Friday, March 7, 2014

Paul Ryan Goes All Pinocchio

"You'd think I'd be chastened by this sort of thing, huh? Truth? What a concept!"

Paul Ryan decides to make a major speech on poverty, which naturally highlights his desire to slash another program, this time free school lunches. To drive his point home, he cites Eloise Anderson, Secretary of Women and Families in Wisconsin. Her anecdote contained a claim that she talked to a kid who'd rather have a brown-bag lunch from home than a free lunch because the brown bag showed he was like all the other kids and had a mom that loved him. Aaaaawwwwwhhhhhh.

Trouble with the story was that it was bullshit and was based on something she'd read in a book. (Presumably. We don't know if she or a staffer or her personal trainer read it, but let's let it go.) What's worse, what she read was in support of the federal free-lunch program.

Now, I ask you: Have you ever seen a politician -- yes, I'm accusing the Republicans of practically, but not entirely, owning this technique -- cite something he'd heard, not experienced, and then have it turn out to be utter bullshit. Built-in deniability. Gotcha! Nuh-uh, I didn't say it. Right.

Glenn Kessler, WaPo fact checker, isn't buying it. Neither should you.

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