Ezra Klein, accidentally typifying the ‘view from nowhere’, describes searching in vain for truths to quote from Paul Ryan’s convention speech:
The search wasn’t for arguments that were ironclad. It was just for arguments — for claims about Obama’s record — that were based on a reasonable reading of the facts, and that weren’t missing obviously key context.
For instance: Obama really has expanded the size and generosity of the food stamps program. He really has been picking winners and losers in the energy sector. He really does intend to raise taxes on the rich. He really does foresee the federal government spending more a decade from now than it was spending five years ago. He really did push an unelected board of health-care bureaucrats to make decisions about Medicare reimbursement rates. He really did want to raise the price of dirty energy. He really hasn’t released a plan that would ever balance the budget. He really did break his pledge not to raise taxes on people making less than $250,000 when he signed the Affordable Care Act.
But Ryan’s claims weren’t even arguably true. You simply can’t say the president hasn’t released a deficit reduction plan. The plan is right here. You simply can’t say the president broke his promise to keep your GM plant open. The decision to close the plantwas made before he entered office — and, by the way, the guy at the top of your ticket opposed the auto bailout. You simply can’t argue that the Affordable Care Act was a government takeover of the health-care system. My doctor still works for Kaiser Permanente, a private company that the government does not own. You simply can’t say that Obama, who was willing to follow historical precedent and sign a clean debt ceiling increase, caused the S&P downgrade, when S&P clearly said it was due to congressional gridlock and even wrote that it was partly due to the GOP’s dogmatic position on taxes.
Oh, and here’s one we missed: “You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business. But this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.” The stimulus — which was the administration’s major job creation package — came before health care. It was their first priority. That’s simply inarguable.