Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – September 7, 2012

There is no question that the DNC convention speakers, headlined by President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro stated the party’s position as clearly as possible. One very clear point was made – the Teapublicans want to go back to a mythical past when all was well – well at least for some. Meanwhile, Paul Ryan clearly has an alias – Lyin’ Ryan. He seems to be a man who lies just to stay in practice. He can’t even tell the truth about his running time — and a lot more. Finally, with the presidential election less than 60 days away, it is clearly time for the talking heads/mouths that make a living being Obama naysayers to take a break – the stakes are just too high.

Back to the Future

Last week Julian Castro did a pretty fair imitation of Barack Obama circa 2004. Michelle Obama reminded everyone that she is an exceptional First Lady and all of a sudden talk of Michelle in 2016 started to circulate. Bill Clinton was exceptional in so many ways while Barack Obama reminded everyone why he has always been a very special President of the United States.

While it has been clear that the Romney-Ryan team seeks to go back to a future that is rooted in the past, it was important that the Democratic Party speakers make the point over and over again. Certainly Teapublicans will continue to serve up the same old stew while telling the American people that it is a new item on the menu.

This point was never clearer when it was revealed that 17 of the 24 members of the Romney-Ryan foreign policy team served in the Bush-Cheney administration. That would be the same administration that hoodwinked this country into a war in Iraq and the most dishonorable military disaster in American history.

This would be the same administration that botched the search for Osama bin Laden and mismanaged the military incursion in Afghanistan to the point that the United States is still mired there today. This would be the same administration that frayed and damaged this country’s international standing almost beyond repair.

One would think that serving on the foreign policy team of Bush-Cheney would be an immediate disqualifier. Not for the Romney-Ryan team. They want to go back to the future.

Lyin’ Ryan

Paul Ryan swings from hiding the truth to outright lies. As an example of the latter – he cites his mother taking public transportation every day to attend college to get a degree so that she could improve her professional career. He fails to point out that public transportation on public funded highways to attend college that receives state and federal funds forms an example of how and why government is important in the lives of all Americans. That would be the same governmental structure that he now seeks to dismantle.

As an example of the latter – Congressman Ryan states that he ran a marathon in 2 hours and 50 seconds. Fact checking soon revealed that he ran the referenced marathon in 4 hours and ten minutes – a credible time but nothing like the heroic time that he cited.
He said he forgot.

As someone who ran for thirty years I am very clear that any serious runner knows and remembers their running times in significant races – like a marathon. And no truthful runner could confuse a four hour marathon time with a less than three hour achievement.

It may seem like a small lie but it reveals a disturbing pattern in Mr. Ryan’s very real tendency to lie and misrepresent whenever it is convenient for him to do so.

The Vision Thing

During the past few years several talking heads and running mouths (Tavis Smiley and Cornel West come to mind as examples) have made not so small fortunes bad mouthing nearly everything that President Obama does and says. That is, of course, their constitutional right.

But after the sequence of the Republican and Democratic conventions it should be very clear that there are stark differences between the two candidates this time around. It is not exaggerating to suggest that a Teapublican victory would be catastrophic for many Americans while enriching and engorging a few very wealthy Americans.

One can only hope that these talking heads and running mouths will declare a two month cease fire rather than run the risk of becoming the 2012 version of Ralph Nader circa 2000.

Have a great weekend!

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