Political Animal


August 13, 2012 3:20 PM Bad Timing

By Ed Kilgore

Clearly, my visit to the Iowa State Fair should have lasted a bit longer, as evidenced by this report from the Iowa City Patch:

A protester disguised as a Mitt Romney supporter rushed the stage Monday as new vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan was speaking — and being heckled — in front of about 1,000 people at the Iowa State Fair.
The woman had been wearing a Romney tee-shirt before Ryan took the stage about 1 p.m.
The Wisconsin congressman had been speaking for only a couple of minutes when the woman jumped on the stage and started to shout about stopping the war on the middle class.
An Iowa State Trooper jumped on stage after her and walked her out of the area. Troopers took at least one other person from the crowd.
Ryan moved aside while the trooper removed the woman.
“We are used to this in Wisconsin,” Ryan said to applause. Protesters heckled him at various times throughout his talk in what could fairly be described as a mixed but largely hostile crowd.

“Mixed but largely hostile crowd” may turn out to represent the overall reaction of swing voters to Ryan’s act, but there’s plenty of time to determine if that is the case. Speaking of bad timing, my blogging was interrupted by a quickly scheduled appearance on Warren Olney’s fine PRI talk show, “To the Point,” where I was opposite Jennifer Rubin, who was in her inimitable Maximum Audacious Spin Mode (Romney’s been incredibly specific on policy from Day One, Ryan’s never said entitlement reform was key to economic growth, there not a single poll showing his budget’s unpopular, etc., etc.). Towards the end, when Rubin referred to some statement I made about the Ryan Budget as “a lie,” I damn near started hyperventilating, and even forgot to mock her claim last week that Bill Clinton backed up Romney’s mendacious welfare ad.

Next time I’m dealing with Rubin, I’m going to keep an inhaler close by.

UPDATE: After looking at the comments here, I believe a clarification is in order: I didn’t say I did poorly in exchanges with Jennifer Rubin on “To the Point;” I just said I got rushed and breathless. The show’s online if you have the time and inclination to listen and judge for yourself.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Anonymous on August 13, 2012 3:33 PM:

    When someone gets too emotional in public, he/she could sound crazy.
    One thing Obama and Ryan have in common is that they don't lose their cool.
    That makes them seem more respectable or arrogant depending on if you like them or not.

    I think people would likely to listen more if we don't call Ryan a lier or radical or stupid.
    Obama would say Ryan is a sincere, intelligent, good family man and even courageous to bring specific budget plans to the congress. BUT He just does not agree with his pessimistic vision for American and his budget numbers does not add up according to the independent tax policy report.
    This "what do you think? i think it's bad" approach would make you think for yourself than telling people how bad it is.

    If some ass claims or tells you some bullshit, ask questions he or she does not want to tell the listeners. that's my advise.

  • troglodyte on August 13, 2012 3:46 PM:

    No no no. Dont start breaching decorum at Ryan's events! Its like a all-out blitz on Peyton Manning. He will score on an undisciplined attack. Notice how deftly he parried the hecklers. Stop it now.

  • Josef K on August 13, 2012 3:47 PM:

    Rubin strikes me as very much the mold of the modern Conservative pundit: someone who can speak in coherent sentences whilst simultaneously not actually comprehending what they're saying.

    I further suspect she, Coulter, Malkin, and their fellows are allowed their liberty by the rest of the large-"C"s is because they're seen as anthropological or anthropomorphic oddities. Women, after all, are by nature seen and not heard (given they can't comprehend anything beyond themselves in an meaningful fashion), so any woman who can parrot lines on behalf of their male betters is simply a helpful tool to placate the more restive and radical of the masses. I heavily doubt Rubin is capable of formulating an idea outside her pre-typed talking points. Gods know how many innocent trees Coulter and Malkin have slaughtered to print their atrocious tracts.

    Am I being rude saying all this?

  • T2 on August 13, 2012 3:49 PM:

    Ed, could you tell if her lips were moving as the noise came out? Were her eyes rolled back or shut during the lie session? I am continually amazed at the amount of BS these aliens can spout without breathing. I wonder, do they actually memorize the rant from a list of selected topics, or did the creature appear to use note cards?

  • boatboy_srq on August 13, 2012 3:50 PM:

    The Reichwing sure is throwing "lie" around a lot. I recall the earliest instance that stuck in my memory being uttered in the middle of the SOTU a couple years back.

    IIRC, the ones shouting most, fastest and loudest about their opponents "lying" are the ones usually doing most of the offending on that score. It'll be interesting to watch how long Romney-Ryan and their apologists can keep that up before being called on it.

