Bogus attacks on Paul Ryan provide disturbing window into liberal groupthink

Rep. Paul Ryan

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

Commentary’s Peter Wehner provides a thought-provoking must-read/call to arms against the bogus and despicable attacks Rep. Paul Ryan and others like him trying to tackle the poverty issue routinely receive from Democrat movers and shakers who would rather demagogue the issue for political gain than work together towards resolving it (hat tip):

And now, as Jonathan Tobin has written, comes the latest attempted mugging of Ryan, this time for what he said on Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” program last week. When discussing his forthcoming effort to combat poverty, the House Budget Committee chairman and 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate said this:

We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.

The left immediately attacked. Some, like Representative Barbara Lee, accused Ryan of mounting a “thinly veiled racial attack”–one that “cannot be tolerated.” Others, likeNew York Times columnist Paul Krugman, wrote that Ryan’s words amounted to a “racial dog whistle.”

These charges, and there are plenty of others like them, are grotesquely false. I have known Ryan since he was a colleague at Empower America in the 1990s. One of the reasons he was so close to both Bennett and Jack Kemp is because Ryan had a deep concern for those living in the shadows of society, including in America’s inner cities. He also believes Republicans have not focused enough on the problems plaguing the underclass. Both help explain his latest effort to offer conservative solutions to rising poverty.

[…]

Why are some liberals doing this? For one thing, they are intellectually exhausted. They know they cannot win the debate on the merits, and so they resort to ad hominemattacks. It is what some on the left instantaneously resort to. Mr. Krugman is a prime example of this. He is a man who seems to gain energy from nursing his political hatreds and takes delight in degrading political commentary. (The latter isn’t an easy achievement.)

But as Jonathan points out, there’s something more fundamental going on here. Liberals who have complicity in the problems plaguing America’s inner cities are attempting to make an honest conversation about poverty impossible. They are signaling that they intend to try to take out Republicans who want to address some of the root causes, the behavioral causes, of poverty.

The danger here is two-fold. One is that by promiscuously invoking racism when it doesn’t apply, they are draining the term of real meaning. Many people already have stopped, and many more will stop, paying attention when the term is so carelessly bandied about.

The other is that some on the left not only aren’t focusing on the institutions, policies, and individuals who are responsible for exacerbating poverty; they are actually building a protective wall around them. For them the villain isn’t, say, the ruinous public school systems in Chicago, Detroit, and D.C. that are destroying the lives and future of hundreds of thousands of kids; it’s Paul Ryan, who among other things supports school choice for inner-city parents. This is what large parts of liberalism have been reduced to: the praetorian guard of corrupt, poverty-creating institutions and organizations.

I’ve said many times before that if we were to have a true, honest, candid discussion about poverty in America – and people really woke up and started to listen and take notice – the liberal monopoly on so-called “victim” and “minority” groups would slowly unravel and then they’d really have to try and fight hard not only to explain their long-term complicity in continuing to (deliberately) support policies that keep Americans down and oftentimes dependent on government but also why they have reflexively tried to stifle the debate by throwing out the race/class card in response to every legitimate, good faith attempt by Republicans to join the discussion to try and help find solutions.

Liberals don’t want this debate.   At all. Period. Especially not in an election year where many vulnerable incumbents in key states across the country are on the ropes.  What this issue needs more than anything is sunlight by way of open dialogue and an all hands on deck approach to tackling the various problems that contribute to poverty.   Until that happens, the problem will remain and and no one wins.  This needs to change, and the sooner the better.

VIDEO: Rep. Paul Ryan delivers swoon-worthy smackdown at #IRS hearings

Baghdad Jim McDermott (D-WA) played the “blame yourselves and Bush” card to the conservative panelists testifying on the Hill today about being targeted by Obama’s IRS, and Rep. Ryan (R-WI) was having none of it. The Huffington Post sets it up (bolded emphasis added by me):

“The mistake here was that the staff organizing the organizations used the names of the organizations rather than the work they do and asked improper questions to figure that out,” McDermott said. “It’s clearly wrong. It was inept, stupid and a whole lot of other things. But let’s not get lost. During the Bush administration, liberal groups were targeted without any concern by Mr. Issa or anyone else on this committee. The Republicans were looking for a conspiracy where there isn’t one. Mr. Issa says ‘he can feel it in his gut’ that someone’s broken the law.”

