We’re all used to lies from politicians, so much so that we expect it now and are almost shocked to hear one tell the truth. But Paul Ryan’s speech to the Republican National Convention still stands out for its utter dishonesty from beginning to end. Joan Walsh adds up just a few of them:
Paul Ryan gave a feisty anti-Obama speech that will have fact-checkers working for days. His most brazen lie accused President Obama of “raiding” Medicare by taking the exact same $716 billion that Ryan and the House GOP notoriously voted to slash. It was stunning.
But that’s not all. He attacked Obama for failing to keep open a Janesville GM plant that closed under Bush in 2008. He hit him for a credit-rating downgrade that S&P essentially blamed on GOP intransigence. He claimed that all taxpayers got from the 2009 stimulus was “more debt,” when most got a tax cut (and the stimulus is known to have saved between 1.4 and 3.3 million jobs). He derided the president for walking away from the Simpson Bowles commission deficit-cutting recommendations when Ryan himself, a commission member, voted against those recommendations.
He blamed Obama for a deficit mostly created by programs he himself voted for – from two wars, tax cuts, new Medicare benefits and TARP.
FactCheck confirms the same lies. They also debunk many of the claims in Chris Christie’s “fact free” speech. Of course, this was done at a convention whose central theme is, itself, a lie. The entire “we built it” mantra is based on an extremely dishonest distortion of what President Obama said about those who start businesses. Amusingly, they’ve tried to reinforce that lie by presenting two speakers who offered up the tired old “we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps without help from Big Government” line after both received tremendous help from the government in doing so, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in SBA loans and much more in government contracts.
The Democrats aren’t exactly pure in this regard, of course. The ad with Joe Soptic blaming Romney for this wife’s death from cancer was pretty dishonest too (cue the Democratic partisans to get all hyper-technical and engage in special pleading to claim it wasn’t, because that is how tribalism operates — apply different standards to the other side than you do to your own side). But the Republicans have clearly made lies the central focus of their entire 2012 campaign.