  • pol on August 13, 2012 3:51 PM:

    It's ok, Ed. You'll do better next time.

  • Ron Byers on August 13, 2012 4:17 PM:

    I didn't hear this time, Pol. If my own record on these things is at all accurate, he probably did just fine, but thinks he screwed the pooch.

    It is very difficult to deal with people who have an entirely different world view.

  • SadOldVet on August 13, 2012 4:18 PM:

    So Ed, you are acknowledging being as incompetent a spokesperson for countering reich wing lies as most dumbocraps. Must be the DLC/DINO/Repuke-Lite baggage you will carry with you for the rest of your life, as will everyone who ever worked for Harold Ford, Jr.

    [Knock off the purity trolling and stop being a dick.]

  • mmm on August 13, 2012 4:26 PM:

    I agree with you, Josef K. I find some of those women panelists on talk shows to be the most rude, obnoxious participants, always butting in and talking over men who back off, lest they look impolite themselves. Not too many original ideas... the perfect parrots.

  • TCinLA on August 13, 2012 4:48 PM:

    We need to demand Jennifer Rubin's birth certificate, because she can't possibly be Jewish. I have known many Jewish women in my life, and every last one of them was smart as hell. No Jewish woman could possibly be as stupid as Jennifer Rubin. It's just not in the DNA.

  • Anonymous on August 13, 2012 5:06 PM:

    Ed, next time don't hyperventilate, just say as I do "bull shit". Of course I'm usually just talking back to my teevee.

    If you want to be more polite, or even patronizing, how about "Now Jennifer, you know that's not even remotely true. Why are you repeating lies?" And if she protests give her the facts.

  • Peter C on August 13, 2012 5:24 PM:

    I wish Jennifer Rubin's Maximum Audacious Spin Mode were inimitable. It feels to me that it is imitated by every conservative pundit every day.

    They know we find their incessent lying/invention/hyperbole exhausting; that's why they keep it up. They're hoping we'll get tired of refuting them and stop.

    You don't need an inhaler, Ed. You need a giant foam mallet with the word "LIAR" on it - something soft enough not to injure but big enough to knock her off her chair a couple of times. If it squeaks on impact, that'd be a bonus.

  • Josef K on August 13, 2012 5:42 PM:

    If I might suggest a strategy to try in the future with Froken Rubin? Next time she gets on a rant of lies and bolivation, just ask her the following:

    "Are you feeling alright? You're frothing at the mouth there."

    A tad condescending perhaps, but nothing less than she's earned for trying to foist Romney and ilk unto the rest of us.

  • mudwall jackson on August 13, 2012 6:04 PM:

    sad old vet,

    if being a democrat means being intolerant and narrow-minded, i'd rather not. except i don't want to cede my party to the likes of you. you can take your self-created purity test and shove it where it came from

  • Northzax on August 13, 2012 7:39 PM:

    Oh Ed. There's nothing wrong with being flabbergasted by the loony. It's like having a discussion with a tree. You can't win.

    Rubin used to have one cause: Israel. Now she still has one cause: mittens. If mitt had exhumed, reanimated and named Yassir Arafat VP, we'd be hearing about what a brilliant leader he is, how he's a great man, friend of Israel, etc. give her credit though, she's a Chicago Pol, once she's bought, she stays bought.

  • AndThenThere'sThat on August 13, 2012 8:14 PM:

    Ed, thanks for the link. I gave it a listen and think you did a great job. To my ear, you spoke with greater authority and conviction than Rubin, which made your points resonate much better than her's. She seemed occupied with scoring cheap points like telling Warren that Jim Rutenberg had nothing but Ryan's age "factually correct", and since she's a Republican only she's qualified to tell listeners that Ryan was the only obvious choice because Romney had a year long bromance with Ryan, blah, blah, blah.

    Again, good job! Congrats.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on August 13, 2012 9:19 PM:

    I'm going to be blunt: Rubin is a lying bitch. Her blog is a stinking pile of shit. Why she gets respect is beyond me and why she gets invited on programs to provide "balance" is one of the scandals the media has slimed the world with. Enough of that !$^^.

    Biggest misinformation I heard during the discussion was the myth about Ryan and deficit reduction. Everybody ought to know this by now. Ryan is a budget phony, and there is no question about it. It sounded to me like Ed was giving him credit for deficit reduction. That is just dead wrong:

    - http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/03-20-Ryan_Specified_Paths_2.pdf
    - http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/08/opinion/08krugman.html

  • DisgustedWithItAll on August 13, 2012 9:21 PM: