Janesville

August 30, 2012

Amid all of Paul “Lyin” Ryan’s prevarication and misdirection in his convention speech, I noticed an objectionable truth.

Well, I’m going to assume it is true.

He noted he lives on the same block as the house he grew up in.

Look, we’re all used to politicians emphasizing their down-home, jest-folks cred. I suppose it feels authentic to some voters.

But it sounds very parochial to me. This clown wants to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. He wants to represent the needs of the *entire* country. It is most certainly not a good thing if his only frame of reference is one narrow enclave of one unrepresentative town in one unbelievably unrepresentative state.

I would like to see national candidates emphasize how many different States, cities, neighborhoods, etc that they are familiar with.

At least Romney has homes in three very different States.

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No Responses Yet to “Janesville”

  1. Dr24hours Says:

    Just out of curiosity, what makes Wisconsin “unbelievably unrepresentative”? I thought it was a swing state with red and blue enclaves.

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  2. mikka Says:

    He didn’t mention that it’s because his family pretty much owns the fucken town, and has owned it since before the civil war.

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  3. drugmonkey Says:

    Small town, flyover, cold, no tan folks, no major modern economic powerhouse companies…I could go on.

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  4. Grumble Says:

    “no major modern economic powerhouse companies” is because the GM plant in Janesville closed. Ryan blamed this on Obama in his speech — despite the fact that the closure was announced in 2008… before Obama took office.

    The real reason not to vote for Lyin’ Ryan is that he is a LIAR, not because he comes from bummefuckeville, WI.

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  5. ALDHgal Says:

    While we are on the subject of liars (aka politicians of all stripes) let us not forget the incumbent VP and one of his: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history_lesson/2008/08/the_write_stuff.html

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  6. Joe Says:

    He’s a seven-term congressman, so he has been living part-time in DC for 13+ yrs. Hopefully he would have interacted with a few tan people and people with different views in that time.
    @Grumble “The real reason not to vote for Lyin’ Ryan is that he is a LIAR, …” I’d say it is more than that. How about his support of a “personhood” amendment to the constitution, thereby outlawing all abortions and stem-cell research, as well as oral contraceptives and IVF? WI is heavily invested in stem-cells. What about his “bold” budget plan that boldly gives seniors a coupon instead of medicare?

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  7. miko Says:

    Exactly. His views and agenda are much scarier when he tells the truth.

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  8. Beaker Says:

    The real reason not to vote for Lyin’ Ryan is that he is a LIAR, not because he comes from bummefuckeville, WI.

    Worse than that, he is a fundamentalist liar, who is focussed on pursuing his Grover Norquist-inspired religion. His budgets indicate no interest in balancing revenues and expenditures, they are a zealot’s attempt to achieve radical goals. Add to this a bit of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, and you get a Machiavellian who can rationalize that lies are OK if they justify progress towards the desired outcome.

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  9. @DM I despise Paul Ryan, all the more so because my father is from Janesville and from a unionized industrial labor family of the type the Paul Ryans of this world have no time for, but this idea that the place has “no tan folks” shows a bit of ignorance of the place — it has a relatively large Hispanic community (for the Upper Midwest) of 5%, and the neighboring town of Beloit is 15% African American. Yes, still majority white, but hardly Ozzie and Harriet’s America.

    And as Grumble says, Janesville used to be a major industrial center, not some rural idyllic town you are probably imagining it as. Besides GM, it was the home of the Parker Pen factory, before they moved everything overseas.

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  10. Virgil Says:

    The last lines of your posts always get me.

    At least Romney has homes in three very different States”

    I guess along with the wholesome worldly view that the mormon church instilled in him, that makes him cosmo-fucking-politan does it? This is on a par with Sarah Palin’s “Alaska is next to Russia so I’ll be strong on foreign policy” gaffe.

    The idea that anyone in a position of power within the republican party (and to a lesser extent the democrats) has any fucking clue whatsoever about the world beyond the end of their noses, is laughable.

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  11. drugmonkey Says:

    Easy people, easy. This observation is about one political stratagem, the parochial gambit, more than about the rest of the Ryan VP political package….

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  12. drugmonkey Says:

    Oh and ball
    Point pens and the auto factories are not modern industry. Not at all.

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  13. drugmonkey Says:

    Also, the fact WI is browner than, say, ME, NH or Idaho is not strong evidence of a highly US-representative state…..

