Your comments on the Ryan speech?

I missed his big speech last night — I hope to find time to watch it later — but I thought I’d provide this place for the comments of those of you who did catch it.

And if you didn’t, here’s the video. And here’s the text.

Once I have a chance to study it myself, I’ll join the conversation. In the meantime, what did you think?

It brought Scott Walker to tears. How about you?

37 thoughts on “Your comments on the Ryan speech?

  1. j

    Joe says “You lie!” Paul Ryan made six egregious and false statements. No problem – it’s “lying for the Lord.”

    1. “A downgraded America.” Ryan blamed the president for the nation’s credit downgrade in August 2011 after Republicans threatened to allow the government to default on its debt for the first time in history. But the ratings agency explicitly blamed “Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal.”

    2. “More debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined.” Romney has made the almost identical claim, that Obama has amassed more debt “as almost all of the other presidents combined.” But their math doesn’t add up: when Obama took office, the national debt was $10.626 trillion. It has increased to slightly above $15 trillion.

    3. Shuttered General Motors plant is “one more broken promise.” Ryan described a GM plant that closed down in his hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin, and blamed Obama for breaking his promise to keep the plant open when he visited during his campaign. But Obama never made that promise, and the plant shut down in December 2008, before Obama even took office.

    4. Obama “did exactly nothing” on Bowles-Simpson. Ryan said, “He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.” In fact, Ryan was instrumental in sabotaging the commission, leading the other House Republicans in voting against the plan.

    5. “$716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.” Ryan’s favorite lie is a deliberate distortion of Obamacare’s savings from eliminating inefficiencies. Furthermore, Ryan’s own plan for Medicare includes these savings. Romney has vowed to restore these cuts, which would render the trust fund insolvent 8 years ahead of schedule.

    6. “The greatest of all responsibilities is that of the strong to protect the weak.” Ryan closed the speech with an invocation of social responsibility, saying, “The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.” However, numerous clergy members have condemned Ryan’s budget plan as “cruel,” and “an immoral disaster” because of its devastating cuts in social programs the poor and sick rely on. Meanwhile, Ryan would give ultra-rich individuals and corporations $3 trillion in tax breaks.”

    Thought I’d get the Repubs going on this one.

  2. Steven Davis II

    Anyone who says Ryan didn’t blow this speech out of the water is a moron. Like I said in another thread, if Romney wins the election, the country better be prepared for 16 years of Republican leadership. Ryan is going to be President one day.

  3. Steven Davis II

    j – You want “you lie”, just wait until Obama and Biden take the stage.

    Or is it “just wait”… because they’re still working on whatever they said they’d do once in office.

  4. bud

    What the Republicans are doing with the bogus $716 billion medicare cut claim is trying to frame the issue so that Obama is the bad guy. Given that they have such an incredibly weak hand to play on this issue they’ve determined that the best course of action is to simply lie and lie often so that if it’s said often enough by enough right-wingers and repeated on talk radio and Fox News then eventually the “lamestream media” will pick up on it and pass it along as though it was actually a fact. Hey that strategy worked to indoctrinate the false idea that Ronald Reagan won the cold war into the American culture so why not try it with this.

    So far Democrats are putting up a good fight on this one. And given the “pants on fire/four Pinochio” rating this claim is getting perhaps they can prevail. But never sell the GOP propaganda machine short. They’re nothing if not persistent.

  5. Juan Caruso

    J, your rebuttals are only true as far as they go, which like Ryan’s underlying remarks have been abbreviated for mass comprehension.

    The jury of public opinion has been witness to a downgraded America, a fact as well as an oft stated intent of this President.

    When neither side is willing to compromise meaningfully, statements blaming one over the other are obviously biased, and hardly rise to a level of qualified, expert testimony.

    Some lawyers (guessing you may be one), often wish courtroom constraints applied outside of courtrooms. In essence, full story told, Ryan’s observations ring true. Are you certain the plant was “shuttered” if non-union engineers were still on the payroll in 2009?

    Finally, we are seeing a team of “moderates” who can mount an effective offense. It must hurt “progressives” to be put on the defensive against the very tactics it had been assumed only their own team could use.

  6. Kathryn Fenner

    It’s easy to “blow a speech out of the water” when you fabricate “facts” to please your audience. All of the major non-Fox news sources agree with J.

  7. Barry

    I thought it was a very solid speech- well delivered.

    Convention speeches are ALWAYS loaded with a lot of baloney.

    It seems though- this year- that the liberal media types have decided to start calling everything “lies” though- which is different than in the past.

    I watched a little of MSNBC last night – which was difficult because the studio people (Shultz, Maddow, Matthews, Sharpton) were overstepping the regular NBC reporters so much that it put the straight reporters in difficult situations.

    For example, straight NBC reporter Ron Mott was trying to interview Arizona’s governor- but Chris Matthews kept interupting Ron with his “Ron, I have a question. Ron, ROn, Ron, I have a question” as Ron was doing his best to interview the governor.