“Just ask yourself which is more likely,” McDermott continued. “That mid-level employees overwhelmed by four-times as many applications as before made stupid, irresponsible shortcuts? Or that there is an administration-wide plot to take down community organizers. Let’s not forget that this happened under an IRS commissioner appointed by George Bush and was investigated by a Republican inspector general.

McDermott went on to say that while what happened was an “unfair” and “incredibly inconvenient” mistake, he reaffirmed that he had not “heard a single word” about which questions should be asked regarding tax-exempt requests.

“Anything else like the circus that’s happening in the Oversight committee or here is simply political theater,” McDermott said. “It is diverting attention from what we ought to be doing on this committee is re-writing the law if it’s wrong.”

Fox News Insider provides a brief recap of Ryan’s response:

The former vice presidential candidate was up next, and he pivoted from his planned questions to take on McDermott’s assertions. When he announced his departure, those in attendance at the hearing erupted into applause.

Ryan said a few weeks ago former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller told the committee that groups on the other side – identifying themselves by words like “organizing” and “progressive,” for instance – were not subjected to the same treatment.

John Eastman of the National Organization for Marriage told Ryan that he has proof that the IRS broke the law by leaking a list of the organization’s donors to a group that is opposed to their views. He said the group’s donors were then harassed.

“We have not heard any testimony that this is happening to groups that have the opposite views. So to suggest that these citizens are to blame for applying? I don’t understand how anyone can make that conclusion,” said Ryan.

What Ryan went down the panel of conservatives testifying and confirmed one by one what their accusations were against the IRS and what proof they had, which basically torched McDermott’s argument that this wasn’t politically motivated and was like the IRS’ alleged targeting of liberal groups under the Bush administration. My summary of his remarks, however, do not do them justice.  Please make sure to watch the video below:

I don’t care what anyone says. I’m d*mned to have a guy like Paul Ryan on our side.

Rep. McDermott was kinda right about one thing, I have to say. It was a bit like political theater today, except he was the actor, playing the role of “concerned politician” while Rep. Ryan was the head-shaking film critic panning the Washington Democrat’s awful and very unconvincing performance. Bravo, Mr. Ryan well done. Please continue to shame them, sir. Shame them all.

Rep. Paul Ryan

Nice try, Rep. McDermott, but Rep. Paul’s
got your number. (Photo via Reason.com)

Romney in West Chester, OH: Vote for love of country, not “revenge”

I watched this rally on C-SPAN last night and it was pretty danged epic, with a GOP all-star supporting cast and tons of people. Romney’s biggest crowd to date. The article says 30,000, other reports say between 15,000 and 18,000 per local law enforcement and the Secret Service. However, I read multiple sources say the overflow area couldn’t even hold all the “overflow” crowd” so I’d guess the numbers go even higher than the 18,000.

The presidential race returned to Ohio for the final push Friday as GOP challenger Mitt Romney held a massive rally in the Republican heartland north of Cincinnati and President Barack Obama cut a swath through central Ohio.

“The question of the election comes down to this: Do you want more of the same or do you want real change?” Romney said Friday night in West Chester Township. “I promise change, and I actually have a record of achieving it.”

Romney spoke to a crowd of 30,000, according to West Chester Fire Chief Tony Goller – making it the largest rally of the campaign, said Romney spokesman Chris Maloney.

Both candidates are trying to make up for campaign time lost to superstorm Sandy and deliver their final arguments to voters before Tuesday’s election.

Obama, in his first Ohio trip since Sandy struck the East Coast, said in Lima on Friday afternoon that the policies of previous Republican administrations didn’t work.

“Ohio, we’ve tried our ideas and they work,” he said. “We’ve tried the other folks’ ideas. They don’t work. The eight years before I took office, we tried their ideas. What did we get? We got falling incomes, record deficits … and an economic crisis that we’ve been cleaning up after ever since.”

