September 4, 2012 by David K. Sutton
Paul Ryan’s Duality: President Obama and the Janesville GM Plant Closing
During Paul Ryan’s fact-challenged Republican National Convention speech last week, he said President Obama was responsible for the closing of a General Motors plant in Janesville, WI. The truth is that Obama delivered a speech at the Janesville plant in 2008 when he was still a candidate. The factory closed later that same year while George W. Bush was president. Now Paul Ryan is clarifying his accusation by saying on the Today Show that he doesn’t blame Obama for the closing, but instead he blames Obama for his “broken promises.”
The problem here is that Paul Ryan supports less government and less regulation. He is a “free market” ideologue who believes government should stay out of the affairs of private business. Free market ideologues believe business should be allowed to fail. They say this is how the market works, even if in the case of General Motors it would have meant officially entering a second Great Depression.
So the idea that Paul Ryan can simultaneously blame government interference as part of the problem and also blame President Obama for not doing enough to save (or re-open) the Janesville factory is a clear contradiction. But Republicans are flush with such contradictions.
This is the duality of the Republican brain, which can be easily confused with a similar symptom known as “Politicus Conveneititus.” It’s an ailment that afflicts many politicians and the particular strain can be identified each time a politician utters a politically convenient statement that contradicts an earlier statement, position, or core belief. OK, I just invented this affliction, but the condition exists nonetheless, and there is an outbreak within the Republican Party.