Reading Rich Lowry’s column, I had a memory of the great Bob Ehrlich, when he was governor of Maryland. First, a swatch of Rich’s column:
Immediately upon Ryan’s selection, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina released a statement that recalled author Mary McCarthy’s put-down of left-wing playwright Lillian Hellman: “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’”
Messina scored Ryan for his “budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy” (except that there aren’t tax cuts, budget-busting or otherwise), for bringing to an “end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system” (except there’s no voucher, and Medicare benefits would stay exactly the same), and for “shifting thousands of dollars in health-care costs to seniors” (except the Ryan plan doesn’t apply to today’s seniors, nor will it shift costs onto the seniors of the future).
Okay, this is what I remembered about Ehrlich (found in this piece, from 2005): The Baltimore Sun treated him as you would expect a paper like that to treat a conservative Republican governor. Ehrlich said he could sum up the treatment in one “classic headline”: “Ehrlich Okays Secret Land Deal.” This was “accurate,” said Ehrlich, “except that there was no deal, it wasn’t secret, and I didn’t okay it.” I said, “Was there land involved?” He said, “Yes!”
In Messina’s defense, there are such things in the world as dollars, health-care costs, and seniors.
P.S. Messina is a glorious old Sicilian town. What a pity it has to be associated with the Obama campaign.