Paul Ryan washes clean pots

The bogositude of compassionate conservatism, in one picture.

The unspeakable bogositude of compassionate conservatism, summed up in a single picture:

Paul Ryan barges into a soup kitchen and washes clean pots for the cameras.

The manager of the kitchen is not pleased: “I certainly wouldn’t have let him wash clean pans, and take a picture.”

Of course Ryan, who forced his Congressional staff and interns to undergo Ayn Rand indoctrination, doesn’t believe in the work soup kitchens do in the first place.

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:

28 thoughts on “Paul Ryan washes clean pots”

  1. Well, since most soup kitchens operate on private charity, one imagines a good conservative would celebrate them as an alternative to big government. Whether or not that pan he’s washing just served up a plate of dependency-potatoes is another question.

    One wonders whether his next stop will be helping a private minuteman militia defend our borders. Whether or not their bravery on the front lines protecting us from migrant workers makes all into moochers raises more questions still.

  2. I wonder if Ryan always wears a dress shirt and a tie when he washes pots. If he really intended to help out, shouldn’t he have just put on a sweatshirt or something?

    The guy really is utterly phony.

    1. Actually Mark…

      The greatest picture of compassionate conservatism is all over the net.
      Just do an image search of “romney” “coal miners” “forced”.

      Save GWB in his “commander-in-chief” uniform and Ryan mocking dishwashers, I can’t think of anything more face-slappy then forcing dirty-faced miners to stand behind a cut-throat multimillionaire as if he is a bosom friend. That’s championship level in-your-face fuckyouism.

      Check it out:

      1. Interestingly, some of these miners have “fought back” with a “letter” decrying “Obama’s” lies, and there is a video. I can’t imagine how fast the drugstore shelves containing the antacid emptied…

    2. It’s not what just he’s wearing, it’s that it’s utterly spotless. Having actually done pot-washing duty in a soup kitchen, I can tell you it’s impossible not to get splattered almost immediately.

  3. Potemkingate!

    On first viewing, before anything had been said, it was damn obvious to me that Ryan’s pot had been pre-cleaned by “The Help.” If anything, I would expect that the pot required a thorough disinfecting after being fondled by Ryan.

  4. There is nothing new about this type of cynical, pseudo compassion on the right.

    When I was a journalist, I had the experience of covering the U.S. Senate race in Missouri in 2000, when Gov. Mel Carnahan died in a plane crash about three weeks before the election against Sen. John Ashcroft. In the first few days after the crash, Ashcroft did a statewide tour in which he visited soup kitchens and humbly announced that he was dealing with his grief by reaching out to the poor. However, this “help” involved nothing more than 2 minutes of moving empty boxes from one counter to the other while TV cameras filmed B-roll.

  5. Clayton, did your report include the fact that his “help” involved nothing more than 2 minutes of moving empty boxes from one counter to the other? If not, why not? Did your line editor delete it, saying we mustn’t embarrass our dear senator?

    1. I did report it. I should also correct my faulty 12-year-old memory. I found my old report and it indicates he unloaded food boxes for 13 minutes in front rolling TV cameras, not 2 minutes. However, despite the longer time, it was clear the work was not productive to the food kitchen and that it had been set up solely for the purpose of making the senator appear to be charitable. It struck me as cynical and fake and I reported it as such.

      I paid for the report in two ways: 1. I was excluded from the next Ashcroft press event, which was costly to me as any news coming from that campaign was nationally significant given the plane crash; 2. I was ridiculed by another reporter. Reporting it as it occurred is simply not done in the political journalism game.

      1. Well done, sir! It’s a badge of honor to be excluded from an Aschcroft event. I’ve often thought that if/when reporters end up getting kicked off a candidate’s campaign bus or plane for writing the facts, it’s a sure sign that real reporting has been done. (This happened four years ago to an NYT reporter, i think, who wrote something the McCain campaign didn’t care for.) For most MSM toadies and their editors, however, it would be thought of as a sign of failure, because then they need to quickly find someone else to do the stenography.

  6. Well, any voter who is swayed by stuff like this in the news is kind of a sitting duck anyway.

    And I still think it is better to go than not go. Even the most scripted, shiny, slippery person might accidentally encounter some reality.