    When Ron finally allowed Chris to ask his question, Chris took over the interview (Chris was in the booth, not on the floor) and Ron was left as simply a microphone holder.

    That’s teribly poor television, and terribly poor professionalism.

  8. bud

    The jury of public opinion has been witness to a downgraded America, a fact as well as an oft stated intent of this President.

    That’s nothing but pure conjecture, probably based on nattering talk radio/Fox News blather. One thing for sure that is NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM A FACT. Downgraded America? What is that even?

  9. Mark Stewart

    Since I didn’t think Ryan did Romney any favors last evening, I was more distracted by his lapel pin.

    Even in 1080 it looked like a red dot on the American flag. But then maybe was a red star?

    Whatever it was, those “patriotic” lapel pins suck. Especially when his looked like blood on the US flag.

  10. bud

    It seems though- this year- that the liberal media types have decided to start calling everything “lies” though- which is different than in the past.
    – Barry

    It’s about time! Of course the liberal media consists of MSNBC and Current TV. Most of the others lean right. Fox of course is pretty much the propaganda wing of the GOP. Seriously though Ryan was flat out telling lies. The media properly called him out on it. Good for them. That’s a refreshing change.

  11. Brad

    The middle of the star might not be red. If it is, it’s a dark red. And whatever color it is, it’s not solid. There appears to be some sort of design in the middle of it… unless that’s just glare…

  12. Lynn

    I expected better. Ryan is known as an economic supply sider policy wonk he could have smacked down the President’s record on difference of economic theory but instead he or his handlers chose the intellectual disingenuous route.

    How’s this going to work when you have to deal with actually governing and this speech is played back again and again. Sounds good and it certainly is less filling.

    If he really believes Americans are ready to adults and make hard decisions starting the conversation with whoppers isn’t an effective way to do it.

  13. Phillip

    Remember that Sarah Palin also blew the roof off the joint 4 years ago with her acceptance speech, and we know how THAT turned out.

    The absurdity that is Paul Ryan is encapsulated in his advocacy for huge increases in defense spending. This from a supposed “deficit-hawk” who prattles on about “hard choices.” As Andrew Sullivan puts it, Ryan is one of those who “don’t care about a deficit caused by wars, or by tax cuts; they care about a deficit caused by the sick and seniors and the poor.”

  14. Juan Caruso

    “That’s nothing but pure conjecture…” -Bud

    Well, Bud, as many may recall you stated many months ago that U.S. employment stats would certainly improve before the election. Not only did I disagree with you, I chided you on your “opinion” and assured readers that “time would tell”. Well, it has, and so far, I my opinion appears more accurate than yours was.

    “All of the major non-Fox news sources agree with J.” – KF

    Too bad voters are NOT constrained by courtroom rules of evidence, isn’t it? They can vote their opinions and have learned which rags to distrust. Remember this tidbit about the NYT?

  15. T.J.

    I am a firm believer that one is entitled to his or her own opinion but not his or her own facts. Apparently Paul Ryan feels that he is entitled to his own facts.

    Barry feels that the “liberal media” is “deciding” to call certain things lies. Fortunately, fact and fiction can be weighed in a neutral manner. Something that can be demonstrated as false is a lie. Something that has some factual basis can either be true or half true.

    In order to make a rhetorical point, Paul Ryan lied. Some things he said were completely factually inaccurate. No media bias, no nothing. Flat out, untrue.

    I give the media credit for calling it out and calling what it is. Some outlets suggested the lies were merely “factual shortcuts”. Let’s call a spade a spade.

    I hope the media provides the same level of fact checking and dedication to truth when it comes to the Dems Convention.

    Politicians will only stop lying to us when we start demanding the truth.

    I am not criticizing in a partisan manner. Many parts of Paul Ryan’s speech were utter fabrications. Liar, liar, pants on fire. I am sure I will have the same thing to say of the President or Joe Biden in coming speeches.

  16. Brad

    Well, Mark, I was going to one-up you by finding a quick answer to the lapel-pin question, and all I found was a lot of people raising the same question, but no answer.

    Here’s a blurry image of it apparently grabbed from the video.

    I looked at it pretty hard on the video above, which has decent resolution. It appears to be a star superimposed over the stripes of an American flag. The five points of the star appear to be golden-metallic in color, while the pentagon (pentagram?) in the center appears to be red.

    But it’s hard to tell. And I have no idea what it means.

  17. Brad

    And how about that Scott Walker crying thing?

    I’ve seen people get worked up on the convention floor. I actually saw tears on the faces of Democrats when Dukakis was giving his acceptance speech in 1988, which REALLY defied belief for me. Maybe they were seeing how it was going to turn out, but beyond that I never saw Dukakis as the sort of guy to stir strong emotions in anybody.

    Lincoln maybe. Teddy Roosevelt perhaps. Maybe FDR, or JFK. Some found Reagan stirring. But Dukakis? Or Ryan?

    And at the moment when the camera focused on Walker’s tears, Ryan wasn’t saying anything particularly meaningful. It was just pretty much standard rah-rah boilerplate campaign hooey. Just before the frame of Walker above, he had said this:

    “When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, ‘Let’s get this done’ – and that is exactly, what we’re going to do.”

