Wednesday, August 22, 2012

30 Days of Paul Ryan: Day 9

In April of 2011, shortly after Paul Ryan released his budget plan, the President invited him to attend a speech he was giving at Georgetown University to address budget issues.  Given the President's expressed desire on previous occasions to work with Republicans on tackling the deficit and debt, Ryan expected the President to offer an olive branch to set the stage for a bipartisan effort.  Instead, with Ryan sitting in the front row, the President unleashed a dishonest partisan attack on Ryan's plan, calling it unserious and un-American.  He characterized Republican reform efforts as extreme, falsely claiming that it leaves the elderly and disabled on their own, while giving tax breaks to the rich ( completely undresses the speech here).

This speech was the turning point for me on President Obama.  I went from someone who simply disagreed with him, to someone who genuinely dislikes him.  This speech exposed the hyper-partisan and hyper-political nature that is the reality behind the facade of hope and change.  The President was never serious about working with Republicans as he had said.  If so, why would he invite the guy he has to sit across the negotiating table from, to attend his speech and proceed to insult him in front of the world?  More importantly, the speech, with its long-winded and strident defense of the welfare state, showed he was never serious about dealing with deficits and debt.  And with his re-election campaign kicking off, the President apparently believed that working with Republicans wouldn't help him politically as much as demonizing them.  With an opportunity to be the uniter for which he was elected, the President showed his true colors by acting in a way that was the antithesis of everything he promised.

The first video is the President's entire 40-minute speech (his critique of Ryan's plan begins at 16:30).  The second is Paul Ryan's response.

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