Patsy Keever And Sue Thorn Show Democrats How To Kick Some Butt On The Ryan Budget
Meh and meh
Yesterday we talk about how the disdain with which Floridians hold the Ryan plan to kill Medicare and privatize Social Security is likely to help Democrats reelect Bill Nelson to the Senate and defeat a few House Republicans in that state, particularly John Mica, Allen West, David Rivera (unless the widespread rumors are true that the Fanjul brothers have tasked their puppet, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, with saving his seat), Bill Young and Vern Buchanan-- as well as a few hapless boobs, like Adam Hasner and Todd Long, who have gratuitously embraced killing off Medicare. OK, well Florida's a good state that needs some shaking up-- but it turns out Republicans all across the country are worried that Ryan's selection is screwing up GOP incumbents' chances for reelection... from sea to shining sea.
Republicans strategists are worried that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) addition to the presidential ticket will cost their party House and Senate seats this fall.
Their concern: Democrats will successfully demonize Ryan’s budget plan, which contains controversial spending cuts and changes to Medicare.
“There are a lot races that are close to the line we're not going to win now because they're going to battle out who's going to kill grandma first, ObamaCare or Paul Ryan's budget,” said one Republican strategist who works on congressional races. “It could put the Senate out of reach. In the House it puts a bunch of races in play that would have otherwise been safe. ... It remains to be seen how much damage this causes, but my first blush is this is not good.”
Many Republicans in tough races this year, especially in the House, voted for Ryan’s proposal, which makes it hard for them to distance themselves from it... Former Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), who chaired the NRCC from 2003-2006, warned that he foresaw in this election shades of President George W. Bush’s fight to create a voucher program for Social Security early in his second term, which many say cost the GOP seats in 2006.
“You saw what happened to Bush with Social Security in the 2006 election,” he said. “This is deja vu.” ... He also commended Republican House candidates like Maggie Brooks and Chris Collins-- both Republicans running in New York-- for “accepting no responsibility” for Ryan’s plan.
...[O]ne Republican strategist who’d seen the NRCC’s memo worried that the plan offered little new advice, and having Ryan at the top of the ticket lent additional credibility to Democrats on the issue.
“It becomes more difficult. The Republican argument and Democrat argument on Medicare now aren't on equal footing anymore-- Ryan being on the top of the ticket gives Democrats more credibility,” the strategist said. “There's going to be more resonance when the Democrats attack our guys. It's going to be a part of the national discussion, there's going to be more credibility on this now, and we're not going to be able to wave them off as nonsense."
Kate Nocera at Politico reinforced the notion that many Republicans are freaking out about Ryan. After all, it wasn't just Connie Mack-- who voted for his flimflam budget one year and then ducked out on the vote the next time around-- who admits the budget is "a joke." Nocera points out that relatively "normal" conservatives like incumbent Robert Dold (R-IL) and challenger Richard Tisei (R-MA), "are trying to create some distance from the Ryan worldview. Other congressional Republicans in tight races, like New York’s Ann Marie Buerkle and Florida’s Allen West [both deranged, over-the-top teabaggers] are launching into vigorous defenses of their votes for the Ryan budget" to kill Medicare.
The reality is that Ryan is now every Republicans’ running mate whether they like it or not, forcing GOP candidates who would just as soon run from the debate over senior citizen entitlements to embrace the third rail of American politics like never before.
One GOP insider lamented that party leaders “have spent the last year” trying to take Medicare off the political front burner, but the Ryan pick “puts it all back out there now.” ... Republican unease with the Ryan plan was on full display earlier this summer, when the National Republican Senatorial Committee put money behind an ad that touted Rehberg’s opposition to the polarizing budget plan.
“And Rehberg refused to support a Republican budget plan that could harm the Medicare programs so many of Montana’s seniors rely on,” the 30-second commercial promoting Rehberg’s Senate candidacy blared.
One of the most likely wins for a real Democrat in a congressional district captured in a battle between a slimy Blue Dog and a slimy teabagger is Sue Thorn's campaign against David McKinley who voted against Ryan's budget once and then for it the next time. Sue was happy to welcome Paul Ryan into the West Virginia campaign, where Medicare and Social Security are highly prized:
"Now that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is in the limelight as the Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. McKinley is seeking to distance himself from the extreme policies Ryan has proposed. Don't be fooled. The Ryan budget ends Medicare and raises health care costs for seniors, while giving tax breaks to millionaires, Big Oil, and companies shipping jobs overseas. McKinley voted to pass the Ryan budget and send the middle class into poverty (after he voted against it.)"
