Sunday, March 12, 2017

Ryan And Trump Threaten Primaries Against Republicans Who Vote Against Trumpcare


The other day we mentioned that a SuperPAC controlled by Paul Ryan is running threatening negative TV ads against 30 Republican incumbents. The one above has been on TV all weekend in Grand Rapids, it's suburbs to the north and east and in Battle Creek in central Michigan. The implied threat is that Ryan will destroy independent-minded libertarian Justin Amash's career the same way he destroyed the careers of Republican incumbents Tim Huelskamp (KS) and Scott Garrett (NJ). Most of the Republicans Ryan has targeted are in deep red districts where there have never been negative TV ads run against them. Crackpot extremists like Mo Brooks and Gary Palmer in Alabama, Paul Gosar, David Schweikert and Trent Franks in the Phoenix area, and Ted Poe, Louie Gohmert, Randy Weber, Michael Burgess and Brian Babin have never had to worry about Democratic opponents. But Ryan's threat is to take them out with a primary, like he did with Huelskampo-- and already tried doing once before to Amash. (Tulsa-area Congressman Jim Bridenstine is one of the congressmen being targeted. He's retiring at the end of the current session and doesn't care how much money Ryan wastes threatening him. He told a donor who I know earlier today that "Ryan should remember what happened to Julius Ceasar before he tries anymore of this kind of bullshit."

But, apparently, the threats-- at least to the other 29 besides Bridenstine-- are serious. Right-wing website, the reported on Friday that it isn't just Ryan. Señor Trumpanzee "has told Republican leaders that he's prepared to play hardball with congressional conservatives to pass the GOP healthcare bill, including by supporting the 2018 primary challengers of any Republican who votes against" Trumpcare. At least that's what he was boasting to Steve Scalise and his whip team last week. (Ryan was on Face the Nation this morning threatening that he agrees with Trumpanzee that there'll be a "bloodbath" in 2018 if the GOP doesn't pass his Trumpcare bill.)

Remember, Trump has a terrible reputation for failing to get his candidates elected. His picks in North Carolina and Kansas got their asses handed to them despite Trump's backing and his GA-06 crony to replace Tom Price, Bruce Levell, is polling below the margin or error!

Thompson Twins

Still, the Trumpists behind the Examiner website claim his threats "could resonate" because the congressmen he and Ryan are targeting are in such strong Trump-supporting districts and "could be the most susceptible to a midterm primary challenge, especially if Trump tells those voters that their member of Congress is blocking him from fulfilling his promise to repeal President Obama's healthcare law.
"The president will respond as circumstances dictate," a House Republican said Friday, on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal strategy. "He has unique capacities; I wouldn't want to be the one he tests them out on."

If negotiations don't reach fruition as the bill readies for a floor vote, Republican insiders said, watch Trump's tweets and travel schedule for signs that he's dispensed with the carrots and brought out the stick to try to get wayward members on board.

Party insiders say the president at that point could choose to make an example of one or two resistant Republicans to send a message.

Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, the primary group of House Republicans opposed to the healthcare bill, is a possible target. His western North Carolina district voted overwhelmingly for Trump in November, and Meadows has come out in opposition to the bill.

Meadows was still opposed this week but seems to recognize that it would be difficult to win an argument with the president at home.

"The president has a very powerful bully pulpit and a very powerful tweet and so I would never want to take on the president in either of those realms," he admitted.

...The whip team was expected to present Trump with a list of Republicans that need convincing on Tuesday. That's when they are next scheduled to meet at the White House, in what is to become a weekly check-in session until the House passes health reform.

So far Amash, for one, has been laughing at Ryan's threats and even went on CNN Thursday to mention that the Ryan-Pence-Price Trumpcare bill "has no constituency. Republicans at home don’t like it. Democrats at home don’t like it. It seems like the only constituency for it is the political class in Washington, and maybe some of the insurance companies. So I don’t see how this bill goes anywhere... The sole objective of our leadership team is to ram this through, then go to Phase Two and have the HHS secretary make the changes, and those changes are only in place as long as he’s the secretary. The third phase requires us to be working with Democrats, so I think we should be working with them now to see where we can find common ground. I think that we can convince Democrats… major reforms to the healthcare system are needed... The president is the kind of guy who will work this hard. I think he’s going to go and use his political capital on this. At the end of the day, what they’re trying to do is a political plan… They’re trying to pass essentially Obamacare 2.0 and they want to pretend it’s 'repeal and replace.' Because they don’t want to upset people at home who like some of the features of Obamacare, and they want to fulfill their promises to Republicans. That’s the wrong strategy. You should really be looking at the policy… and trying to find a way we can all come together... It doesn’t address healthcare costs, and I feel very comfortable voting against that because Republicans and Democrats at home don’t support such a bill."

