The Plan Behind the Rhetoric…

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto is a policy analyst and part-time dungeon master. When not talking endlessly about matters of public policy, he is a dungeon master on the NWN World of Avlis

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24 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    It was an impressive speech politically. It was also remarkable for how bald facedly dishonest it was, he pretty much was daring anyone to refute him on them. It will be truely fascinating to see if the Dems can actually rise to meet his challenge without losing points on tone or making voters tune out from boredom. If they lose to this kind of strategy I imagine you’re going to see an impressive downturn in the level of discourse in national politics.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      I, for one, am impressed that Jason wrote a post yesterday about Ryan’s speech before Ryan even gave it!Report

    • Avatar Scott Fields says:

      I agree a response to such blatant lying (not by just Ryan, BTW) will be an interesting challenge to the Dems.

      I’m also curious to see how the press decides to respond. This is new territory for the He Said/She Said paradigm.Report

    • Avatar The Left says:

      Given that rising and quietly walking out of a room (by Dems) represents an Assault On Civilization, I shudder to think what will become of us when someone says openly that Paul Ryan was lying.Report

      • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

        It’s a premeditated disruption of the event no matter how you play with the words to minimize it. You keep proving my point—you think you have a right to disrupt what you don’t agree with. “Civility” and “civilization” have the same root, and yes, it is an assault on it.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          Do we not have a right to disrupt that which we do not agree with?Report

          • Avatar Chris says:

            The right to free speech means the right to be heard by everyone. Therefore, not listening (which is what leaving amounts to) is a violation of free speech. Also, my not being at your commencement was a violation of her freedom of speech speech. It was also a violation of her freedom of speech that Kim Jung Il wasn’t there. Continuing on, it was also a violation of her freedom of speech that John Duns Scotus wasn’t there to hear her either. Jesus hears everything, so he wasn’t violating her rights in any way, except her right to privacy by listening in and watching everything she does, but the right to privacy is a liberal judicial activist invention, so Jesus is cool.Report

  2. Avatar Ethan Gach says:

    Like, for realz, this is a whole new kind of denialism.

    It was one thing when, four years ago, both candidates were talking about what they would do.

    It’s a whole other thing when, today, we can actually look at the last four years (and 12) and say what did happen.Report

  3. Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

    As something of a boundary pusher myself, I am kind of attracted to the idea of just straight-up lying to see what you can get away with. My favorite is the GM plant one, where he blamed Obama for a plant that closed in 2008. That’s amazing.Report

  4. Avatar Ethan Gach says:

    Am I the only one that thinks if we moved national politics back towards being Party oriented, this kind of stuff would take on less importance, becuase instead of lies about people, which I think are more easily believed, cause you’re already predisposed either to trust or mistrust someone like, say, Obama, we’d be talking about policy, or at least principles.

    As the GOP has gotten more specific in it’s argument against the Dems, they’ve actually lied more and more. Perhaps it’s time to go back to abstract “big gov/social empowerment v.s. small gov/individualism” type debates. At least there the worst you can do is reason poorly, rather than outright contradict reality.Report

    • Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

      I think more explicitly partisan-oriented government would be all around better. The closer we can get to a pure parliamentary system, the better.Report

      • Avatar Ethan Gach says:


        Perhaps after the second civil war.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        The big problem is not that we are partisan but the Congressional system as mandated by the Constitution is not really meant to handle this kind of extreme partisanship.

        Maybe a lot of people cheer this kind of gridlock but I do not and from what I know about your politics, you probably do not as well.

        Parisan-oriented government works in Parliamentary system because the minority has no option but to complain on the media (without being able to gum up anything in the legislature). And Parliaments lend more towards multi-party systems that will form coalition governments.

        Congress lends itself to having two parties. I am not sure how it would work with four or five parties without anyone having a clear majority.Report

    • Avatar CK MacLeod says:

      What you’re seeing is, or at least is argued to be, that very movement toward partisanship you advocate. The defenders of Republican tactics- there are a few who frequent the site – are quite happy with their Colbert-truthiness because it expresses, or is felt to express, the theoretically more important theoretical truth that a vote for the Rs is a vote for “conservatism,” and a vote for the Ds is a vote for “liberalism.”Report

      • Avatar James H. says:

        CK, no, it’s not really partisan because it doesn’t strengthen the party organization structure. It’s ideological, for which we often use the word partisan as a substitute. But the two words really mean different things.Report

    • Avatar James H. says:

      Agreed, Ethan. Much of this is a consequence of personality-centered politics.Report

  5. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    In essence, this budget is Robin Hood in reverse — on steroids. It would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history

    Couldn’t even get through the first bullet point without a lie, huh?Report

    • Avatar Scott Fields says:

      With all due respect, Brandon, this rebuttal would carry more weight if it wasn’t a mere assertion. Robert Greenstein backs up this statement with some pretty thorough data. Could you refute his data or present some of your own before calling this a lie?

      I’d be particularly interested in your take on the CBO analysis indicating the Ryan budget would shrink the federal government so that most of what it does outside of Social Security, health care, and defense would be cut to a minimum. The math is pretty basic. Besides, is this not the point of government limited to only its core, Constitutional functions? For conservatives and libertarians, isn’t this a feature of the Ryan budget and not a bug? Isn’t distribution of income to the top a pre-requisite for the booming economy that will lead to greater incomes trickling down to every other quintile?

      What I’m trying to understand is, if there is high confidence that the Romney/Ryan Path to Prosperity will deliver the results that it promises, why is it necessary to misrepresent what it will do?Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

        Reducing the amount of downward redistribution the government does not constitute an upward redistribution of income. Under Ryan’s plan, the government will still be doing quite a bit of downward redistribution both as cash transfers and as in-kind services. To say that Ryan’s plan would produce a redistribution from the bottom to the top is a lie.Report

        • Avatar Scott Fields says:

          Fine. The net result of the enactment of Romney and Ryan’s preferred tax policies would be a different distribution of income than exists in the status quo and a distribution that leaves more of the top’s income in their own hands, but if “redistribution” is a loaded term, you may call it whatever you wish.

          My question remains, if you’re confident a distribution of income that leaves more of the top’s income in their own hands is what will deliver the promised land of sustained, robust growth that will redound to the benefit of all, why is the Romney camp wailing that it is unfair to characterize their tax policy as disproportionally favoring the rich? Why is it “You’re lying when you say that Romney wants tax cuts for billionaires over government programs that serve the poor” instead of “Hell yes, billionaires are going to end up with a lot more money, that’s the point. That’s how we will grow the economy.”?Report

  6. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    First sentence should be: Reducing the amount of downward redistribution the government does does not constitute an upward redistribution of income.Report