Monday, August 08, 2016

Tomorrow-- All Eyes On Wisconsin... A Chance For Wisconsin Democrats To Make History


Tomorrow is election day in Wisconsin. The state's OPEN primaries-- that means anyone can vote for whichever party primary they want regardless of which party they're registered with-- will pick the parties'  nominees for Congress. No one is expecting any changes. The only remotely possible good news in the Democratic Party, which would take a miracle, is in the sprawling 3rd district-- from Eau Claire, Menomonie and Stevens Point down to La Crosse and the Iowa border across from Dubuque. It's a solidly Democratic district-- PVI is D+5 and Obama won it both times by double digits-- but it is represented in Congress by reactionary corporate shill Ron Kind, an affable Wall Street pawn who is head of the New Dems (basically, the Republican wing of the Democratic Party). Thanks to the corporate crooks he works for-- the insurance industry, Pharma and investment firms are his biggest donors-- Kind, who has no Republican opponent (the GOP loves him), had $2,247,137 cash on hand. His opponent, Berniecrat Myron Buchholz has raised $26,933 and is running hard against the TPP, which is something Kind and the New Dems have conspired with the GOP to pass.

And the person in the House behind the push for the TPP is, as you know, Speaker Paul Ryan. His primary is tomorrow too, in the southeast district that includes the southern Milwaukee suburbs, Racine and Kenosha on Lake Michigan and across Walworth and Rock counties to Janesville. Obama won the district narrowly in 2008 and lost it narrowly in 2012. The district went big for Cruz and Bernie in the presidential primaries. With a competent DCCC and the right candidate, it would be a district that could have been won and a district that will be won. But this year we have neither requisite. Neither Democrat running  has any more chance to beat Paul Ryan than you do. If Hillary sweeps the floor with Mr. Trumpanzee in WI-01, which I expect she will, Ryan would still win with at least 60% against either Tom Breu or Ryan Solen. Paul Ryan has raised $14,887,390 and is blanketing the district with non-stop ads to fend off his Trumpist primary challenger, Paul Nehlen. Breu has raised $22,995 and Solen $4,105.


A smart Democrat can accomplish two goals by pulling a Republican ballot tomorrow and voting against Ryan. If Ryan loses, the House GOP melts down entirely. There is no Speaker-in-waiting, just a bloody, fight-to-the-death, civil war ready to break put. Ryan's #2, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, has already been rejected by the House Republicans and #3 is a dull-witted KKK guy from Louisiana, Majority Whip Steve Scalise. A defeated lame duck Paul Ryan will remain Speaker during the lame duck session but with no clout to accomplish anything-- no favors to bestow, no goodwill to offer, no credible threats to make. And what that means is that his deal with Obama to pass the TPP goes right down the tubes. A vote for Nehlen-- who would easily be beaten in 2018 by a serious Democratic candidate-- would be a silver spike in the heart of the TPP. The deal would die and would have to be renegotiated without Fast Track authority. That's the move for WI-01 Democrats tomorrow-- forget Breu and Solen; make history by voting to end Paul Ryan's career and send him back to work driving a weinermobile or as a gym instructor or, more likely, as a corporate lobbyist. Turnout for the Republican primary tomorrow is predicted to be between 15 and 20%. Nehlen seems to have around 30% of GOP voters ready to cast their ballots for him, even with renewed calls to action from nut case, Sarah Palin. This primary is completely up to Democrats. If they turn out to do in Ryan, they will save the country from his plans to gut Social Security and Medicare in the long run and from his efforts to pass TPP in the short run. It's worth 2 years of having a clown like Nehlen in office, making a fool of himself and further embarrassing an already disintegrating Republican Party.

The other district worth watching tomorrow is WI-08, where Reid Ribble is retiring. It's a swing district-- Obama won it 54-45% in 2008 and lost it 51-48% in 2012-- and there is no reason that a garden variety Democrat-- which is what the DCCC has in Tom Nelson-- can't win it in a Hillary blowout in Brown and Outagamie counties (respectively Green Bay and Appleton), which is entirely feasible. In the primaries, Mr. Trumpanzee scored 18,705 votes (37.1%) in Brown and 13,848 (36.9%) in Outagamie. Cruz kicked his ass in both. Meanwhile, Bernie scored 22,471 and Hillary scored 16,626 in Brown county and Bernie picked up 16,985 and Hillary picked up 11,202 votes in Outagamie. The chances of Bernie's supporters backing Hillary are far greater than Cruz's voters backing Mr. Trumpanzee. That said, the GOP establishment is behind Mike Gallagher tomorrow but the candidate who is backing Trump and who was at his event in Green Bay Friday when the rest of the Wisconsin Republican Party was boycotting him, was far right extremist Frank Lasee. Lasee has raised $323,988 and Gallagher has raised $1,023,908. (Nelson has taken in $601,540 so far). Lasee would have no chance against Nelson but if Trump implosion in Wisconsin is big enough, even as mediocre a candidate as Nelson will likely beat Gallagher in an uninspiring lesser-of-two evils race. Back to Ryan for one second-- click the thermometer:

Goal Thermometer

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