Eddie Haskell Moments

Assessments of the overall debate aside, a fun aspect of watching it was to look for Eddie Haskell moments where Paul Ryan tried to fool Mrs. Cleaver.

“I just think Paul Ryan is the Eddie Haskell of American politics, with this transparent two-facedness,” says Paul Glastris, a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and editor in chief of The Washington Monthly, referring to a smarmy character on the 1950s sitcom Leave It to Beaver.

The really obvious moments of mendacity for Ryan involved his “we’ll-get-back-to-you-on-this evasions” on the Romney tax plan’s financing and his rationalizations for asking for stimulus money for his district. But there were lots more: Igor Volsky of Think Progress counted 24 “myths” Ryan promoted during the debate.

What did you think? What were your favorite moments of smarmy prevarication from the Wisconsin radical? You can respond in the comment thread. And here’s a video for those of you too young to have watched old Eddie.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

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.