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  14. What *is* modern industry then? Does the US have any of it? Or is it all in China? FoxConn making iPads and the like?

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  15. MonkeyPox Says:

    I think the real problem with WI is the level of cannabis intoxication that goes along with rural life and unemployment.

    In fact I don’t think we’ve yet heard a statement from Ryan about whether or not he’s smoked drugs before. I think it’s important.

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  16. Mike Licht Says:

    The Ryans live in very nice homes. The family made its money building federally-funded highways and airports.

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  17. becca Says:

    Look, everybody knows the loons from California and Texas are the most out of touch, in their respective polar opposite directions. It’s very simple- when everybody bends over backwards so folks in your state can have everything (down to school textbooks) the way they want it, you get a very skewed perception of what is “normal”. It’s the same reason Baby Boomers are Completely Clueless- there’s so many of them that the world *adapts* to them to an atypical degree. It’s a type of Privilege in itself.
    Folks from Janesville, Wisconsin, for all their many flaws, do not have the luxury of thinking their world is the only world. Ryan just thinks his world is the Best World because he’s an ass like that, not because he has no exposure to the wider world.

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  18. neuromusic Says:

    the key here is defining what we mean by “representative”
    – what are the variables we are measuring?
    – what are the distributions of these variables across whatever geographic binning we use (states, counties, whatever)
    – what are the appropriate measures of central tendency for each variable?

    along the dimensions DM highlighted (town size, proximity to salt water, climate, tannedness of populace, # of major modern economic powerhouse companies), Janesville may not be representative of the US, but it is representative of the swing states…

    He wants to represent the needs of the *entire* country.
    nope, just Ohio, Iowa & Wisconsin

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  19. Isabel Says:

    I’m just curious to know which states, and how many total, would qualify as US representative? They seem to be all over the map. And some ultra-conservatives come from states with larger than average non-white populations. I don’t think this is a good litmus test.

    I’d love to hear a reporter ask Ryan if he considers Romney’s kids murderers (in Romney’s presence ideally).

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  20. Isabel Says:

    “The Ryans live in very nice homes. The family made its money building federally-funded highways and airports.”

    I’m confused. Did he pull himself up by his bootstraps or not? All I hear is his father died when he was young, he grew up in an apartment(?!) but I am not sure those answer the question.

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  21. drugmonkey Says:

    Why are they murderers, Isabel?

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  22. Isabel Says:

    Didn’t they use IVF, which usually involves extra embryos, that Ryan wants to ban? Or was that a rumor?

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  23. physioprof Says:

    Dude, when are you gonna post some real fucken content, and stoppe relying on the cheap tactic of trolling your own readers?

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  24. drugmonkey Says:

    The content is on Twitter and Facebook now.

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  25. MonkeyPox Says:

    I still haven’t heard a drug-denial from Ryan. What if he uses drugs?

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  26. Isabel Says:

    Who cares, MonkeyPox? Are you trying to make it into a conservative issue? I think you would be wrong there. Why bring it up at all when there are so many existing glaring conflicts and lies to discuss?

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  27. drugmonkey Says:

    Interesting ALDHgal-

    Are you saying this kind of faking a personal narrative is equivalent to the sorts of policy lying that Ryan put on at the convention speech?

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  28. becca Says:

    4 in 10 Americans (http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1058/american-mobility-moversstayers-places-and-reasons) are “very parochial” by Drugmonkey’s standards. Nearly half of those in the Midwest stick in the town they grew up in (compared to less than a third of Western states), so obviously Midwesterners are more parochial than those in Western states.

    The survey found that “movers” cite economic opportunity and “stayers” cite family. So staying in the same town you are born in can be seen as:
    1) the economic privilege of someone who doesn’t have to move for their job
    or
    2) a statement of priorities that family is more important than economic opportunity.

    I suspect the reason it went into Ryan’s speech is that appeals to “stayers” for making Ryan seem more like them; for the rich it confirms that Ryan is “one of them” because he didn’t need to leave to seek economic opportunity (instead, presumably, naked ambition drove him to DC); and for the less wealthy unwashed masses of the Republican Base, I bet the emphasis on Family will endear him to them.
    All in all, I don’t think it will be read as Objectionable to most people.

