It's rare to see an argument that relies as heavily on voter ignorance as this one.
Expanding the campaign map into a state next to his own, Representative Paul D. Ryan held his first rally in Minnesota in the dwindling hours of the race on Sunday, dividing remarks between criticism of President Obama for failing to lead and promising that a Romney White House would reach across the partisan chasm as the president had not. [...]
Mr. Ryan, who was chosen as Mitt Romney's running mate for his ability to excite the conservative base, made one of his strongest appeals yet to bipartisanship. "Minnesota and Wisconsin, Wisconsinites and Minnesotans, we are bipartisan states," he said. "We know you have to work with people across the aisle because they're with us, they're part of us, they're in our own families."
I'm sure the focus groups told Ryan's aides this kind of rhetoric would resonate in a state like Minnesota, but unless the congressman is living in some kind of alternate reality, the bipartisan schtick, coming from him, is deeply ridiculous.
Sahil Kapur had a good item on this in August, explaining that, as an objective matter, Ryan has a well-deserved reputation "as a no-compromise conservative ideologue, an approach that has become more rigid during the Obama administration."
As we talked about soon after Ryan was added to Romney's ticket, after seven terms in Congress, the grand total of important bills Ryan passed into law with the help of members from both parties is, quite literally, zero. He takes cheap shots; he questions his rivals' motives; he says things that aren't true. When condemning Democratic leaders for championing Social Security, he calls them "collectivist, class warfare-breathing demagogues." In 2011, Ryan killed a $4 trillion debt-reduction plan because he "was concerned that a deal would pave the way for Mr. Obama’s easy re-election." He cared more, in other words, about campaign politics than his own stated policy goals.
Paul Ryan is easily one of Congress' most bitter, rigid partisans. His far-right supporters may find that admirable, and that's fine, but voters should at least have an honest debate about Ryan's record, and not pretend that he reaches across the aisle to get things done.