Paul Ryan is a marathon liar and comes in last – behind a bunch of other liars
Nothing new about lying in politics, it’s a given. But Paul Ryan’s lie about running a marathon puts a sharp point on a pathological problem that today exceeds anything we’ve ever experienced in the past. It raises the question: Was there ever a time when right was right and wrong was wrong? Today, it’s obviously only wrong if you get caught.
Politicians are liars, cheats and hypocrites and have been since the seeds of democracy were sprouting in ancient Greece in the 6th century BC. That would make Solon (638-558 BC) one of the early liars. And more recently, the often revered Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was a hypocrite, writing in the Constitution that “all men are created equal,” while owning and impregnating slaves and leaving a constitutional legacy of lying, cheating and excluding all women, non-whites and non-Christians. You can bet he lied to Mrs. Jefferson about his “screwing the slaves” (in more ways than one), at least until he got caught – like John Edwards, Elliott Spitzer, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush. Today they don’t screw the slaves, they simply screw all of us, which really means most of us are slaves to their lying, greed and corruption. Ain’t that the truth.
Why would Paul Ryan lie about his running-time in a marathon race? How fast someone runs a race has no impact on their political career – unless they lie about it – whereas lying about politics can help you. And what a whopper. Ryan said he ran a sub-three hour marathon. And everyone in the country who had ever run a marathon knew in a New York minute, it was a lie. The winners, Olympic level athletes, run close to two hours. Sub-three hours is damn good. Like you’re talented and run damn near everyday. So some runners checked it out. Of course, it didn’t check out. Ryan was lying. He then recanted. The best result they could find for him was just under 4 hours. Now that’s more like it. A guy in great shape who runs a lot can do under four, but under three … please. Ryan, like a kid with his hand in the cookie jar, lies because that’s what you do when you are immature and don’t know, or care, about the cost and consequences of lying. And politicians know that the consequences are minimal, far less than the upside of bullshitting an ignorant public. The bullshit can get them elected, the lying is irrelevant. It’s pandemic and nobody even pays attention to the fact-checkers anymore. And the politicians just spin it endlessly (listen to Ryan on video below). Paul Ryan is just the tip of the lying iceberg – an enormous political iceberg – lying in wait for all of we apathetic, insouciant citizens partying on an economic Titanic.
Two Paul Ryans: the liar and the other liar
Slate posted a great animation of a bunch of politicians who have run a marathon with the actual results from their records. Slate includes two Paul Ryans, one with his real time and the other with his lie. Guess who’s the fastest? Does Ryan lose, whether he lies or not? Check it out. It’s refreshing to see the truth. The numbers don’t lie!
Marathon running politicians: One winner, all liars
- Paul Ryan, actual time (Grandma’s Marathon), 1990
- Paul Ryan, made-up time (Unknown), 1990
- Al Gore (Marine Corps Marathon), 1997
- Sarah Palin (Humpy’s Marathon), 2005
- Mike Huckabee (Marine Corps Marathon), 2005
- Bill Frist (Marine Corps Marathon), 1997
- George W. Bush (Houston Marathon), 1993
- John Edwards (Marine Corps Marathon), 1983
- Eliot Spitzer (New York City Marathon), 1983
(For cool animated race go to Slate’s interactive marathon. It’s a 30 second marathon).
Running from the truth
When Ryan appeared on the Today Show, a dogged Matt Lauer tried to zero in on the lies. “There are some people who are claiming that you played a little fast and loose with the truth on certain key elements … I’m not just talking about Democratic analysts. I’m talking about some independent fact-checkers. Would you concede that while many of the things you said were effective, some were not completely accurate?”
Watch the video (4:56 minutes) and watch the marathon runner (a.k.a. liar) duck, dodge and smile while never breaking a sweat. It’s a sub-zero performance.
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