Lies, dumb lies, and Paul Ryan's Janesville GM story.
Whopper with cheese
I can’t get my mind around the Paul Ryan mystery. Like it or not, Ryan is now a Republican superstar. One explanation for his rise to the status of superstar is that the talent pool in the GOP is so shallow that it was easy for the Janesville native to leapfrog to the head of the class to become the bright light. Let’s assume that the media are correct in labeling him as the “most likely to succeed” on the national scene.
Ryan looks good, has a great smile, can give a good speech, won his gerrymandered district by a big margin — in the 65 percent range. With all that on the plus side of the ledger, he could not restrain himself last week at the GOP comedy hour, aka the Republican Convention.
Assume that Mitt Romney loses this November. Who will be first in line in 2016? You guessed it. Ryan will be a frequent guest on Meet the Press and other talk shows. It is so obvious that he will be the nominee in four years if Romney can’t deliver that he might be nominated by acclamation. No primaries needed!
Here is the mystery. Why would Ryan tell a doozy of a lie on national television that will taint him forever?
I spoke at the Rock County Democratic dinner just after the GM plant closed while George W. Bush was still president. It was sad to say the least. I drove around Janesville, looked at the closed plant, and felt sad. Why didn’t Ryan fight harder to save the jobs of his “high school buddies”? Because the “market” will save and create jobs, if you believe Ryan and Romney. To interfere with the market would be an admission that perhaps Ayn Rand was not a very good teacher.
Fast forward to 2016. First question: “Congressman, you lied to the American people when you blamed Obama for the GM plant closing in Janesville. You lied about your concern for your high school buddies who lost out. Why did you lie to us?”
All Ryan had to say was, “We tried to save the plant but could not.” The real reason he lied? To tell the truth about the plant closing would have jeopardized his love affair with the tea party.
Joe McCarthy lied, and lied, and lied. “I have a list of communists in the State Department,” he said, and that claim helped him to national fame. “Tail Gunner Joe” was the sentry offering to save America from communist plots. But it was a whopper of a lie. And when prominent broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, the Cap Times, and others — in particular attorney Joseph Welch — asked, “Have you no shame, sir?” it was all over for Joe.
Ryan’s lie will get loud applause at GOP functions, where no one will ask Ryan: “What in the hell were you talking about?”
His lie was really gratuitous. There was no reason to tell it but he apparently thought he could get away with it. After all, the tea partyers loved it and they do not want governmental assistance or interference.
Shame on you, Paul Ryan. You will never recover from that lie. Please tell us what you knew about the GM plant and when you knew it. Why not start with the truth?
(A version of this article originally appeared in the opinion section of the Capital Times.)
September 4, 2012
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Ed Garvey is editor and publisher of FightingBob.com.