Like master, like man

Ryan has as much difficulty telling the truth as Romney has.
Selection bias, or treatment effect?

I’m not sure whether Romney picked Ryan out of solidarity with another cute but veracity-challenged politico, or whether Ryan has simply adopted his new boss’s style*, but apparently Ryan is just as big a liar as Romney is, and apparently some of the press has started to notice.

* Footnote To put this in methodological terms, “Is the observed correlation a treatment effect, or the product of selection bias?”

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

11 thoughts on “Like master, like man”

  1. I’m afraid the telling correlation would be that between the lies being told and the level of applause and accolade from the convention floor.

  2. This is potentially dangerous for Romney. Romney seems to be banking on Obama not attacking him for lying as Obama and Priorities USA have focused on Romney-is-extremely-conservative rather than Romney-is-a-flip-flopper as a dominant campaign theme. However, Romney-is-a-liar can be worked into the chosen the theme of choice just as well as the flip-flopper theme. It’s probably smart for Obama to stay out of it and give the press a chance to turn on Romney first and start demanding things like, you know, basic details of how his tax plan can possibly be made revenue neutral without making the tax code more regressive or whether Romney’s $100-$200 billion cuts in Medicaid will come out of the money that pays for healthcare for poor children, elderly people or both. If Obama starts attacking Romney-the-liar now, the press will default to he-said/he-said mode.

  3. Right now, Ryan’s lying is all over the blogosphere. And without the normal prevarication of calling it “fibbing” or half-truths or, well, prevarications. Everyone is describing his speech as out and out lies.

    I sense a new Obama campaign theme growing very quickly.

    Here’s what Fox News said: “… to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.”

    “….the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryan’s mouth….”

    “Elections should be about competing based on your record in the past and your vision for the future, not competing to see who can get away with the most lies and distortions without voters noticing or bother to care.

    My god, if even the communications arm of the GOP can say this about your vice-presidential candidate’s speech, then what does that say about the state of your ticket. Ezra Klein called it “A not-very-truthful speech in a not-very-truthful campaign,” but I sense that he wanted to say “A lying speech in a lying campaign.”

  4. The AP is referring to Ryan’s speech as full of “Factual Shortcuts.” This is a marvelous description worthy of a bumper sticker. Googling “factual shortcuts” gets you more citations than you could possibly use. Maybe the press really has started to notice.

  5. This does not portend well for the Republicans. Albert Gore, Jr. got tarred with this brush in 2000 for some foolish exaggerations, which were themselves exaggerated further in the Republican echo chamber. He won the popular vote despite that, but it was not pretty.

  6. It seems to me the press realized they just had to yellow card the R&R campaign in some meaningful way but didn’t want be in the position of going directly at Romney so Ryan was the target.

  7. Mark…

    Didn’t you refer to the R’s as the party of The Big Lie last election cycle?
    It is still so. Only now we are seeing the effects of a continuous big lie on the Republican Party’s collective personality.
    You don’t get something for nothing. A big lie has benefits and costs.

    For argument sake, consider The Big Lie to be climate denialism.
    The Republican party has not found logical fault with CO2 science…
    They don’t really question the science. That’s just a scam excuse. Pure Koch-funded baloney…
    I suspect they know global warming is real but are choosing to lie about it’s reality.

    Having embraced the Big Lie model for four frigging years, any and every lie has now become permissible under the lack of constraints.
    The cost of the Big Lie is you can’t stop lying about other things…
    What we are seeing is literally a psychological breakdown. A republican party personality disorder.
    They’ve built a party of lies on one big lie.

    To Ezra, Krugman, Drum and all the rest: That’s what is different this election cycle.
    The Big Lie has become the mother of many lies.

  8. “Lyin’ Ryan” has a nice ring to it, and Ryan’s fact-challenged acceptance speech amounts to an open invitation.

  9. If you’ve read Krugman on Ryan at all, you know that he’s been a dishonest ideologue pretty much for as long as he’s been in Congress. My sense is that Romney knows he doesn’t have the chops to lie with real conviction, so he’s outsourced the job to someone who can.

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