[…]

Kid Rock opened the Romney event, which also included appearances by a lengthy list of top Republicans, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sens. John McCain and Marco Rubio, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“This is like having the Republican National Convention come here,” said Ohio Rep. Margaret Conditt of nearby Liberty Township. “All of the speakers that we saw in Tampa are here, except for Clint Eastwood, of course.”

[…]

“Candidate Obama promised to do so very much, but he has fallen so very short,” Romney said. “He was going to focus on jobs, then he focused on Obamacare, which killed jobs.”

Romney said that Obama asked voters to vote for revenge, but “I ask the American people to vote for love of country.”

Obama actually said, “Voting is the best revenge.”

Romney also promised to bring bipartisanship to Washington.

“If I’m elected – no, when I’m elected – president, I’m going to work with … men and women on both sides of the aisle who care about our country,” he said.

In case you missed it, here’s video of the rally – starting with Paul Ryan’s speech, and then Mitt Romney’s.

And an aerial video of the crowd.

Wowsers.

Three more days!!! Can’t believe we’re almost there. Deep breaths, y’all. Clear eyes, full hearts.

#VPDebate Video: Ryan smoothly blunts Biden’s 47% criticism, while crowd laughs

One of Ryan’s better lines of the night :)

Transcript:

REP. RYAN: And with respect to that [47%] quote, I think the vice president very well knows that sometimes the words don’t come out of your mouth the right way. (Laughter.)

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: But I always say what I mean.

In related news, it doesn’t sound like the Vice President’s attitude was a big hit with a key voting bloc last night: women. Oops.

#VPDebate: Biden should apologize for laughing especially during Ryan’s abortion answer (UPDATED)

Bombastic Joe outdid himself last night. Not only did he come across as rude, hostile, huffy, arrogant and obnoxious, but his repeated laughter and throwing his hands up in the air during last night’s debate (transcript) with Paul Ryan was undignified for the office of the vice presidency, and he and the Obama campaign should be ashamed – not celebrating – last night’s performance.  But coming off the heels of Obama’s lackluster, “professorial” debate performance against Mitt Romney last week, the Obama campaign – and the MSM – are delighted because Joe didn’t make any noticeable “gaffes”, even though he told a LOT of lies. So to them, that’s a “win” and they’re going to run with it.

Below, see what I think is the best summary of Biden’s attitude from last night.

He also laughed on the Libya issue, which was equally disgusting. These are serious matters that deserve a serious discussion. We didn’t get that from the sitting Vice President of the United States.

And below is the full debate for those of you who missed it.

I think Paul Ryan did a great job for someone in his first nationally televised debate and considering the two on one atmosphere he had to deal with from both Biden and the debate moderator (and Obama fan) Martha Raddatz. Raddatz, of course, is being praised by leftists this morning for her “fairness” but we all know what happened last night. I’ll say I thought the first fifteen minutes she did very well but after that it was downhill and it was clear she was going to let Biden talk more and badger Ryan more. She even seemed to take in stride the fact that at several points in the debate Biden was yelling at her.

The thing I believe Ryan could have done better was to push back on Joe Biden’s lies, but what impressed me was how Ryan got Biden on the defense quickly and for the first half hour or so Biden had to spend it defending O’Biden’s record rather thank attacking Romney and Ryan’s. My co-blogger disagrees with me on this particular point but I think Ryan did admirably on foreign policy, too, and what he missed will be taken care of by Mitt Romney in the next debate. It was during the foreign policy segments in particular that both the moderator and Biden wouldn’t let Ryan finish his answers and interrupted with more questions but he held his own. If he and Romney are elected and run for a second term, Ryan will need to be able to assert himself more without coming off like a condescending snob like Biden did.

The low point in the debate, and one I think sets a new low point for all VP debates in modern history, was when Biden laughed while Paul Ryan was giving a personal answer on the abortion question. Could he have possibly come across as more of a jerk than in that moment? He should really apologize for his attitude in the whole debate, but if not that then for that moment alone. It was a time for people to take deep breaths and share their personal stories without fear of being mocked, and Biden did not rise to the occasion.

(UPDATE 1 – 2:45 PM: I retract my above remarks about Biden laughing during Ryan’s abortion comments. Apparently what I heard was some other noise. A side by side frame video shows Biden did not laugh. My apologies.)

