Thursday, August 30, 2012

Piling on Paul Ryan

At the moment the "Most Popular" list on the Post's Opinion pages looks like this:
1) Ryan full of falsehoods
2) Paul Ryan fails -- the truth
3) Mr. Ryan's misleading speech
4) Voters, are you bluffing?
5) Ryan: Flunking his own test
Is there a pattern here?

Personally I think it is quite important that Romney and Ryan can't tell the truth. Their main constituents are people who hate paying taxes, people who want more wars and military spending, people worried about the deficit, and old people who want things to remain exactly as they are, especially in terms of the benefits they get from the government. They can't tell the truth without telling at least two of those groups to take a hike. So they bluster, leaving us to wonder what they will actually do if elected.

I might add that in his speech to the Republican convention, which I of course did not watch because I would rather boil my face than listen to convention speeches, Ryan seems to have said that we should judge a nation by how well it treats its weakest and neediest. I suppose he thinks that treating the needy well means lecturing them on personal responsibility, kicking them in the ass, and telling them to get a job. Which is, I understand, a philosophically defensible position, but it is not what most people mean by the phrase "treating well," and it gets us back again to the horrible fear Ryan and Romney have of telling people what they really believe.

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