A long time ago, in a make-believe land, this conversation took place.
The Blue Fairy: You must learn to choose between right and wrong.
Pinocchio Ryan: Right and wrong? But how will I know?
Jiminy Cricket: [watching] How’ll he know!
The Blue Fairy: [to
Pinocchio Ryan] Your conscience will tell you.
Pinocchio Ryan: What are conscience?
Jiminy Cricket: What are conscience! I’ll tell ya! A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to. That’s just the trouble with the world today…
Pinocchio Ryan: Are you my conscience?
Jiminy Cricket: Who, me?
It appears that Paul Ryan never did find out what a conscience is or, if he did, he has no use for one. He took the stage last night at the Republican National Lie-Fest and repeated every lying talking point that Republicans have been pushing for the last year.
Dan Amira could not have worded it better in stating that Paul Ryan is betting on the ignorance of America to sell his story.
Paul Ryan has a reputation as a nerdy budget wonk, but tonight in his RNC speech, he transformed into an attack dog. Running the gamut on the many, varied transgressions of President Obama — including the stimulus, the jobs crisis, ObamaCare, the debt, Medicare, and, obviously, “You didn’t built that” — Ryan had the crowd laughing, booing, and frequently showering him with piercingly loud standing ovations thanks to a slew of pitch-perfect applause lines. While this is just a hunch, we expect that his focus on Obama’s inability to adequately revive the economy probably hit home with a lot of moderate voters. In short, it was, without a doubt, the best, most effective speech of the convention.
It was also appallingly disingenuous and shamelessly hypocritical.
And then there’s this little fact which turns out to be what the entire Romney/Ryan campaign of dishonesty hinges upon.
But here’s the thing: Most of the millions of people who watched the speech on television tonight do not read fact-checks or obsessively consume news fifteen hours a day, and will never know how much Ryan’s case against Obama relied on lies and deception. Ryan’s pants are on fire, but all America saw was a barn-burner.
If you didn’t hear the speech, Amira has a long list of Ryan’s lies including his claim that Obama and the stimulus were responsible for a plant closing in Ohio…in December 2008! This was a month before Barack Obama took office and a bunch of months before the stimulus was passed.
If Jiminy Cricket was referring to conservatives and Republicans, he was right. They stopped listening to their conscience a long time ago and it’ll be evident again tonight in even grander fashion when Romney takes the stage.
(The Paul Ryan source photograph is a Creative Commons licensed image from photographer Gage Skidmore.)