    Technically, also, the article says it was the Romney campaign that came up with this, and Ryan just went along.

    There is so much phoniness in everything that it’s hard to get excited. But, coolfool is asking a good question. Who are the conspirators?

  7. Joe Biden (could say) “Most of you don’t know who Ayn Rand was. She was a European author who moved to America back in 19??. She was an atheist. And she wrote books. In those books the main point she makes, over and over, and which appeals to kids of a certain age, right around college, is that human beings should do almost whatever it takes to be happy, get rich, live large, don’t worry about anybody else or the poor or those who are struggling to get by. It’s pretty much the opposite of what Jesus taught, but college kids fall for stuff like that. You know. And who is Paul Ryan? Paul Ryan is a major league, big time, top rung Ayn Rand devotee. He’s more than that. He’s, for all practical purposes, an acolyte of hers. He never outgrew the college kid admiration for the completely selfish-to-the-point-of-lunacy Ayn Rand philosophy. He’s trying to put distance between her teachings and his current run for power. But folks, he makes his Congressional staffers read her books! He’s not mentioning it now, but he’s given speech after speech about how it is Ayn Rand and her teaching that moved him to try to get into government and make big changes. . That IS who Paul Ryan is. That’s who he IS.

    So don’t be fooled, folks. This guy is an Ayn Rand acolyte, and he wants to dismantle Social Security and Medicare. Why isn’t he mentioning the name of his guiding philosopher during this campaign? Because it would scare the crud out of voters. But Paul Ryan is a big time, huge follower of Ayn Rand, and you need to know the truth.

    1. I like it…
      Although I’d use “Russian” for “European author”.
      Might as well trade on all of Joe SixPack’s primitive algorithms…

      I think you need a simpler synonym for “acolyte”.
      May I suggest “lackey”?

      • a servant, esp. a liveried footman or manservant.
      • derogatory a person who is obsequiously willing to obey or serve another person or group of people.

    2. and let’s not get down on atheists – no doubt that would pull some American heartstrings (not mindstrings), since an openly atheistic candidate would finish far behind the campiest drag queen or mobster for any elected office in the country. But some are actually patriotic. That Ayn Rand happened to be atheist does not compensate for all the rest of the hogwash she purported to believe.

  8. A partial video has been posted
    Some observations:
    1) Yup, the kitchen was already completely clean, and there was no activity.
    2) He scrubbed the inside of the pan, but not the outside – even though it had in theory been sitting on top of an equally dirty (actually, equally clean) pan.
    3) He roped his kid daughter into helping. She didn’t get an apron.

  9. NBC: Ryan did wash dirty dishes during soup kitchen visit

    LYNCHBURG, VA — Amid questions and criticisms related to Paul Ryan’s visit this weekend to an Ohio soup kitchen, the charity’s president said the Republican vice presidential candidate did, in fact, scrub dirty dishes though his visit wasn’t officially sanctioned.

    The question of whether the Wisconsin congressman cleaned dishes that were actually dirty – as opposed to re-washing already clean dishes so as to get a good photo opportunity — Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society President Brian Antal clarified that Ryan did clean soiled dishes. This differs from what Antal had told The Washington Post Monday.

    Speaking Tuesday morning with NBC News, Antal said he was not on-site when Ryan was at the soup kitchen and attributes his earlier comments that the dishes were clean when Ryan washed them to hearing the details second-hand from a volunteer.”

    It was a photo op, of course, and as such staged. Hm, Obama never does photo-ops?

    1. Brett: look at the video, which I linked above, and ask yourself whether Mr. Antal was lying to salve the feelings of Paul Ryan and his supporters. The reason the dishes were described as already being clean was because they were already clean. Which is a good thing, as Ryan’s efforts would not have sufficed to clean dirty dishes.

      And, yes, Obama does photo-ops. But there’s a difference between getting yourself photographed next to an event or site of interest, or even lifting a ceremonial first shovelful of dirt, and farcically pretending to engage in volunteer work for two minutes. What Ryan did was below the standards of John Edwards – a famously dishonest self-promoter and deserved laughingstock.

    2. 1) Ryan is claiming to have washed dirty dishes. The headline “Ryan did wash dirty dishes during soup kitchen visit” is making a statement of fact not backed up by anything in the story I can see.

