The fact that Paul Ryan was an enthusiastic supporter of every single Republican initiative in the 2000s that broke all of we Clinton types' progress on eliminating the budget deficit made me enraged when the press and others--I am looking at you, Maya MacGuineas--began cheering him as a deficit hawk.
Now Jonathan Bernstein hopes that some of our overpaid, underbriefed, and all-too-lazy press corps comes back to its sense:
Press turns on Paul Ryan: Paul Ryan gave a speech that may well have real, lasting and very negative consequences for the ticket…. Paul Ryan? He brought two resources to the Romney campaign. One was the enthusiastic support of conservatives…. The other… was Ryan’s reputation with the neutral press and many pundits as a wonk and as a truth-teller…. Ryan, perhaps, could transfer some of his reputation to Romney. And indeed, the immediate reaction of Ryan’s cheering gallery was to conclude that now we would have a Serious Argument about Big Ideas…. That was then. On Wednesday, Ryan spoke…. On Firday, both the Washington Post and especially the New York Times published scathing stories about Romney/Ryan and mendacity…. Even more damaging to Ryan is Michael Cooper’s New York Times piece, complete with the non-neutral headline, “Facts Take a Beating in Acceptance Speeches”….
Both of these stories include a to-be-sure paragraph finding an instance recently in which Barack Obama’s team was called out by the fact checkers. But in both cases, the story we’re told is that the Romney team is clearly at fault here.
This is serious stuff. Instead of leaving it to the fact-checker ghetto, the major newspapers are directly calling Ryan (and to a lesser extent Romney) out as a liar…. I think there’s a very good chance that Ryan’s reputation has taken a serious hit…. If, for example, Ryan no longer gets the benefit of the doubt from deficit hawks, they might start to be a lot less likely to give him a pass for his Bush-era budget-busting votes, or for the fact that even on his own terms his budget doesn’t get to balance for a long time, or for the phony math on both spending and revenues that allow him to claim any deficit reduction at all.