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Ryan-Romney: The Liars’ Ticket

Last updated on 2012.12.20

Time to raise your game, Democrats!

Golly, all I said was that Congressman Paul Ryan tangled himself and GOP thinking on personal responsibility in a contradiction last night. The Washington Post's Jonathan Bernstein says I should have just called Ryan a liar:

It was, by any reasonable standards, a staggering, staggering lie. Here€™s Paul Ryan about Barack Obama:

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.

"They." "Them." "Them.€" Those words are lies. Because Paul Ryan was on that commission. "Came back with an urgent report." That is a lie. The commission never made any recommendations for Barack Obama to support or oppose. Why not? Because the commission voted down its own recommendations. Why? Because Paul Ryan, a member of the commission, voted it down and successfully convinced the other House Republicans on the commission to vote it down.

... the proper response to a speech like this isn't to carefully analyze the logic, or to find instances of hypocracy [sic]; it's to call the speaker out for telling flat-out lies to the American people [Jonathan Bernstein, "Paul Ryan Fails -- the Truth," WashingtonPost: The Plum Line, August 29, 2012].

Mr. Lias catches that Ryan lie and others, as outlined by Cal Woodward and Jack Gillum. Among them: Rep. Ryan perpetuates the lie about the $716 billion in savings President Obama used to extend the life of Medicare and fund the Affordable Care Act. Ryan calls them cuts, but remains silent about the fact that he plans to reduce Medicare spending by exactly the same dollar amount... at least until he can kill it.

Mr. Venhuizen says Rep. Ryan "told hard truths." I think Mr. Venhuizen forgot a few words after "hard". The Displaced Plainsman notes that Ryan appears to be leading the Republicans into a postmoderist world where there are no hard truths, just poll-tested relativist musings that motivate the base.

Rep. Ryan's may have given the most dishonest convention speech ever. Journalists, bloggers and citizens have an obligation to call these lies lies:

Not to put too fine a point on this, Ryan, like his running mate, tells obvious falsehoods because he's confident there will be no consequences. He simply assumes he can lie with impunity because the media doesn't care to separate fact from fiction.

This is a critical test of the political world, and a few too many are failing [Steve Benen, "A Pass-Fail Test," MSNBC: The Maddow Blog, August 30, 2012].

Like his running mate... indeed. Mitt Romney has a distressing comfort with repeating lies even when presented with the facts that disprove his lies. That comfort with lying appears to be linked to his Mormon faith, which institutionalizes lying for the Lord. And that comfort with lying shows itself clearly in Romney's choice of the "unserious and breathtakingly dishonest" Paul Ryan.

Mitt Romney will say anything to get elected, regardless of truth. Paul Ryan showed last night he'll lie right alongside his new boss. Even Ryan's mentor Ayn Rand would have declared his mendacity not just false but evil. Honest journalists should call these evil lies what they are... and voters should reject this liars' ticket


  1. Testor15 2012.08.30

    Political junkie that I am forces me to want to destroy my television when I listen to their lies.

  2. larry kurtz 2012.08.30

    live on New Hampshire Public Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, WITF-Harrisburg, PA, and WUSF-Tampa.

  3. larry kurtz 2012.08.30

    no matter: they're freaking insane....

  4. larry kurtz 2012.08.30

    Been 34 yrs since Clint Eastwood co-starred with monkey in "Every Which Way But Loose." Reunion tonight. Dave ‏@YouGiveMeFever7

  5. Donald Pay 2012.08.30

    The local news here in Wisconsin has been very tough on Ryan tonight. Stations here did stories on the Janesville GM plant closing.

    This was a huge story here for two years, and the local news recapitulated the history of the layoffs that occurred in 2007 and 2008, the decision made by GM in June of 2008 (during the Bush administration) to close the plant, a speech by Obama at the plant when he was running for the nomination, Ryan's support for all of a series of bailouts of the auto industry made by both Bush and Obama. The final closing of the plant in December 2008, before Obama took office. The stories showed former GM workers explaining how Ryan lied about the series of events, and how they resented by used as pawns by Ryan, especially when he distorted the history. It was very, very bad idea to lie about people's misfortunes, and it could cost Romney the state's electoral votes.

