Atlas socity does not have proper editorial oversite or fact checking and I even wonder if it amounts to just being a very elaborate fan site. It cannot be used to reference a fact and with no authorship it can't be used as opinion. The rest might be trimmed down before being added to the Personal life section if its moved.--Amadscientist (talk) 06:51, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Personal life wouldn't be the proper place for it. I don't see any issue with the heading "political philosophy" either.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 13:59, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
I can help out a bit here. The Atlas Society is the splinter group that Kelley formed due to disagreements with the Ayn Rand Institute about cooperation with (non-Objectivist) libertarians. We should treat it as a legitimate source of informations about Objectivism, although perhaps not as canonical as the ARI. It's definitely not just an elaborate fan site, although that description made me chuckle.
I think TDA is right about needing to be more careful in our descriptions of his relationship with Objectivism. On the one hand, he's obviously a big fan and we should report this. On the other, Objectivism (at least according to Rand herself and the ARI) is not a cafeteria philosophy. In other words, you don't get to agree with just part of it and still call yourself an Objectivist.
For this reason, we have to be careful not to frame a clarification on his part ("I'm sympathetic to it but reject one aspect entirely") as any sort of flip-flop. In particular, we have absolutely no reason to believe he accepted Objectivist atheism but changed his mind. Whatever his faults, Ryan is not known for flip-flopping the way Romney is.
Hope that helps. I'm StillStanding (24/7) (talk) 20:04, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

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Date Article Starting Class Ending Class
1 February 18, 2012 Timeline of modern American conservatism List List
2 August 25, 2012 Paul Ryan B TBD


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