National Harbor, MD— Recent revelations questioning the accuracy of Rep. Paul Ryan’s story of the child who refused to accept a free school lunch have rocked the Republican Party to its core. The story apparently was actually about a homeless child turning down a handout from a stranger and came from a book written by an advocate of government welfare programs. The inaccuracy of Ryan’s statement cast a pall over last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, whose attendees are usually held to the highest standard of accuracy and truthfulness.
“I can’t believe someone would lie at a conservative action conference,” Chairman of the American Conservative Union Al Cardenas said at a press conference. “What would they have to gain?”
More damaging still, the story has undermined many other conservative anecdotes. People have begun investigating the veracity of Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin’s story about the anti-union factory worker. The story goes that the factory worker, dressed in overalls and carrying an American-made rifle, approached the Governor to applaud his efforts to curb the abuses of organized labor.
“If I had wanted a fair wage and an 8-hour work day, I’d have let the Nazis win,” the worker is quoted as saying.
Another story that has come under new scrutiny is Rep. Stephen Fincher’s encounter with a mother of four who praised his crusade to end food stamps. Rep. Fincher, with tears in his eyes, quoted the mother as saying, “Every day I come home and have to put full plates of food in front of my children, just knowing that that food came out of income taxes on some hard-working American. Why, I’d reach into their mouths and pull the food right out if I knew it could somehow go back into that person’s paycheck.”
More problematic for conservative politicians is the questioning of anecdote-based policy. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida has faced criticism of his pushing of voter ID laws, due to his staff’s inability to produce the “angry Mexican” Scott mentioned as an example why the laws were necessary. According to Scott’s story, a Mexican man approached him on the street and told him how much he enjoyed voting in elections.
“Sometimes, I even vote twice, just for the hell of it,” the Mexican man said, according to Scott. He then said goodbye to the Governor and told him he was off to collect a welfare check and spend it on drugs.