Hightower Report: Paul Ryan's Run-in With Truth
About that marathon time ...
To paraphrase Lyndon B. Johnson's colorful barnyard phrase, "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit."
But Paul Ryan, the GOP's current vice-presidential nominee, has spent his career in national government trying to do exactly that. Over the years, the ambitious right-wing politico has carefully assembled a mixed salad of positive adjectives to create his public persona: an earnest, straight-shooting big thinker with integrity and deeply held conservative convictions. The Washington media swallowed it whole, helping push him forth as a Tea Party rock star and, now, a man who could be next in line to the presidency of our nation.
But once on the national stage, the real Ryan has been revealed as a slippery, dissembling, fabricating, small-minded political hack. His big debut speech at the Republican National Convention was so filled with lies and chicken sh*t that it even caused Fox's gaggle of fawning commentators to gag. Since then, he has continued to stink up the campaign trail, establishing himself, in the words of one New York Times columnist, as "a veritable poster boy for hyperbole and hypocrisy."
Then, in a recent radio interview, Ryan really ripped it by making a little boast that showed the big dishonesty that resides in his innermost core. Bragging that he's a very fit fellow, the VP candidate claimed to have run a marathon in under three hours. Wow – that's championship stuff! Only it was just more chicken stuff. Runner's World magazine checked it out, and Ryan's run turned out to have taken more than four hours – merely ordinary.
The candidate later tried to laugh it off as an innocent exaggeration. But whether in marathons or a run for office, facts – and integrity – do matter. Ryan can run in both, but he can't hide the truth about himself.
For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, "The Hightower Lowdown" – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.