Saturday, September 01, 2012

Wall Street Will Not Be Denied


For about 6 years now, one of the themes here at DWT has been that Wall Street-- Big Business in general-- picks certain politicians to get behind and then greases the skids all along their paths to power. On the Democratic side, the biggest recent bets have been behind Rahm Emanuel-- who didn't wind up as the first Jewish Speaker but did wind up as the White House chief of staff in time to derail any and all plans (and hopes) for financial reform-- Harold Ford, Jr., Steny Hoyer, Joe Crowley, Kirsten Gillibrand, Joe Lieberman, Jim Himes... Over in Republicanville, they've bet big for Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Mark Kirk, Roy Blunt, Ed Royce, Rob Portman, Richard Burr, and, more than anyone, Paul Ryan.

In Ryan's case they had to start from scratch; there was no there there-- a real tabula rasa... but what a dream for Dr. Frankenstein that is! Ryan is an entirely manufactured Big Business creation and they have every intention of pushing him as high up the ladder as they can. Sure, sure... everyone is starting to sense it now, but we started warning about it in 2006. Not that the DCCC would pay any attention. They've protected Ryan's congressional career-- and continue to-- as assiduously as the NRCC has. No opponents were allowed to ever take him on, at least not any serious ones who could raise any money. And Ryan represents a swing district that Obama won and that houses many of Wisconsin's biggest name legislative leaders. It's almost as if it's a requisite for a DCCC chair that they have to watch out for Paul Ryan. Steve Israel is certainly continuing that tradition. Recently one of the biggest Democratic donors in the country offered to do a fundraiser for Rob Zerban-- the first real challenger to reelection Ryan has ever had-- at her mansion. Twenty-four hours after the offer, she told me Steve Israel went crazy on her ass and forced her to cancel it. What a world we live in!

One of the easiest and least expensive things Big Business has been able to do for Ryan is to constantly get the corporate media and shills with access to the media to repeat how "serious" and intelligent Ryan is. This used to drive me to distraction since Ryan is obviously an empty-headed zombie with more in common with a retarded baboon than with someone with a modicum of knowledge about economics. I started feeling somewhat vindicated when Paul Krugman started writing the same thing about it-- the FlimFlam Man and Don't Know Much About Economics, both early in 2010. But that didn't slow down the Big Business assault on reality for a second. Every brainless journalist Inside the Beltway has referred to Ryan as a wonk or as serious. Most of them start from the premise that he's part of the solution rather than a big part of the problem. Krugman laughed at his Tampa speech:
Paul Ryan’s speech Wednesday night may have accomplished one good thing: It finally may have dispelled the myth that he is a Serious, Honest Conservative. Indeed, Mr. Ryan’s brazen dishonesty left even his critics breathless.

...Ryan’s big lie-- and, yes, it deserves that designation-- was his claim that “a Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare.” Actually, it would kill the program... The Republican Party is now firmly committed to replacing Medicare with what we might call Vouchercare. The government would no longer pay your major medical bills; instead, it would give you a voucher that could be applied to the purchase of private insurance. And, if the voucher proved insufficient to buy decent coverage, hey, that would be your problem.

...Vouchercare would mean higher costs and lower benefits for seniors. Over time, the Republican plan wouldn’t just end Medicare as we know it, it would kill the thing Medicare is supposed to provide: universal access to essential care. Seniors who couldn’t afford to top up their vouchers with a lot of additional money would just be out of luck. ... Ryan and his party are betting that they can bluster their way through this, pretending that they are the real defenders of Medicare even as they work to kill it. Will they get away with it?

And even beyond Krugman, his speechful of lies the other night in Tampa was too much even for the media. The near universal non-Fox verdict was that Paul Ryan is a liar, a pants on fire liar. But that Big Business takes that as the shallowest of speed bumps and just yesterday one of their political mouthpieces was trumpeting Ryan's triumph in Tampa: Ryan favored for next GOP nod after glowing Tampa performance. Glowing? What about that everyone under the sun agreed that his speech was built on a tissue of lies? Mr. Big Business himself could have drafted this-- and could have drafted it a year ago:
Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan leaves Tampa as the biggest winner in the game of presidential speculation.

When it comes to 2016 and beyond, GOP sources say Ryan's performance this week moves him ahead several spots in the pecking order. ... [I]t was Ryan’s Wednesday night speech that was widely acclaimed as a home run and showed he can perform confidently on the national stage.

Ryan also had the air of a presidential candidate Thursday night holding hands with his wife Janna alongside Mitt and Ann Romney while balloons cascaded from the ceiling of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Indeed the Ryans almost looked like a younger version of the Romneys.

Party veterans think the convention gives Ryan a big boost and could help establish him as the clear frontrunner of a future presidential primary if Romney loses to President Obama in November. If Romney wins, Ryan would be even better positioned.

“The fact that someone can combine the command of policy with a personal presentation is a dynamite combination,” former Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.) said.

“Other people may have their foot in the door but he’s already inside the house visiting with the prospect,” Istook said about Ryan’s lead over other potential future presidential contenders.

Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard said Ryan could be in prime position to run for president.

Ryan lies as a matter of course. It's in his DNA. Everything he says is meant to serve a purpose and Truth is never that purpose, just an impediment to it. After a pointless kerfuffle this week over his claim to have run a sub-3 hour marathon for which there was no record, he finally admitted that he had exaggerated, i.e.- lied. Paul Ryan has never told the Truth about anything and never will-- he will lie about everything... great and small. But, then, what serious devotee of Ayn Rand wouldn't? Truth is for suckers.

The DCCC is running millions of dollars in ads cititicing Ryan's roadmap to killing Medicare and, in fact, killing the middle class. They're running the barrage of ads everyone-- except one district: WI-01, Ryan's district, where a normal rotation of TV ads would see Rob Zerban replace Ryan in Congress. Beating Ryan twice-- once for the vice-presidency and once as a powerfully destructive congressman and a future threat to the Republic-- should be a top Democratic goal. Instead you get corrupted hacks like Israel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz protecting Ryan the way Democratic incumbents could only wish they would protect them instead. As of a month ago Zerban had raised $1,220,547, far more than many DCCC Red-to-Blue candidates but they still refuse to put him on the list, which would open the spigots for institutional donors. 92% of the money Zerban has raised is grassroots money, one of the only politicians in the country who's raised over a million dollars with that high a percentage of grassroots contributions. In Wi-06, for example, the DCCC is backing a conservative New Dem, Jamie Wall. The DCCC is pumping him up to everyone they can and pushing him to the hilt. He's raised a respectable $711,425 but only 65% comes from grassroots contributions, a far more typical number than Zerban's 92%.

Blue America has a special page devoted to one thing: ending Paul Ryan's political career. We call it Stop Paul Ryan. On that page you can contribute directly to Rob Zerban and, if you want, you can also contribute to the Blue America PAC so we can continue doing work like this:

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