TAMPA, Fla. — Has there ever been a more dishonest presidential campaign than the one Republicans are waging right now?
That’s a serious question, and it adds poignancy to the tragicomic spectacle of this frankly ridiculous gathering. The one indisputable truth we hear from speaker after speaker at the Republican National Convention is that this is a consequential election. The country faces huge challenges and fundamental choices, and the two major parties have very different ideas about the way forward.
Anyone familiar with this column knows that I prefer the progressive vision over the conservative one. But I believe it’s not possible for the nation to set a course without a vigorous, honest debate — and I know there can be no such contest of ideas without agreement on factual truth.
Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s speech Wednesday night was another demonstration that he and presidential nominee Mitt Romney have no apparent respect for the truth. Romney’s pollster, Neil Newhouse, boasted this week that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” I’ll say.