If not, he might as well, It's certainly no secret that he has a large input at least-the WSJ op-ed page has long been nothing more than the unofficial Ministry of Truth for the Republican party
Today you had not one but two pieces defending Paul Ryan. First Review & Oulook which is never signed by an author gives us "The True History of Simpson-Bowles."
They're not happy with all the pushback he's taken from his speech in Tampa. Indeed, another piece, this one by L Gordon Crovitz takes on the "fact checkers."
He makes the reasonable point that after all, there can be some debate about what constitutes a true factual misstatement and what is simply a difference in opinion. However, the further you read the more clear it gets that the only examples he has of fact checkers going a much are cases of them criticizing the Romney-Ryan campaign.
What it really amounts to then is special pleading for the media to go easier on Romney-Ryan.
"Since the Republican convention, there's been bipartisan fact checking of the fact checkers. Mickey Kaus, a Democrat who ran for Senate in California in 2010, posted an item on his blog last week on "why the Fact-Checkosphere is failing," in which he cited "the ease—rather, the constant temptation—of presenting debatable policy issues as right/wrong fact issues." He wrote that when journalists claim that a candidate has lied, it "opens up a giant sluice for the introduction of concealed bias, especially when the 'facts' are fed to the fact-checkers by the competing campaign."
"Mr. Kaus added: "Fact checkers often don't know what they're talking about." He pointed to the drumbeat of accusation that the Romney-Ryan campaign was wrong to say the Obama administration had relaxed work requirements for welfare. Mr. Kaus argued to the contrary that administration claims were "bureaucratic fakery." A Brookings Institution analyst likewise told the Fiscal Times that the new policy would enable the administration to "undermine the work requirement" if this was the intent. In short, this is a policy debate, not a question of fact."
Well have any of Romney's ads qualified its accusations by saying "if that's the intent?" And why doesn't Romney mention that he himself asked for this action the President took back in 2005 as Massachusetts Governor? Romney has said Obama "ended the work requirement" not that he gave the states more discretion. To say it could be used for something is far from proving that this is being used for.
Ironically with all this talk of concealed bias, we see that Crovitz's own fact checking is a great example of the same:
"The Romney campaign may have invited media interest when one of its pollsters, Neil Newhouse, defended the campaign's advertisements by saying: "Fact-checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs and you know what? We're not going let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."
Ironically, President Obama then misquoted Mr. Newhouse in a campaign speech on Aug. 29 by claiming that the pollster had instead said: "We won't have the fact checkers dictate our campaign. We will not let the truth get in the way." As an article in Washington Post noted, Mr. Newhouse "did not say Romney's campaign 'will not let the truth get in the way'—his argument was that fact checkers do not have the final say on what is and isn't true."
Well, quotes are not always word for word, clearly the President was paraphrasing that saying 'we won't be dictated by fact checkers' amounts to saying 'we won't let the truth get in the way.'
However, better shows Cravitz's concealed bias than not pointing out what was in fact the most egregious case of aggressive fact checking gone a muck than when the AP questioned Clinton's statement about what Newhouse said by claiming that it was factually dubious by bringing up Monica Lewinsky.
The piece that tells us 'what really happened with Simpson-Bowles" in yet another bid to rescue Ryan's sanctimonious scolding of the President over the failure of Simpson-Bowles.
Ryan's defense until now seems to be that while he found Simson-Bowles inadequate, the President wasn't allowed to find it so.
"The political myth is that Mr. Ryan was the spoiler because he's an anti-tax purist. His real objection at the time was that the Simpson-Bowles Democrats refused to offer an equal trade on spending. Their non-negotiable demand was that ObamaCare was off the table and there could be no structural reforms in Medicare and Medicaid"
"The commission nonetheless divided into topical working groups, with Mr. Ryan joining Alice Rivlin of the Brookings Institution to propose a modified version of the premium-support Medicare reform he would later include in the House budget."
"For political reasons, Messrs. Simpson and Bowles decided not to add this proposal to their final document. In December 2010, they were trying to get support from at least 14 of 18 members that Mr. Obama's executive order required for a formal consensus. Ultimately three Republicans including Mr. Ryan voted no, and four Democrats voted no, with 11 members in favor."
"So in fact Democrats quashed the necessary supermajority even after they first vetoed any serious reform of Medicare. And Mr. Ryan is the "rigid" one? The beads-for-Manhattan logic seems to be that Mr. Ryan should still have gone along with this entitlement status quo and also tacitly endorse the Affordable Care Act to show he's a statesman. So he should have done Democrats a favor, become politically irrelevant and not solved the real fiscal problem in return for some nice mentions from NPR commentators. Thanks for the career counsel."
So Ryan didn't support the plan because it would have made him politically irrelevant? How is someone who voted it against it to help his career in any position to "blister" the President on not adopting it?
And, yes, Ryan is the rigid one. What kind of a deal is it to say that you'll allow a tax hike for the rich only in exchange for privatizing Medicare? That's the same hostage taking kind of negotiations Republicans have become famous for during the debt ceiling crisis.
Then the WSJ totally undermines Ryan's sanctimony about Simpson-Bowles-beyond that he didn't support it and told other Republicans not to support it:
"In any case, even if the deficit commission had reached a consensus, all that would have happened is a fast-track vote in Congress. The bipartisan duo of Jim Cooper and Steve LaTourette later codified Simpson-Bowles, and it bombed on the House floor this April, 382 to 38."
So how, then, is the President to blame for its failure? Ryan should stop trying to demagogue the President on this.