Saturday, August 11, 2012

Discovering Paul Ryan: An Odyssey in Twitter

There's something kind of wondrous about watching major world events unfold via a late-night Twitter feed. While a lot of the people hanging around are Aussies or Kiwis and thus up at totally reasonable hours, everyone else is drunk, insomniac, a crank, a news junkie or a dangerous loner. And, because there are fewer people around — and because those who are seem more forthrightly oddball — the response to these momentous events feels a little more intimate and authentic.

Watching Paul Ryan (R-WI) be introduced to the United States as the next GOP Vice Presidential candidate, and watching large portions of the still-awake, grouchy barfly part of the United States reject him like a diseased organ was a blast. There, at midnight, were thousands of people having fun with the careening, inevitable horror. It was as if all these strangers were in on some prank, giggling as it unfolded. Paul Ryan? The nerd undertaker? Really? Ahahahaha.

If you want a better idea of what Paul Ryan stands for, feel free to scroll to the bottom of my Gawker veep-pick rundown. After that, Think Progress has a good summary, and Charles P. Pierce has another one of his excellent essays over at Esquire.

For now, I just want to be able to remember what a late night breaking story and Ryan's mendacious early morning awkward speech were like. Twitter's inane archive policy will disappear this record, and I'd rather that not happen.

I want to remember that, when Ryan addressed the nation for the first time as the vice presidential nominee, he claimed to be a teller of hard truths and a champion of hard work. Yet he has spent over a decade carrying water for those who spin trillions out of nothing — creating wealth by its servicing, transferring, securitizing and processing — who were bailed out for their failure and then blamed that failure on their victims. Paul Ryan cited his love for the constitution before explaining that the biggest problem America faces is its government.

Anyhow, here are some tweets:

Many thanks to Sarah Nicole "Internet Girl" Prickett, Tomas Rios, Frank N. Beanis and General Rehavam "Gandhi" Ze'evi for not complaining that I threw their tweets in here, for context.