      2) Actually washing dirty dishes so that they are clean and fit for being in contact with food later is something that is not only not in evidence, but based on what can be seen from the video, is something that Ryan did not do.

    3. Obama never does photo-ops?

      He doesn’t do photo-ops like this one, where the proprietor complains about being shoved aside and the uppity Kenyan comes in almost without asking, and gets to “work”. Of course, Obummer is too lazy to do such work so the point is moot.

  10. Oh, joy, yet another partial video. Frankly, it wasn’t a good enough video to tell whether or not he cleaned any dirty dishes, being cut so short, and not exactly including close-ups of the dishes. Clearly the one dish he was actually shown cleaning wasn’t terrifyingly filthy. Whether it was clean enough to be put away for future use, I haven’t a clue.

    All I know is that the claim he didn’t clean any dirty dishes has been retracted, and you don’t want to believe the retraction.

    1. Brett, you are absolutely correct that there is no admissable evidence relating to the prior or subsequent cleanliness of the dishes/pots, etc. However, common sense tells me this:

      Suppose the absolute best for Congressman Ryan. Suppose the things he washed were dirty, and he washed them well enough that they were clean enough to be used. (That’s an unlikely “suppose,” I suppose, but just suppose.) Now, what is your estimate of the net contribution of Congressman Ryan’s efforts to the health, wealth, and well-being of the soup kitchen?

      HUGELY negative, I’d say. Disrupting normal operations, potentially pissing off some percentage of donors who saw political involvement of their supposedly apolitical charity, and bringing productive work to a virtual halt for some amount of time before, during, and after his photo op.

      Yes, photo ops for politicians are mostly negative in real value. Generally, however, they are linked to truth by a string, however long or thin it is. This is the reason the Bush b.s. aboard the Abraham Lincoln and this Ryan b.s. are so annoying — they have no linkage to any truth.

      1. No, I agree, photo ops like this are a huge negative for the people used as props in them, much like having your street closed down, and being told you have to either stay in your house, or leave for several hours, because the President wants to be seen walking down your street. In fact, I’m sure that after he put in his several minutes, somebody else had to clean the dishes again, just to be sure they were clean. Huge pain in the neck. Really stupid showmanship.

        I just thought it worth pointing out that the claim he hadn’t washed dirty dishes had been retracted. In the interest of not having retracted stories propagated. Is this somehow objectionable in the reality based community? Is the fact the story was retracted irrelevant, because it would blunt the propaganda value of the original version to acknowledge this?

        Why would you object to pointing out that the post was based on a story which had been retracted?

        1. Ah I see Brett is still here any still lying very well! The post was based on an article that indeed did state “Antal later told NBC News that Ryan had cleaned some dirty dishes; his original comment was based on secondhand information from a volunteer.”

          And the post does not state that “he hadn’t washed dirty dishes”, in fact it states “Paul Ryan barges into a soup kitchen and washes clean pots for the cameras.” Which he clearly did.

          In a way it is kind of refreshing to see that conservatives are still out there trying to create their own realities. We tell ourselves the best of lies.

  11. Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

    Ryan’s response? “I didn’t use a trumpet. There’s nothing there that says I can’t have a TV crew.”

  12. As someone whose first job was washing dishes in large kitchens, and have worked them as second jobs or to pay for college, not to mention more than a few tours of mess-duty, I can tell you that the kitchen Ryan was “washing pots” in was CLEAN !!! No food service item holder comes THAT clean THAT easily, unless it was ALREADY clean when you started scrubbing it. Come On. Even in your own home, do pans or pots come off spotless with taht little attention ??? Now, I hear that the staff was instructed to leave a few “dirty” dishes for the Ryan’s to clean. Boy, those suckers were heavily “Pre-Rinsed”.

    1. Well, there’s held stew dirty, and there’s held rolls dirty, and they both count as “dirty” in the food service, (My cousin’s a caterer.) but the latter does in fact come clean remarkably easily, because it’s only nominally “dirty” in the first place.

      But, again, the post was based on a story which had been retracted. Albiet perhaps after the post, but that it was retracted was still worth mentioning to a reality based community.

Comments are closed.