I really want to like Paul Ryan. He’s clearly a formidable candidate, extremely bright, a superb communicator, and at least moderately charismatic. I listened to his speech at the Republican National Convention last night. Sure, it was a biting, red-meat kind of speech, and I disagreed with his take on various things. But it seemed to me like a very good speech for the audience and the context–just what the Romney campaign needed.
But today, fact-checkers are having a heyday. It’s clear that Paul Ryan, at least in this speech, showed little regard for the truth. Many lies and distortions have been identified (ones I didn’t notice, as a typical viewer).
This disappoints me. Please don’t tell me that Obama and Biden are just as bad. I realize they tell lies, too, and I hope the fact-checkers are fully alert during their speeches at the Democratic convention.
But I’m always hopeful for a “different” kind of politician–the kind Obama presented himself to be in 2008, and which I believe he tried to be for at least the first year or two before giving it up in frustration. I hoped Ryan was different.
But, as has been shown in various outlets (even on FoxNews this morning), Ryan is just your normal lying politician. And that really does disappoint me. I was drawn somewhat to the Republican ticket. No more.
This Salon article gives a good rundown of the lies and distortions in Ryan’s speech. There are many good links off of that article, including this one about Ryan and the stimulus. Both the BBC and the Guardian in Britain highlighted the factual errors in Ryan’s speech. So did Slate. You would expected the Huffington Post to spotlight his lies, and maybe ABCNews, but even the Associated Press felt obligated to report on it. Then Glen Grunwald pumelled Ryan on the Swampland blog.
So, Congressman Ryan: congratulations on a speech that really rallied your base. And congratulations for turning me, once again, into a disillusioned and disappointed citizen, and for sacrificing your credibility in the process.