The GOP nominee now for Al Gore’s position in the 1990s is making the Nobel Peace Prize winner look like George Washington and the cherry tree. In matters large and small, Paul Ryan is setting Olympic records for public lies.
In 1999, Gore took heat for claiming he “invented” the Internet. What he actually said was “in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.” This year he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame with the citation: "Gore recognized the importance of building the information infrastructure and making it available to everyone."
This week Ryan's convention speech set off truth meters clanging everywhere to keep up with lies, distortions and omissions, numbers mounting into double figures.
That his indifference to truth is a matter of disposition rather than expedience is suggested by an off-the-cuff claim following the convention speech. Asked about marathons, the VP runner casually notes, “I had a two-fifty something.” When Runner’s World checks, the number is actually 4.01.
Lie or mistake, Ryan’s impulse to bend the truth seems instinctive, a reaction that kicks in even when no political gain is involved. In less than a week, he has provided more evidence of lying than Joe Biden’s reputation for gaffes rests on in 40 years.
The irony here is that the GOP’s vaunted “truth teller” about the nation’s economic woes is himself a prime example of everything he denounces about government. Since he graduated from college, Paul Davis Ryan has been sucking at the taxpayers’ teat, first as a legislative aide in Congress and then as an elected member—-not one minute out in the real word, job-creating.
After years of embracing and spreading the Ayn Rand credo that government dependency creates “looters” and “moochers,” dependent Ryan threw her under the bus while campaigning this spring, saying her ideas are “completely antithetical to mine because she has an atheist philosophy."
Less than a week after his nomination, it’s hard to believe that Paul Ryan believes passionately about anything other than Paul Ryan. In that respect, he is a perfect running mate for Mitt Romney, who has been flip-flopping on his bedrock principles for more than two decades.
If they win, the Dick Cheney era of VP snarls will return in the form of baby-faced bald-faced lies.
Update: Paul Krugman chimes in on Ryan’s veracity, observing that his “whole political persona...is built around big boasts about accomplishments he hasn’t accomplished...
“He calls for huge tax cuts, while proposing specific spending cuts that, while inflicting immense hardship on our most vulnerable citizens, would fall far short of making up for the revenue loss. His claims to reduce the deficit therefore rely on assertions that he would make up for the lost revenue by closing loopholes that he refuses to specify, and achieve further huge spending cuts in ways that he also refuses to specify...
“Ryan basically told the budget office to assume that his plan would slash the deficit, then claimed the resulting report as vindication of his deficit-slashing claims.”
And in record time.