    What about that would stir a grown man to tears? Aside from the fact that it’s wonderfully vague? Is that the key? That it invites you to imagine that the “this” that is to get done is whatever you most fondly hope for?

    I just don’t know how to get into the head of a true believer, how they feel or why they feel that way.

  18. Brad

    The only other time I went to a convention was to the Republican one in 2004, and I had a different experience because I was standing right next to Mark Sanford. And far from getting tears in his eyes as W. accepted the nomination, Sanford kept making ironic remarks about all the excited party faithful around him.

    At one point he leaned over to me to say, in his usual casual tone, “I don’t know if you’ve read that book, Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds . . ..”

    I’ve said a lot of critical things about Sanford over the years, but at that moment, his utter failure to be impressed matched my own.

  19. Lynn T

    “At one point he leaned over to me to say, in his usual casual tone, “I don’t know if you’ve read that book, Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds . . ..”

    That has to be the most intelligent Sanford quote I’ve ever read. My appraisal of his intelligence just went up a few points. My assessment of his ability to govern, not so much.

  20. Steven Davis II

    @Kathryn – You want made up statements, wait until Biden and Obama get on stage. They’re going to make it sound like the country is doing extremely well.

  21. Tom Stickler

    Let’s get back on track here about Ryan’s speech and let others speculate about lapel pins, OK?

    I suspect that we have a few invincibly ignorant folks here… who don’t have the knowledge to detect many of Ryan’s blatant lies. The pity is that too many of our pundits and alleged journalists lack the integrity to call Ryan on his lies, preferring to focus on style that blows some light-weights out of the water.

  22. Steve Gordy

    While it’s certainly possible to make a valid critique about Obama’s lack of private sector experience, let’s not forget that Ryan’s total post-college private sector experience was about one year working in a restaurant in D.C. after his boss (former Wisconsin Sen. Bob Kasten) was voted out of office. I guess he decided it was better to hang out in a Washington restaurant than to go home to Janesville.

  23. bud

    Political conventions are mostly about bashing the other party without offering much in the way of substance. Sometimes there are some memorable and entertaining moments. Sarah Palin’s speech in 2008, Ted Kennedy’s in 1980, Obama’s in 2004 come to mind. This year’s GOP convention failed to offer anything that will be remembered come Labor Day. And some speeches just plain bombed. Chris Christie in particular fell about as flat as any convention speech in modern memory. Senator Rubio was not much better. Since when is one’s biography a useful subject for a political speech. Perhaps a few stories of ones family struggles is a nice anecdotal lead-in but seriously these guys came across as ego maniacs. Clint Eastwood is seriously showing his age. Ryan’s speech was stunning for it’s mendacity even by political convention speech standards. Haven’t seen Mitt’s yet. Perhaps Ann Romneys was the best but was pretty mediocre. Still for a non-professional she did ok.

  24. Mark Stewart

    So, clearly, Tom doesn’t do archness.

    The problem with the bottom line analysis is that most people get that Ryan just about outright lied in his speech. And don’t particularly care.

    Spinning is an offensive game; if you spend your time refuting nonsensical “facts” more than once you only sink your own boat.

  25. bud

    Spinning is an offensive game; if you spend your time refuting nonsensical “facts” more than once you only sink your own boat.

    To a certain extent that’s true. But the Ryan speech took “spinning” to a different level. Most political speeches involve a certain amount of embelishment, distortion and selective facts and to waste much time on those is pretty pointless. But the Ryan speech was so recklessly and flagrantly mendacious that to simply pass it off as political spin is playing into the hands of the Republicans. Kerry tried to ignore or downplay the Swiftboaters and he got eaten alive, and it probably cost him the election.

    In this case the Obama team needs to hit back and hard. Payback is hell and next week the Democrats have the opportunity to quickly and completely slam Ryan and Romney for their dishonesty.

  26. bud

    Here’s how the Democrats should play defense by utilizing a good offense to attack Ryan. Obama or one of his minions could say something like this:

    Congressman Ryan and Governor Romney have spent a great deal of time and energy distorting my position on Medicare. That’s because their plan will end Medicare as we know it and they don’t want the American people to know the truth. So let’s set the record straight so we can have an honest debate about what’s at stake. The changes my administration has made to Medicare actually improve the program by closing the prescription benefit donut hole and by cutting unnecessary waste. The Ryan/Romney plan will actually gut the program and make seniors pay significantly more for less coverage. I find that approach a reckless intrusion into a successful program that has served to provide excellent healthcare coverage for 10s of millions of Americans since the 1960s. We cannot allow this to happen. Our senior citizens deserve better than this and I will work tirelessly to see that they get the quality and affordable care that they deserve.

    In addition my plan works to make the system solvent for decades to come. By going after wasteful practices benefits will not be cut under the affordable health care act but great savings will work to extend make the program more sustainable. I welcome the opportunity to have this debate because the facts are on our side and our plan is on the side of the American people.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *