Saturday, September 1, 2012

More Lying

I'm not sure which impresses me more: the breath-taking willingness of Paul Ryan to lie, or the fact that at least some in the media have, finally, remembered what their job means and are now willing to call Ryan what he is; a relentless and shameless liar.

Many bloggers and political junkies have been saying from the outset that Ryan was deeply flawed and so ideologically driven that he feels at ease in lying. And I don't mean making partisan speeches, or strident accusations. Nor do I mean stretching the truth, or making questionable interpretations, which all politicians have done. I mean Paul Ryan is making bald-face lies, in the strictest sense of the word. Intentional misrepresentation has become a rhetorical tool.

Ryan went so far over the top in his recent speech at the Republican National Convention that even the mainstream press could no longer play along with the "serious thinker" crap. The Washington Post said it was "Paul Ryan's breathtakingly dishonest speech."  Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic asked if it might just be The Most Dishonest Convention Speech...Ever?  The Huffington Post has a nice compilation from various sources, including ABC and CNN. And it turns out even Fox can't get past the lying, saying " anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech."

Ouch, that's gotta hurt.

So what was it that Ryan was lying about this time? By all means, click the links above for more complete discussion. The short answer that most seemed to agree upon would be as follows:
1) Ryan once again claimed that the GM plant in Ryan's district closed on Obama's watch, when it didn't. What makes Ryan especially contemptible to me is that he had been called out on this claim a few days before, and didn't bother to make any correction. The second time around, more of the media caught it.
2) Ryan is still claiming that Obama is "stealing" $700+ billion from medicare.
3) Ryan also took Obama to task on the now nearly forgotten Simpson-Bowles Debt Commission, noting that Obama created it, and then seemed to ignore it. Sure, Ryan, you called it an "urgent report," but you yourself voted against it.
4) Again, Ryan blamed Obama for the gaping federal budget deficit, ignoring the fact that the biggest single reason for it is the Bush tax cuts, which Ryan voted for. And this is coming from a man who wants to cut those taxes even more for the wealthy,including zero taxes on capital gains. This would mean Romney would effectively pay zero in taxes, without the need for offshore accounts.Yeah, Ryan, that will really balance the books.
5) Ryan even tried to blame Obama for the credit rating downgrade a while back when the US appeared to be inching towards default. As Jonathan Cohn notes: "And why did that possibility exist? Because Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling, playing chicken not just with the nations’ credit rating but the whole economy, unless Obama would cave into their budget demands."
Here's Stephen Colbert's take: love how he skewers those who still want to make light of Ryan's lying. I'm looking at you, Erin Burnett.

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