    As an aside- has anyone here besides me actually been closer to Janesville than UW-Madison? I miss my Girl Scout camps up that way…

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  29. ALDHgal Says:

    DM:
    Not really -hair splitting over which lies are worse than other lies is pointless and rapidly gets one into a morass. I was just trying to point out that there is so damned much lying of all kinds on all sides in politics. I get fed up with the whole thing. But hey, I live close enough to DC that I can’t ever seem to get away from it. This thread woke up my inner cynic.

    physioprof: go Nats!!

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  30. drugmonkey Says:

    has anyone here besides me actually been closer to Janesville than UW-Madison?

    Yes. Get off your ridiculous “I’ve been there” high horse.

    I don’t think it will be read as Objectionable to most people.

    Most people are idiots. so this is hardly an argument.

    statement of priorities that family is more important than economic opportunity

    So, another Ryan lie, given that his economic opportunities are 1) inherited and 2) based on a political career. A career for which (to date, in Congress lower House) maintaining the fiction that you “live” in the district instead of in DC is necessary.

    hair splitting over which lies are worse than other lies is pointless and rapidly gets one into a morass

    False. What is corrupting and wrong is to pretend that all political deceptions are of equal weight. Also that all political corruptions are of equal weight. They are not. You are advancing a false equivalency to suggest that Biden’s plagiarizing a stump speech theme is the same as Ryan’s lying about his positions, prior policy actions and the Republican platform as he tries to cast aspersions on Obama’s presidency. As I said elsewhere, this is the parricide whining about being an orphan.

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  31. physioprof Says:

    The content is on Twitter and Facebook now.

    Yeah, sure. If by “content”, you mean “illiterate gibbering by infantile buffoons”.

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  32. ALDHgal Says:

    DM: I can’t get excited about the argument (I never said that all political deceptions were of equal weight – remember I agreed with you that Ryan’s lies were not really the equivalent of Biden’s plagiarism or lying about his resume) – I just said that the argument was not worthwhile. Now you are throwing words out like “corrupting and wrong” in response to what I said. Here comes the morass… I believe there is a long weekend waiting to begin somewhere. And some serious baseball to watch!

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  33. becca Says:

    DM- my point is, my background is nearly as wound up with places like Janesville as Ryan’s is. Your view on the world, while different, is not particularly broader than mine. You are not less parochial, although you are more Privileged. Now, both of our views on the world might be broader than Ryan’s, but it’s fundamentally not because of where he identifies as being from.

    Also, saying “I live on the same block as the house I grew up in” and expecting to benefit in the polls because people relate to that is not lying. The truth is, anyone who has been in politics long enough is not typical, in many important ways (the same applies to science, for that matter, albeit in different ways). Everyone knows this, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t like politicians that are like us in key ways better than other politicians.
    So relax. Ryan’s lying plenty, you don’t need to attempt to bend reality like a klein bottle to make this statement into a lie.

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  34. physioprof Says:

    He’s a greedy richeasse motherfucker lying about how he’s just a local yokel from down the block. Speaking of greedy richeasse motherfuckers lying about how they’re “just like you”, Ann Romney’s mawkish bulleshitte lies about how she and Mitt were just poor students eating dinner off an ironing board were fucken priceless. Even the credulous drunk republican filth filling the convention hall couldn’t wrap their minds around that howler, and you could hear the nervous “She didn’t just say that, did she?” tittering on the floor.

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  35. Alex Says:

    I don’t read DM as saying that being from Janesville is a disqualifier. Russ Feingold is from Janesville, and still lives in a small town in southeastern Wisconsin (according to the infallible Wiki). Ain’t nothing wrong with being from Janesville. And ain’t nothing wrong with being proud of it. It’s a nice little town, by all accounts.

    However, while it’s perfectly fine to be a proud son or daughter of Janesville, there’s nothing so special about it that one should vote for a guy on the grounds that he’s from Janesville. I mean, I’m from Wisconsin (albeit from the Gomorrah known as Milwaukee), and I’m not going to vote for somebody just because he’s from Wisconsin. It’s a nice state, but hardly so special that merely being from it makes you a better person, more of a “Real American.” I hate this “Vote for me because I’m just a guy from [insert small town here]” schtick of politicians.

    BTW, Russ Feingold is more of a Real Wisconsinite than Paul Ryan. Ryan left the state for college, whereas Feingold went to UW Madison.

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