"Liar" - Built to Spill
Paul Ryan's speech last night left me sputtering with rage and indignation. I don't think I've ever heard so many lies in any major address in my lifetime. (I see Jonathan Cohn concurs.) It was brazen, mind-boggling, Nixonian stuff. (I actually wrote this before I read Pierce's masterful -- and frightening -- take on the zombie-eyed granny starver.)
I couldn't even manage to write about it as it left me in a total funk -- especially as soon as I heard some of the television commentary extolling its effectiveness.
I was gratified to see that my reaction was pretty much standard today among those not in thrall to ugly right wing politics. Post after post after post hammered the essential mendacity of the Ryan speech. The question in my mind though is to what degree this will be information disseminated to and absorbed by the low-information voters who likely form the small but decisive group of undecided voters.
Michael Tomasky pretty much captures my impressions and concerns:
I don’t know how well Ryan came across in this speech with undecided voters, if they watched. My guess would be very well indeed with men, rather less well but still respectably with women. It was mostly a speech for the hall, the red-meaters, but that bit toward the end, about the faded Obama posters in the kids’ bedrooms, and where he looked right into the camera and said, “If you’re feeling left out or passed by, you have not failed, your leaders have failed you,” was aimed at swing voters and probably reached them. And I’m sure that to old people who don’t know any better, he looks like a nice young man.
Ryan is not a nice young man. He's a vicious, mendacious, right wing prick. The question is whether the media can actually fact check someone who is so willing to lie shamelessly, a characteristic he shares with the prick at the top of the ticket.
I suspect that the Obama campaign is going to have to do the media's job for it and launch sustained attacks on Ryan's veracity and destroy his undeserved reputation for "seriousness" among the Beltway elite. It will be a difficult task, but one that I think must be undertaken with grim purpose.
Update: Perhaps I am wrong -- it appears that even notoriously squishy members of the media like Wolf Blitzer and David Gregory have raised objections to Ryan's factually challenged presentation. That's fairly astonishing and does not bode well for the Romney camp.
Alright, I am hanging around on jury duty and should be writing a brief instead of wasting time. But the allure of the intertubes is great.
Let me know what you think and what other reactions to the speech have caught your eyes.