Paul Ryan Delivers a Great Lie
yScott Galindez, Reader Supported News
Paul Ryan delivering his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. (photo: AP)
s I sat and watched Paul Ryan deliver his address to the Republican National Convention, I tried to view it from the perspective of someone who doesn't know much about Paul Ryan. What I was looking for was how the speech would play to voters who only start paying attention during the political conventions. I was also listening for the sound bites that would energize different voting blocs.
If this had been my introduction to Paul Ryan, I would have been impressed. He painted himself as an intelligent, passionate guy who wants to put Americans back to work. I thought he was someone I'd like to work with, or have a beer with. He seemed like the kind of guy I would be proud to call my son. If I were a senior, I would trust him to protect my Medicare. If I didn't know that the Republicans had refused to compromise on anything over the last four years, I would be blaming everything on Obama too.
If I didn't already know what he really stands for, I might even think Paul Ryan would make a good Vice President.
Was the Speech Effective?
When Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan, I knew what he stood for, but I really had no idea if he was a good campaigner. I wondered if he could deliver a good stump speech. He delivered last night, and gained my respect as a campaigner. If Mitt Romney weren't speaking tonight, I would expect a nice bump for the GOP based on Ryan's performance. The Democrats can look at Ryan as an easy target, but had better not get overly confident - Ryan is a skilled, shrewd politician, not a pushover.
So, I'm probably making you a little nervous. You might be thinking I'm giving Ryan a glowing review. He was articulate, he inspired his base, he resonated with swing voters. The problem, however, is that he went first, and he lied. The Democrats will have four days next week to change people's impressions. Ryan said what Americans want to hear; he painted a picture of himself that does not resemble his record.
Paul Ryan's Achilles' heel has always been his plan to privatize Medicare. Ryan's plan would turn Medicare into a voucher program. But if you listened to him last night, you would think he is the great protector of Medicare and that Obama was raiding it to pay for his other programs. Instead of trying to defend Ryan's plan, the Republican ticket has decided to go on the offense and accuse Obama of deep cuts to Medicare. The problem once again is that they are lying. Obama did cut a controversial program that gave money to private insurance companies to cover seniors instead of giving them Medicare coverage. There was money shifted from payments to hospitals as a result of a deal with those hospitals who will be benefiting from other parts of Obama Care. There were not the massive cuts to Medicare that Romney and Ryan seem to be focusing their campaign on.
Did he really go there? Obama has been credited with saving the auto industry. So instead of trying to avoid the issue, Paul Ryan decided to tell another big lie to change people's perceptions: Ryan accused Obama of failing to keep an auto plant in his hometown open. The problem is that the plant closed one month before Obama took office.
Paul Ryan gave a great speech. It remains to be seen if voters will continue to view him as a smart guy they admire and would love to work with, or as a snake oil salesman who delivered a great lie.
Scott Galindez was formerly the co-founder of Truthout, and is now the Political Director of Reader Supported News.
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