Both major political parties — to be sure — prevaricate, bend the truth, fabricate and distort.
Well, let’s face it. They just, plain lie.
But, in his speech to the Republican convention Wednesday night, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan turned lying into an art form.
Recently, a Super PAC supporting President Barack Obama’s campaign falsely intimated in a video that GOP candidate Mitt Romney had caused the death of a woman with cancer by virtue of his former company, Bain Capital, closing a plant where the woman worked.
While the ad was not produced by the Obama campaign, the conservative media had a field day crying foul, just as it did when Vice President Joe Biden made an ad-lib remark in a speech that Republicans repealing Wall Street reform would put voters “back in chains.”
It’s fair to say that in both instances, the Democrats had it coming when it came to criticism.
But a speech such as Ryan’s at the convention is in a different category. Knowing that there will be millions of people watching, every word is vetted over and over again by the campaign. Every nuance, every inflection of each syllable is practiced and rehearsed.
Which is why it was no accident when Ryan told these whoppers:
• Talking about Obama: “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.”
Ryan was ON that commission, voted AGAINST its proposal and lobbied other members of his party to do the same. Thus, there was no report for Obama to reject.
• Referring to a speech Obama made in February 2008 when touring a General Motors plant in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisc., Ryan insinuated that it closed on Obama’s watch: “Candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.’ That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day.”
That plant closed later that same year, under George W. Bush, before Obama even took office.
• Ryan castigated what the Republicans are calling Obama’s cuts to Medicare, neglecting to mention that the same cuts were in Paul Ryan’s own budget.
• Ryan blamed the president for the S&P’s downgrading the national debt, instead of Republicans who threatened to refuse to raise the debt ceiling.
On Monday, Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said: “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”
Certainly not when callously counting upon voters not knowing you’re lying can win you an election.