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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Now We Know Why Romney Picked Ryan

Aug 30th, 2012

In an election year which has seen one of our country's two major parties nominate the most remarkably dishonest public figure in living memory for the presidency, everyone had an opinion on why that liar picked Paul Ryan as his second. 

Some said it was Ryan's "seriousness." 

Others said it was his "grasp of budgets." 

There were even those that said it was a calculated move to appeal to young, conservative women. After all, Ryan does P90X. He is buff.

We were all wrong. Every one of us failed to see what Romney saw. Paul Ryan, as it turns out, is actually capable of lying with a straight face nearly as well as Mitt Romney himself.

I don't think anyone considered that to be possible.

With so many inconsistencies, contradictions, and outright falsehoods paraded before us at the GOP convention last night, what makes Ryan's mendacity notable is the fact that it was so noticeable.

This is amazing.

Where to begin?

Last night, Ryan laid responsibility for the failure of Simpson-Bowles at Obama's feet. Nevermind that it was Ryan himself who sabotaged that approach, killing it before it could make it out of the House Budget Committee where he carries such weight.

He blamed Obama for the downgrade of our nation's credit. I find it hard to believe he doesn't remember that S&P declared, in no uncertain terms, that the GOP was responsible. What's more, Ryan was not a passive actor in that affair either.

He slammed the stimulus as an abject failure saying that it "was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst." This is in spite of the fact that he put the full weight of his office behind grabbing as much of it as he possibly could and signed his name repeatedly on requests for more as reported HERE, HERE and HERE.

In hushed tones, he accused the Obama administration of indulging in an orgy of spending. Ryan bears some direct responsibility for nearly $7 trillion dollars of this nation's debt. Yet, there he was, pretending to be a warrior for restraint.

Ryan tripled down on a notorious lie regarding a certain Wisconsin GM plant:
"When he (Obama) talked about change, many people liked the sound of it. Especially in Janesville where we were about to lose a major factory. A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that G.M. plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said, "I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years."
That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year."
The problem is that's not what he said. President Obama never said any such thing. The speech Ryan so boldly misrepresents is HERE.

However wide the space between some of Senator Obama's promises and what he has subsequently delivered as Commander in Chief, it is not normal for a vice presidential candidate to read a speech in which there are wholly fabricated quotes.

Dan Amira takes aim at the big lie, Ryan's attack on Obamacare and its alleged impact on Medicare:
"Ryan accused President Obama of plundering hundreds of millions of dollars from Medicare. The only part of Obamacare that Ryan kept in his budget plan? Those Medicare cuts."
Ryan actually said "the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly."

This is so easily debunked that to find it repeated with such conviction is frightening.

To my dismay, Amira might be right and this wild dishonesty won't hurt him:
"Most of the millions of people who watched the speech on television tonight do not read fact-checks or obsessively consume news 15 hours a day, and will never know how much Ryan's case against Obama relied on lies and deception. Ryan's pants are on fire, but all America saw was a barn-burner."
Lord help us.

The height of Ryan's hubris regarded the social contract. Ryan, with practiced, sacharinne solemnity, had the gall to say this:
"The greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves."
This is a man who has spent two years fighting for a "budget" that would cut nearly $7.8 trillion from domestic spending over ten years, decimating what safety net there still is for those very citizens. 

Worse, this is the same man who has spent his entire career in a state of adolescent worship of Objectivism. He is on record as saying "the reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand." He's gone further. It was not exactly long ago that he declared"Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism." 

Yes, the same Paul Ryan who wants us all to know how deeply he cherishes the poor has lived his life devoted to a reactionary, sociopathic novelist fond of referring to them as "parasites" and arguing that pure self interest "is the essence of a moral existence."

The lowest blow of the evening came when Ryan pushed the 'Obama has never had a real job' smear. The President spent fourteen years in the private sector as an attorney. During this bit of ugly mischief and character assassination, Ryan managed to add "lawn mowing" to his resume of part time jobs which have also included dishwasher, waiter, fitness trainer and, yes, Weinermobile driver. 

Don't get me wrong, I think all work is honorable work. But that's the point. Team Romney really doesn't.

Paul Ryan seems unaware of the fact that he attached himself like a bloodsucking tick to the underbelly of Washington more than two decades ago and has never done anything else since. But Obama has never had a 'real job.'

That these distortions, exaggerations and untruths were all spouted so casually should give everyone, Democrat and Republican, pause.

We may be so cynical that we simply assume our politicians are all liars but we're not supposed to be comfortable with them being this good at it. This brings us to one of the more disturbing developments of the evening.

In spite of many observers noting the litany of fictions, it wasn't just Fox News that didn't seem to care. It was expected that they would unquestioningly fawn and parrot. But, as Ryan Grim, Louis Peitzman and Josh Marshall have all noted, something much worse was happening over at CNN. Sure, they seemed to say, he's lying... so what?

The prize for total lack of journalistic timber goes to Erin Burnett:
"There will be issues with some of the facts. But it motivated people. He’s a man who says I care deeply about every single word. I want to do a good job. And he delivered on that. Precise, clear, and passionate."
Well, as long as he lying precisely, lying clearly and lying passionately, I guess it's just no big deal that he's lying.

If prevarication is to be the next great art form, Paul Ryan may be playing the 21st century's Michaelangelo to Mitt Romney's Da Vinci.

Vote Romney/Ryan as they tell it like it isn't and hurtle America back to a fantastical never was.

Or Mussolini's Italy.

Either way, they're just making it up as they go.

And it appears to be Kismet.

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