PRyan gave quite the speech last night, didn’t he? Sure, we could quibble about details, about which parts of the speech were “true,” which were “grossly misleading,” and which were “completely made up,” but hey girl, just look into little Paulie’s eyes and you’ll know the truth in his soul. All this talk about “facts” and “objective reality” is cool, or whatever, but it’s not going to get the black welfare cheat out of the White House any faster, is it?
There’s a lot of chattering about the “Janesville lie,” which for Ryan and the Wingnuts seems to be that Obama said he would keep the GM factory in Janesville, WI open and didn’t do it (what he said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years.”), and for everybody who actually lives in the real world is the fact that the plant closed before Obama took office so, you know, how exactly was he supposed to stop it? The nutters are trying several lines out in an effort to make Ryan’s lie true; human boil Ari Fleischer went with the idea that, even though the plant stopped taking new orders while Bush was in office, a few workers did stay on into Obama’s term to complete the last batch of work at the plant so technically… The slightly less stupid Bush went with “That’s exactly — those were the words Barack Obama used. It was a campaign promise and it is yet another campaign promise unfulfilled.” He was echoed by Megan McArdle, whose gastritis may or may not be reflected here:
Ryan is clearly saying that Obama didn’t live up to campaign promise, which is true.
— Megan McArdle (@asymmetricinfo) August 30, 2012
I’m not sure what “campaign promise” she’s talking about. Again, here’s what Obama said in 2008 that Ryan quoted: “I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years.” I’m struggling to figure out if I’ve ever seen another “promise” formulated to begin with the phrase “I believe that if,” but I have to say I’m coming up snake-eyes on this roll.
But at least Megan didn’t alter the quote. Check out this place, Twitcher or something:
In other words, everything Paul Ryan said was true: He pointed to Obama’s own lofty promises about the plant being open for the next “100 years” if he were elected and contrasted it with the reality of a shuttered factory locked up and empty to this day. It was Obama who lied to Janesville workers. Ryan told America the truth.
Nicely done, totally rewriting the first part of his conditional. He didn’t say anything about “if he were elected,” he said “if our government is there to support you,” which at the time was, wait, not Obama, it was the guy before Obama, the one the Republicans won’t talk about anymore. What was his name again?
Eventheliberal Buzzfeed jumped into the fray, via Andrew Kaczynski, who tweeted:
Obama commenting on the GM’s plant closure twice in 2008, said he would help “re-tool” the closed plant. buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynsk…
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) August 30, 2012
…which links to a piece that quotes Obama twice saying that we need to retool plants like Janesville. I’m fairly certain that the word “like” has some important grammatical role in that sentence there, but maybe Andrew can set me straight. Obama, not being the secret lord and master of General Motors, despite what the wingnuts claim about the auto bailout, wouldn’t be involved in decisions about which plants to retool and which to leave idle, right? So “plants like Janesville,” well, that actually sounds about right, doesn’t it?
This is such a tiny lie in a vast sea of lies, and in the scope of a presidential campaign the fate of one idle GM plant isn’t really worth the time that’s being devoted to it. But the thing is, if Ryan will so blatantly lie about something that is of a vastly smaller scale than, say, tax reform or Medicare, why should anyone believe him when he’s talking about anything else?