  6. David Newquist 2012.08.30

    In Denver at the moment, traveling up into Montana tomorrow. The Ryan speech is a topic of derision among some people I meet; others are ready to give up on politics all together because of it. Last night the BBC said nothing about the content of the speech, but tonight is picking up on the noise it caused.

  7. Jana 2012.08.30

    Romney speaks to the country about the challenges that we face and doesn't mention Afghanistan once...incredible, we are at war and Romney can't find one second to recognize that war and the people who are dying and being injured every day in that country.

    He did some jingoistic chest thumping on Iran, but nothing on Afghanistan.

    If that's how he plans to be commander in chief then we are in trouble.

    My apologies to the men and women in Afghanistan and their family, friends and loved ones.

  8. Robert J. Cordts 2012.08.30

    The Republicans cannot deny Obama's success in national security. In 2008 when Obama and McCain debated, Obama made it clear that he would be willing to go into Pakistan if it meant eliminating Osama bin Laden. McCain said he would not jeopardize our relationship with Pakistan. When Bush dropped the ball in the "war on terror" by focusing more on Iraq, Obama made it clear in the 2008 campaign that the real focus should still be killing or capturing Osama bin Laden. Republicans really can't focus on national security because it has been one of Obama's greatest successes. Obama promised and he delivered. My right wing brother defends Obama on national security issues.

  9. Stan Gibilisco 2012.08.30

    So, Cory, should I bug out off the grid now, sell out and buy that hermit spot in Montana this fall, and shoot elk and catch fish and grow broccoli and carrots for food, or should I wait until the polarization in this country reaches the point where people start shooting at each other, and nobody except off-gridders have anything to eat at all (except cake)?

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.08.31

    Stan, if that's really what's coming, then bugging out and digging in as soon as possible is a good idea, if for no other reason than to get really good at being a hermit... and to do dig a lot of tiger pits.

    But in a metaphorical way, that's what Romney and Ryan are hoping for. They want to drive away the non-polarized folks, the non-partisans like you. Those Republicans want their lies to drive us Democrats to such necessary extremes in our responses (and really, can we Dems have a rational policy debate when our opponents lay on the table not mere policy differences but alternate realities?) that the middle gets fed up and checks out of politics. Then it's a just battle of Right base versus Left base. The Right thinks it can win that fight and then keep a lid on any mass unrest with its corporate oppression.

    So it's in my interest, Stan, to ask you to stick around, keep voting, and keep engaging with the community as a civilized voice of reason... if the effort does not drain or disgust you too much.

  11. LK 2012.08.31


    I'd suggest potatoes rather than broccoli. They winter in a root cellar quite well. Unless you're canning broccoli, it won't last long.

  12. G-Man 2012.08.31

    "The President did not do this...the President did not do that...the President is a failure...the President this...the President that...and mom did this and my dad did brother worked at sister worked at the Dairy Queen...blah, blah, blah, blah...." That's sums up what I heard at this Convention. The Republicans have no vision where to take us. All they do is look back at what mom and dad did and blame the President for everything that has percievably went wrong in their lives.

  13. Jana 2012.08.31

    It's disturbing that Tony let his ideology interpret lies as hard truths. One would hope that someone with his power in the state would have a better handle on right and wrong. Has lying in the cause of politics and votes become acceptable?

    Here's an interesting read on playing fast and loose with the facts in politics.

    "Every four years there are lies in campaigns, and at times a blurry line between acceptable political argument and outright sophistry. But recent events — from the misleading statements in convention speeches to television advertisements repeating widely debunked claims — have raised new questions about whether the political culture still holds any penalty for falsehood."

    It's worth the read and hits the R's and D's alike.

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