Sue is a Blue America candidate, as is Patsy Keever, who is opposing close Ryan crony Patrick McHenry, another right-wing extremist. Sue and Patsy are both incorruptible populists, making them ineligible for help from Steve Israel's DCCC which is primarily interested in finding transactional crooks like Israel himself. Please consider contributing to Sue and Patsy directly through Act Blue-- no sticky DCCC fingers walking away with over half the money. Sue and Patsy are both on this page and both are on the same page in regard to Ryan's likely impact on their own race. Sue agrees with Patsy's assertion that she "believes the Social Security retirement age should stand at 65 and Patrick McHenry voted to increase it to 70. If you want the retirement age raised to 70, then vote for Patrick McHenry. If you want it at 65, then vote for Patsy Keever." This afternoon, Patsy called a press conference to explain to NC-10 media how Paul Ryan is going to help North Carolina voters focus on McHenry's voting record:
Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan is bad for North Carolina and bad for America.
On March 29, 2012, Paul Ryan, aided and abetted by my opponent, Patrick McHenry, passed a budget in the U.S. House of Representatives that betrayed every man, woman and child in North Carolina.
The Ryan/McHenry budget would have destroyed Medicare, cut agriculture by $60 billion, cut taxes for the super rich and increased the budget deficit by 3 trillion dollars.
That would have hurt every man, woman, child and business in North Carolina.
By choosing Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has embraced the most extreme posture of the most extreme parts of the Tea Party Republicans.
Bizarrely, Patrick McHenry even found a way to be more extreme than Ryan and his fellow Tea Party Republicans. On the same day he voted for the Ryan budget, McHenry voted for a budget that would have, among other things, raised the Social Security retirement age to 70. More than 100 of his fellow Republicans, including Paul Ryan, did not vote for this budget… but Patrick McHenry did.
The conventional wisdom about my campaign is that this district is so Republican that I will struggle to be competitive. That changed when Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his running mate.
Paul Ryan is too extreme to be elected in North Carolina… and Patrick McHenry is more extreme than Paul Ryan. Democrats, Independents and mainstream Republicans in North Carolina’s 10th District all share one thing in common… they are not extremists.
Beginning today, my campaign will focus on the hijacking of the Republican Party by extremists including Paul Ryan and Patrick McHenry. Mitt Romney may be willing to embrace an extremist to win an election but I don’t think Democrats, Independents and mainstream Republicans of North Carolina will.
I am going to present policy alternatives to the extremism of Ryan and McHenry. I am going to make the argument that these are serious times, and we need serious people to address serious problems. Neither Paul Ryan nor Patrick McHenry can be taken seriously because of the extreme positions they have adopted.
I love these mountains and the piedmonts that sweep down from them into rich valleys and farmland. I love the people who inhabit the cities, towns, villages and neighborhoods across the 10th District. It has been my pleasure to be of service to them as a teacher, a member of the Buncombe County Commission and a member of the state legislature. I owe the people a debt. A debt of gratitude. A debt of honesty. A debt of fearlessness.
I stand now against the extremism that has hijacked a once great political party in the form of extremists like Paul Ryan and Patrick McHenry. I stand for the seniors, the working people, the teachers, the small business owners, the farmers and their children and grandchildren. I stand for the Democrats, the Independents, and, yes, I stand for the Republicans who look at these extreme policies and say, “These are not my values.”
Patrick McHenry can run but he can’t hide. I will expose his extremism. I will expose his betrayal of our values. I will not rest until the truth is known.
In my heart of hearts I hope that those who hear and read these words will decide to stand with me. I hope that reporters and editors who read my words, on this and in coming days, will make a decision to hold Patrick McHenry accountable. To make a decision to stand silently in this dire moment for our republic is to give in to the darkness and despair that has given rise to these extreme policies.
I see a better day for America. I see a bright sunrise that ends this season of darkness. I believe the policies of the Democratic Party, as championed by Barack Obama and Joe Biden, will hasten us toward this sunrise and that the policies of Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Patrick McHenry will deepen the gloom at the expense of the people whom I have served as a teacher and elected official and whom I seek to serve in Congress.
Perhaps I will win this election. Perhaps I will not. The record will show, however, that Patsy Keever stood square shouldered against the madness in 2012 and said, “Enough is enough.”
So let us begin.
Patsy Keever versus Patrick McHenry Policy Difference #1: Patsy Keever believes the Social Security retirement age should stand at 65 and Patrick McHenry voted to increase it to 70. If you want the retirement age raised to 70, then vote for Patrick McHenry. If you want it at 65, then vote for Patsy Keever.