Can Amash stand up to a primary? Be beat back one from establishment shill Brian Ellis in 2014. Ellis spent $1,820,123 against Amash ($1,057,006 from his own bank account) but Amash beat him 39,706 (57%) to 29,422 (43%). Trump won Amash's district 51.6% to 42.2% while Amash beat his Democratic opponent 59.4% to 37.5%. Since the election, Trump's popularity has waned, especially in Kent and Calhoun counties-- where virtually all the votes are cast-- while Amash's popularity has soared.

This morning, on ABC's This Week, far right Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton, now a senator, warned his old colleagues in the House not to get suckered by Ryan. He said the bill Ryan, Pence and Price cobbled together can't pass the Senate in its current form because it would have "adverse consequences for millions of Americans." He thinks Republicans who vote for it are putting their 2018 reelection prospects in serious jeopardy. "Do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote," he said. "I'm afraid that if they vote for this bill, they're going to put the House majority at risk next year." Republican NY Times columnist David Brooks was also on Meet the Press today. He mentioned that his party's Trumpcare proposal is "declaring war on their own voters."

Still remember Alaska crackpot Sarah Palin? I don't think she's a big fan of Ryan's Trumpcare bill either-- although with her garblygook way of expressing herself, who knows. She dubbed the Ryan plan "RINO-care" and said "not another word from them until we are definitively told that there is no provision whatsoever allowing Congress to exempt itself whatsoever with this law. As with anything else mandated by Congress, every single dotted I and crossed T better apply to them, too, and not just the people who they are lording this thing over because remember this is government-controlled health care, the system that requires enrollment in an unaffordable, unsustainable, unwanted, unconstitutional continuation of government-run medicine, and even in this new quasi-reformed proposal, there is still an aspect of socialism. That’s the whole premise here... It would be really helpful if every single one of these politicians would do like the NASCAR drivers do-- and it’s been said before-- but let them wear their sponsors plastered all over their three-piece suits when they show up so we know what side they’re on and who they’re actually doing their bidding for... It’s so wrong because it’s still so unconstitutional. It’s still taxation without representation. It still picks winners and losers because some corporations get to opt out of the requirements that hit everyone else. It still infringes on states’ rights, and it still weaponizes the IRS against Americans who just simply seek freedom and choices and sensibility in their families’ health care. The IRS will be taxing aspects of this without representation because we have no choice. We’re shackled to politicians’ whims and special interests’ bullying interests, which does violate the Constitution, and it actually allows government to have a lien on our health... I don’t know why we’re still even giving an inch on aspects of socialized medicine via this new RINO-care proposal. Is that okay with conservatives, with Republicans in office? They say they want the patient first. They say they want freedom. They say they want a free market to drive the insurance system that we have in America. But no, government is still in control. Government actually has a lien on our health because they lord over us penalties if we want to opt out of a big government mandate... I have great faith that President Trump is one who will fulfill campaign promises. He already has a track record of doing so well in these first months, I’m just really proud to have been part of the constituency that wanted him in there and worked hard to get him in there. So, yeah, I’m sure that President Trump is going to do the right thing and listen to all sides, of course, but understand, especially, that as a businessman, he’s going to understand whether this makes sense in his vision of how to grow businesses and how to get government off our back and back on our side. How will we create a smaller, smarter government with a proposal like this that basically allows for the continuation of a growth of government? That’s what any aspect of Obamacare or RINO-care does. So asking President Trump specifically about how running a business, not a Wall Street business, but mom-and-pop main street business, how does RINO-care help their business get to grow and drive and survive in this economy?"

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At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

I hope the Republicans screw themselves over this no matter which way it goes.

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, they can't lose. If they pass the lite version of obamneycare, they kill a few and get points for un-Obama-ing AND "giving health care" to a few... AND cutting taxes for the rich.
If they don't pass the lite, they'll just repeal Obama and get the un-Obama point... and kill many more... and cut taxes for the rich.

Except for the dead voters among the white racist Nazi fucktards, they will suffer no electoral effects either way.


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