Don’t Look, Mom!

Just last month, Paul Ryan was telling us how proud he was of his mother.

Today, I wonder just how proud she is of her son.

Right before our very eyes, day by day, interview by interview, campaign speech by campaign speech, Paul Ryan’s character is shrinking.

At this rate, what’s left of it on November 6 wouldn’t make a meal for a titmouse.

Look, I know that Paul Ryan had some trouble with the truth before he hooked up with the Olympian Liar Mitt Romney. But it is sort of sad to see Mr. Ryan, eagerly and willingly, offer up what integrity he did possess as a sacrifice for becoming Vice Vulture to a possible Vulture Capitalist-in-Chief.

Take, for yet another instance, what happened to Ryan on CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday. Since he became the VP pick, Ryan, echoing Romney, has been running around the country (not at record pace, though) telling folks that President Obama wants to slash a trillion bucks out of our defense budget. But finally Ryan—who voted for those threatened defense cuts himself— faced a journalist armed with, uh, the facts.

Norah O”Donnell began the subject of defense cuts with this:

O’DONNELL: Let’s talk about some of the cuts that have been agreed to. Mitt Romney said in an interview on NBC that Republicans were wrong to agree to a deal last summer that included automatic cuts to defense spending in exchange for this agreement to raise the debt ceiling. He said it was big mistake by Republicans.

He’s talking about you because you voted for those cuts, correct?

Before I let Ryan answer, lets review. There were 174 House Republicans, including Paul Ryan, who voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which was a settlement of the ridiculous fight Republicans started over the debt ceiling. A bipartisan “super committee” was established and charged with coming up with $1.2 trillion in budget cuts or else across-the-board cuts in defense and entitlements, amounting to $1.2 trillion, would begin to happen after the end of this year.

Because Mitt Romney wants to stick those threatened across-the-board defense cuts around President Obama’s neck, he has had to also criticize Republicans for voting for the legislation that would allow the cuts to begin to happen, if there is no agreement before then.

Now, here’s Ryan’s response to O’Donnell’s question:

RYAN: I did, you know why I voted for it? Because I was working to find common ground with Democrats to get a down payment on deficit reduction.

I worked with President Obama to find common ground to get a down payment on deficit reduction. It wasn’t a big down payment but it was a step in the right direction…

Mr. Ryan then tried to deflect by bringing up Bob Woodward’s new book and once more referenced the “devastating defense cuts that are now coming due,” but O’Donnell pressed:

O’DONNELL: Congressman, these defense cuts are part of the Budget Control Act. You voted for the Budget Control Act. In fact I went and looked. You put out a statement at the time it was passed and you called it a victory, and you called it a positive step forward.

So, you voted for defense cuts. And now you’re criticizing the president for those same defense cuts that you voted for and called a victory.

RYAN: No, no, I have to correct you on this, Norah. I voted for a mechanism that says a sequester will occur if we don’t cut $1.2 trillion spending in government. We offered $1.2 trillion in various — the super committee offered it. We passed in the House a bill to prevent those devastating defense cuts by cutting spending elsewhere. The senate’s done nothing. President Obama’s done nothing…

Blah, blah, blah. But Ryan soon gives the game away with this admission:

RYAN: The goal was never that these defense cuts actually occur, the goal is that we get to work and cut spending so that we prevent those defense cuts. We’ve done that. The president hasn’t.

Ah. Finally the truth, or at least yesterday’s version of it, emerges, albeit via journalistic pressure: “The goal was never that these defense cuts actually occur.”

Fortunately, there are folks, sometimes we call them journalists, who pay attention to this stuff, especially when a politician once bragged about the cuts he is now criticizing. From Talking Points Memo:

Despite Ryan’s new attack, he not only voted for the bill containing the cuts, he went out of his way to tout just how difficult it is to undo them.

