Taking down the flimflam man
Paul Ryan is a liar. He lies glibly about even the most unimportant things, like the time he ran in a long-ago marathon. Moreover, his math doesn't add up.
One or two observers of the political scene have had the prescience to point this out repeatedly over the past few years. For their efforts, they have been derided and verbally abused by the Very Serious Pundits of the Washington Beltway. But those truth tellers have been right all along and, recently, a few of the much-maligned (and richly deserved, too!) mainstream media have begun to notice that Ryan is really, as Paul Krugman famously dubbed him, a "flimflam man" and to actually point out his prevarications and lack of substance.
Then, of course, there was that little debate last night where Vice President Joe Biden repeatedly called him out on his lies and essentially laughed him off the stage. I didn't actually watch the debate, but I did check in on the live-blogging of it throughout the hour-and-a-half and it was obvious even from that that Biden was enjoying himself.
Today, I've followed the news reports of it and read several of the analyses, most of which, it must be admitted, are colored by the writer's political views. Still, it is apparent that Biden firmly and vigorously defended Democratic principles in which I believe, and I am very grateful for that. All that I really require of my politicians is that they stand up for the things that are important to me and that they tell the truth, and, very importantly, that they don't let their opponents get away with telling bald-faced lies!
I hope that President Obama will take a page from Biden's book in his next two debates. His is a very different personality from Biden, more introverted and thoughtful, and that's okay. I don't expect him to be otherwise. I do expect him to have the courage of his convictions and to fight for what he believes in and to remember that when your opponent is out to destroy everything that you have struggled so hard to achieve, it's not really necessary to be polite to him.
In the meantime, thank you, Joe Biden, for showing how to deal with the flimflam man. As Charles Pierce of Esquire wrote today:
For years, Paul Ryan has been the shining champion of some really terrible ideas, and of a dystopian vision of the political commonwealth in which the poor starve and the elderly die ghastly, impoverished deaths, while all the essential elements of a permanent American oligarchy were put in place. This has garnered him loving notices from a lot of people who should have known better. The ideas he could explain were bad enough, but the profound ignorance he displayed on Thursday night on a number of important questions, including when and where the United States might wind up going to war next, and his blithe dismissal of any demand that he be specific about where he and his running mate are planning to take the country generally, was so positively terrifying that it calls into question Romney's judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all. Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch.
You know what's the difference between Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan?
Lipstick.Well said. They are both flimflam people. No real substance there.