Paul Ryan's credibility took a hit last week with his deeply mendacious convention speech, which even drew rebukes from the right. It got worse over the weekend, with revelations Ryan doesn't even tell the truth about his athletic exploits.
The threat for the Republican vice presidential hopeful isn't just that the media will start to notice his dishonesty, but also that he'll become the subject of mockery. Andy Borowitz had this satirical gem today.
In a dramatic narrative that could upstage this week's Democratic National Convention, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) gave reporters today a detailed account of the fateful day he killed Osama bin Laden.Mr. Ryan said that he was revealing his role as the triggerman who felled the al-Qaeda leader to "set the record straight," explaining that he had remained silent about his mission until now, because "I don't like to brag."The Republican Vice-Presidential nominee painted a portrait of a Paul Ryan few know, a man who trained for missions with SEAL Team Six while somehow finding time to cut key provisions of Medicare. [...]"Osama got one look at me and he ran like a bat out of hell," he said. "It's times like that that I'm glad I can run a hundred meters in 9.58 seconds."
It goes on from there, and it's extremely funny, but the larger point is the significance of Borowitz's piece itself -- Ryan is quickly developing a reputation, at least among some, that dramatically contradicts everything the media generally likes to say about the guy.
For years, the political establishment has been fully invested in telling the public that Ryan is a bold and honest man in a den of craven cowards. He's to be celebrated for telling hard truths, we've been told, that few have the courage to tell. It's always been nonsense for anyone who cares to check, but it's the myth and the Beltway loves it.
Except now the myth is failing at an inopportune time. Ryan was mocked on "The Daily Show" for dishonesty; he's being mocked by Borowitz for the same thing; and on one of the Sunday shows, former Bush adviser Matthew Dowd conceded in reference to Ryan, "At some point the truth should matter." Ouch.