What conservatives like me have been fighting for, for years, are statutory caps on spending, legal caps in law that says government agencies cannot spend over a set amount of money,” Ryan told FOX News’s Sean Hannity shortly after the agreement was reached last August. “And if they breach that amount across the board, sequester comes in to cut that spending, and you can’t turn that off without a super-majority vote. We got that in law.”

We got that in law.” “We” did it. We. You know, we conservatives.

You see, Paul Ryan, speaking to folks these days, hopes they don’t find out that just a year ago he was sitting in Sean Hannity’s lap telling Baby Jesus how wonderful it was that across-the-board defense cuts—”sequester”—represented good conservative governance.

And Ryan, good Catholic boy that he is, hopes his dear mother isn’t watching, as he sows the countryside with lies designed to produce a Romney presidency. Liquidating one’s personal integrity is messy business, the kind most moms wouldn’t be all that proud of.




  1. King Beauregard

     /  September 10, 2012

    Here’s another one Paul Ryan’s mom probably wouldn’t be proud of:

    Does this scene look familiar? It should; you’ve seen it in a hundred movies. This is the scene that shows you who the bad guy is (the worm-like politician), so you will root against him and cheer when he finally gets his comeuppance.


  2. Yellow Dog

     /  September 10, 2012

    Woof. The Ryan guy looks like Eddie Munster.


  3. There is growing anxiety among conservative pundits that Romney is waging a losing campaign. The plan to blame Obama for the still struggling economy, offer vague job growth solutions and carpet
    bomb swing states with negative ads is in serious trouble: You can only win with a four corners/beat the clock offense if you’re ahead. And the base won’t allow Romney to edge back to the center, denying him the luxury of appearing moderate on social policy issues.

    Romney has to win Ohio to have a shot at breaking 270 electoral votes — this assumes he can keep Florida, Wisconsin and Virginia in the GOP column. While Ryan’s selection kept wary right-wingers in line, the young man’s propensity to lie about everything is fueling negative media attention at a time when Romney is struggling to stage manage his own storied history of reinventing reality. And now Mark Halperin, usually a sympathetic ear to Republican Party talking points, is upset over a TV ad that used his image and voice without permission. It’s one thing to covertly support the ticket through “both sides do it” journalism, but it’s hard for Halperin to maintain the thin veneer of professional objectivity when his own words are appropriated for partisan purposes.

    Assuming President Obama does not appear in black beret with red star during the debates, I can’t see Romney scoring enough points to regain lost ground. Since he has no plan to jump start the economy or any rational explanation why “Obamacare” is god awful but “Romneycare” adheres to time-honored “severe” conservative principles, the debates may well render the GOP’s voter suppression ruse a useless exercise.


    • Jed Lewison adds more insight into why Romney is in big trouble. This paragraph is especially insightful:

      “For professional conservatives, the only thing more important
      than winning the 2012 presidential election is not getting blamed for losing it. And as much as they might be disappointed by a Romney defeat this November, the thing that would actually crush their souls would be if Romney were to lose and their ideas were assigned the blame. Better to throw him under the bus now, even if it means he’s less likely to win, than to suffer that fate.”


      • John,

        That is exactly what is going on. Ingraham and Limbaugh, prior to Romney’s crass attack on Obama over the Cairo embassy statement, were all over his ass and setting the stage for conservatives to once again blame others for their own failures. The mantra always is, “Conservatism has not been tried and found wanting; it has just never been tried.”

        Thanks for pointing out Lewison’s piece.



    • John,

      I am very superstitious about these things. People ask me all the time if I think Obama will win. Won’t go there. I am fearful that he will lose, even though I can see the polls, too. I see the battleground states and how difficult it is for Romney to gain any traction there, but I refuse to admit that Obama is ahead. I fear I will put a curse on him, even though I don’t believe in curses!

      As for Halperin, if I had any hair left on top of my head, it would be fair game whenever I see him on the TV box talking his “both sides” bullshit.



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