Day’s End and Night Watch

I feel a little ill right now, if only because I suspect Paul Ryan gave a very effective speech that kind of epitomized the dishonesty of the Romney/Ryan campaign. He demagogued Medicare as a program he was desperately committed to defending from Obama as though he had not devoted a big part of his career to trying to disable the New Deal/Great Society “entitlements” as the sum of all evils. He alluded to the “tough choices” he ‘n’ Mitt would make without mentioning any of them. He attacked Obama for failing to implement the Bowles/Simpson commission report after he voted as a member of the commission to deep-six it. And there was nothing of his radical social agenda. It was all sizzle and no steak. But the delegates knew what he actually stands for, so they loved it. His views are so well known that he didn’t even have to issue that many dog whistles.

It’s as though Barry Goldwater had stood up in 1964 and instead of defending “extremism in the defense of liberty” called for honest budget accounting and a commitment to economic growth. But then Goldwater lost badly, and Romney/Ryan will do just about anything to win.

Given Romney’s world-class mendacity, he will be hard-pressed to exceed Ryan in obscuring their agenda, but I suspect he’s up to the task.

See you tomorrow.

Selah.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.