I saw that two or three media post-debate polls declared Ryan the winner, but the “undecideds” in the focus groups I watched last night were still undecided when all was said and done. What does this mean? Obama gained NO momentum from last night’s debate and Joe Biden failed to do his job in reversing the Obama downslide of the last week or so. But, as I said earlier, because he committed no noticeable “gaffes” – and because “showed emotion” against Ryan last night in a way that Obama did not against Romney – the MSM spins this as a “win.”

My personal opinion is that while neither of them hit it out of the ballpark, Ryan did what he had to do in terms of coming across as knowledgeable enough on the issues that should the unfortunate happen and he have to BE the President, he could handle it Not only that, but the person who looked like the mature adult on stage last night was not Joe Biden. It was Paul Ryan.

Make sure to watch the debate links above, read the transcript link above, and decide for yourself.

Phineas butts in: I thought Ryan was a little unsure of himself, or perhaps taken aback for a while by Joe’s initial “barroom boor” routine at the start of the debate, when foreign policy was covered. Some good points were lost when Joe would interrupt Ryan, and then the moderator would go on to the next topic, not letting Ryan finish his point. I count these as lost opportunities, something that can’t be recovered by Romney — you’ve got one shot and that’s it. On the other hand, I thought he finished strong and basically won the debate “on points.” But I more and more think the big takeaway will be Biden’s buffoonish behavior, and that won’t help the ticket. PJM’s Bryan Preston sums it up well, I think:

How to score this debate? Vice President Joe Biden was frequently irritating to the point of being obnoxious when he interrupted Ryan and even scolded Raddatz, demanding equal time when he consistently stayed a minute ahead on the talk clock. But he scored well when he went into compassionate voice mode. He never stepped on any landmines or dealt up any of the expected gaffes. Ryan held his own, but a time or two allowed the interruptions to halt him when he was about to make a good point. Raddatz learned the wrong lesson from the Jim Lehrer experience. The left accused Lehrer of allowing Romney to say too much. Raddatz consistently interrupted Ryan more often than Biden and consistently changed the subject just when it seemed Ryan would score. Ryan seemed to connect more often with the undecided voter, and never came across as undisciplined the way Biden came off more than once. Returning to the opening paragraph, Ryan presented himself as a knowledgeable and plausible vice president. Biden did far better than some expectations had set for him but did not, in my judgment, change the trajectory of the campaign. He did no real harm, but did not help appreciably either. The best he can hope for is that the poll slide his campaign has seen since the first debate will be slowed.

Paul Ryan wins it, narrowly, more narrowly than expected. Vice president probably brought his best game, but his best is often off-putting and even rude.

Update 2 – 2:57 From ST: Here’s a more complete video of all of Biden’s laughing moments.

#VPDebate PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: Joe Biden & debate prep team pose for picture

Hehehe ;)

Joe Biden's debate prep team?

Joe Biden’s debate prep team? via @sac148

As I said earlier this week, I am not making any predictions on winners or losers tonight, but you gotta admit it’s not outside the realm of possibility for him to have had Sesame Street characters for his debate team. Too bad Big Bird isn’t in the pic! ;)

Showtime between Biden and Paul Ryan is 9 Eastern Time. You can catch it on C-SPAN if you can’t get to a TV.  I’ll be live tweeting. :)

Awesome: @PaulRyanVP calls, tweets support to actress @REALStaceyDash after vicious backlash

I freaking love this:

Piers Morgan on his CNN show Tuesday night that her support for Mitt Romney has provoked some serious negative feedback.

The Clueless actress tweeted her political opinion on Sunday, writing: “Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future.”

She was immediately slammed with Tweets attacking her. One example: “Wait Stacey Dash is voting for Romney? You get a lil money and you forget that you’re black and a woman. Two things Romney hates.”

And one of the latest came from Samuel L. Jackson, who said, “Wait, did Stacey Dash Really endorse Romney today?! REALLY????! Is she CRA………..??!”

Dash, 46, told Morgan last night, “I really don’t understand the fury. I don’t get it. … I was shocked, really shocked. But you can’t expect everyone to agree with you.”

