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Paul Krugman: Rosie Ruiz Republicans

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At www.nytimes.com

Remember Rosie Ruiz? In 1980 she was the first woman to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon -- except it turned out that she hadn't actually run most of the race, that she sneaked onto the course around a mile from the end. Ever since, she has symbolized a particular kind of fraud, in which people claim credit for achieving things they have not, in fact, achieved. And these days Paul Ryan is the Rosie Ruiz of American politics. obody cares how fast Mr. Ryan can run, and even his strange marathon misstatement wouldn't be worth talking about in isolation. What makes this incident so striking is, instead, the way it resonates with the essential Rosie-Ruizness of Mr. Ryan's whole political persona, which is built around big boasts about accomplishments he hasn't accomplished.

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