2012 Election

On Other Blogs Today: Paul Ryan Roundup Edition

By Erica C. Barnett August 30, 2012

So as you may have heard, Wisconsin US Rep. Paul "Rhymes with Lyin'" Ryan spoke at the GOP convention last night. By virtually all accounts, many of the claims he made in his speech were misleading at best, mendacious at worst. Here's a roundup of what the pundits had to say this morning:

1. The New York Times has a good basic write-up of the speech (which, I admit, had a funny line about college grads staring at faded Obama posters while living in their childhood bedrooms)...

2. ... and then fact-checked Ryan's speech, which the paper said "made several statements that were incorrect, incomplete or incompatible with his own record in Congress."

3. Wolf Blitzer, at CNN, says he counted seven or eight "points I’m sure the fact checkers will have some opportunities to dispute."

4. At the Washington Post, Katrina vanden Heuvel says Ryan's proposed budget cuts, three-fifths of which would come from programs to help low-income people, are "not courageous, but cruel."

5. The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza catalogues five "hypocrisies" in Ryan's speech, including his claim that Obama was responsible for a plant closure that happened before he took office; the fact that Ryan trashed Obama's stimulus despite actively lobbying for more stimulus dollars for his state; and the fact that Ryan himself was a major reason the Simpson-Bowles debt commission---which Ryan said "did exactly nothing"---failed.

6. Also in the New YorkerJohn Cassidy says "you had to admire his gall, or his recklessness," for claiming his Medicare-privatization scheme, which would give seniors a coupon to pay for health care, would save the social-safety net.

7. More Ryan prevarications from The New Republic, which speculates that Ryan's speech may be the "most dishonest" convention speech ever: Ryan attacked Obama for "raiding" Medicare at the expense of seniors. But Ryan supported the same cuts Obama did---he just wanted them to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, rather than lower payments to health-care providers (not seniors, as Ryan claimed). And he blamed Obama for deficits that resulted primarily from the Bush-era tax cuts and wars.

8. And another lie, from Think Progress: Ryan claimed that under Obama, the US has accumulated  "More debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined." In reality, the debt has increased from just over $10 trillion when Obama took office to just over $15 trillion today.

9. Slate, which offered a similar take to TNR's, polled US voters and found that 24 percent were much less likely to vote for Romney after Ryan's speech; just 13 percent were much more likely to vote for Romney.

10. Talking Points Memo points out more examples of Ryan "blaming Obama for things Paul Ryan did," including House Republicans' refusal to act on the debt ceiling, which credit-rating agencies said was the reason they downgraded the nation's credit.

11. The Post's E.J. Dionne on Ryan's, and the Republican Party's, new emphasis on the idea that people must suffer to prosper.

12. Esquire, taking on Ryan's warning that shadowy "central planners" will take over our lives, asks sarcastically, "The central planners? Really? Are there tanks in Budapest again? Are Quemoy and Matsu in peril? Can the Giants catch the Dodgers?"

13. Speaking of central planners, Firedoglake points out that the central-ist of central planners, the Army Corps of Engineers, was busy saving New Orleans while Ryan was inveighing against government investments in central planning.

14, Maddowblog puts it bluntly: "Paul Ryan made painfully clear that he thinks we're all profound idiots who'll believe an endless string of lies, so long as they're packaged well and presented with conviction."

15. Ezra Klein---again, at the Post---explains why the paper ran a piece called "The True, the False, and the Misleading," noting that although he, in the interest of fairness, wanted to reject the notion that Ryan lied in his speech, "Ryan's claims"---including the claim that Obamacare, which expands access to private health insurance, would socialize health care under the federal government---"weren't even arguably true."

16. And finally, even Fox News is calling Ryan's speech "apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech."
Show Comments