[…]

Dash said Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, called her Tuesday and told her she was brave. He tweeted his thanks to her, saying, “Had a great conversation with @REALStaceyDash this afternoon. Thank you for your support!”

And there has been other positive support from fans, too. TV game show host Chuck Woolery tweeted: “Stacey Dash, a beautiful young black woman, demeaned by the left, because she is for Romney. Hollywood, It’s a tough place to speak U’r mind.”

So.much.win here!

Stay strong, Stacey!

Wut? #Obama2012 pins rebound hopes on Joe Biden’s debate performance

Please try not to laugh at this (via Memeorandum):

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s campaign is working feverishly to restore its momentum after a lackluster debate performance last week, an effort that began with a conference call 10 minutes before the debate even ended and led to new advertisements, a rewritten stump speech, a carefully timed leak and a reversal of months-old strategy.

Perhaps most important as the president’s team struggles to put his campaign back on track is a renewed effort to win the three remaining debates, starting with Thursday’s face-off between Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Representative Paul D. Ryan. Mr. Biden began traveling to a Delaware hotel on Sunday for three days of debate camp.

Under the tutelage of David Axelrod, the president’s chief strategist who is personally overseeing the preparations, Mr. Biden will be counseled on how to avoid Mr. Obama’s mistakes and even correct them with a more aggressive prosecution of the Republican ticket. Mr. Axelrod’s involvement highlights the stakes the Obama campaign places on the debate, and Mr. Biden has been reading “Young Guns,” the book co-written by Mr. Ryan, and practicing attack lines that Mr. Obama avoided.

[….]

In rehearsals, Representative Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat who is playing Mr. Ryan, has mimicked what he considered the Republican’s staccato speaking style and penchant for slashing arguments wrapped in a smile. “I expect the vice president to come at me like a cannonball,” Mr. Ryan told The Weekly Standard.

Mr. Biden’s advisers view Mr. Ryan as a walking encyclopedia of numbers and policy and hope he might get lost in the weeds. “The key is to be able to cut through the numbers that often don’t make sense,” said Mr. Van Hollen. Also crucial is helping Mr. Biden tame his own loquacious nature and proclivity for gaffes.

*snicker* ;))

Look, I’m not making any predictions about how the Thursday night debate will go – but I just think it’s hilarious that the Obama campaign is riding high hopes on gaffe-tastic Joe riding to the rescue, when he has been responsible for so many goofs that the campaign and the administration have had to either dodge, explain their way out of, or spin.

What I do anticipate for Thursday night is a debate at least on the level of the Palin/Biden debate, spirited, with a few zingers, and maybe both candidates looking a touch flustered a time or two – with the end result being a draw or one having a slight edge (I REALLY hope Ryan crushes Biden, but I’m not going to get overly confident). But I do NOT expect this debate to suddenly reverse the progress made by Romney’s performance in the first Presidential debate.

Your thoughts?

NY Jets owner: Jets winning is not as important as a Romney-Ryan victory

I’m not a Jets fan, but I just became a Woody Johnson fan. Via Bloomberg (hat tip: ST reader GWR):

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson says helping Mitt Romney win the U.S. presidential election is more important to him than his team finishing the National Football League season with a winning record.

Johnson, New York chairman for the Romney campaign, said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” that if forced to choose he’d pick a win by the Republican challenger against President Barack Obama on Nov. 6.

“Well, I think you always have to put country first,” Johnson said. “So I think it’s very, very important, not only for us, but in particular for our kids and grandkids that this election come off with Mitt Romney and Ryan as president and vice president.”

In related news, Denver Broncos VP and NFL Hall of Famer John Elway has endorsed the Romney/Ryan 2012 campaign:

“Governor Romney is a proven leader with the experience and background to turn around our struggling economy,” said John Elway. “In these tough economic times, we need a president who understands how to get America working again – by standing on the side of taxpayers and small-business owners who do the real job creating. I am endorsing Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan for President and Vice President because I know having the courage to make decisions and tackle challenges is what leads to results and real change. America needs a comeback team – Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are that team.”

Bravo to these two gentlemen. Bravo.