Rep. Ryan: Here’s a news story about the December 2008 closing of the Janesville, Wisconsin GM plant, about which you spoke at the Republican National Convention last night. This closing, as you know, did not occur during the time that Barack Obama was president. You are also aware that, of 1200 employees ultimately fired at that plant, only 50 of them kept their jobs through to February 2009 (one month into the new administration) to complete the last orders of the plant. If you want blame President Obama for losing those 50 jobs, that’s a bit of a stretch, but okay. At least he was on the job by February 2009. But the other 1150 you mark down to President Bush.
If you want to hang your hat on the idea that the president made some kind of implicit promise to the people of Janesville that the plant would be reopened, maybe you have something there. The plant is not open. However, there is not an independent economic analyst in America who would concede you that President Obama has not saved thousands of auto industry jobs. Indeed, the president’s record on saving jobs in the auto industry is one of his most incontestable successes. It isn’t a lie that the president didn’t retool the Janesville plant specifically, but it is a lie that he hasn’t done this elsewhere in the US. You know quite well that the president will be getting lots of votes in major auto industry states from workers grateful that he has saved their jobs, and indeed saved their industry from complete collapse. You also know, quite well, that Mitt Romney has stated consistently that he would not have intervened economically to save those auto industry jobs that Obama was able to save, and that this is not playing very well in those auto industry states.
But I suppose it’s a waste of time to address you, Rep. Ryan, because you are the face of the new Republican Party. A lie is as good as a fact to you, and even where you grudgingly deal with the factual world, you prefer to emphasise anecdotal and unrepresentative outlier cases rather than face the way things generally are in the reality of the world.
The thing I hang _my_ hat on, Rep. Ryan, is that those who know Obama’s got their backs outnumber those who know you and Mitt Romney don’t.