Wednesday, June 21, 2017

DC Democrats Want To Learn How To Appeal To The Working Class? Randy Bryce Can Teach Them


Monday, Randy Bryce launched his campaign to repeal and replace Paul Ryan in a southeast Wisconsin district the DCCC has always made clear to Democrats was “off the table.” That’s where Randy lives and a bunch of political hacks in DC claiming his district is “off the table,” isn’t going to stop him for a minute. The fish rots from the head and if Trump can’t be held accountable until 2020, Speaker Ryan’s time is now. And Randy is the exact right person to do just that. We covered his announcement on Monday morning. And Randy is no kid who will ever be pushed around by the DCCC or molded into a centrist running away from a fairer tax structure or from Medicare-for-All, the way Jon Ossoff did last week. This statement from Donald “D” Taylor, president of one of America’s biggest and most active unions, Unite Here, was issued this morning on the latest loss by Democrats in special congressional elections. It sounds like he’s getting as fed up with the DCCC as the rest ion us are:
Hope is not a strategy and ‘resisting’ is not a plan. The Democratic Party is out of excuses on its electoral performance. Donald Trump is a menace to America and his handmaidens in the House and Senate GOP like Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell are enablers for the dismantling of our healthcare, the devastation of our middle class, and undermining our values as a beacon of hope in the world. I don’t care where in the country a race is conducted-- Democrats should be able to win. In Red States or Blue States, Democrats should be able to compete-- and win.

Millions of Americans are desperate to be led by political leaders who stand for something, are willing to take risks, and are willing to tell the truth and engage Americans where they live. That just isn’t happening. Our union has been able to prove that issues combined with organizing can overcome just about any obstacle to win.

Goal ThermometerSounds like D Taylor is starting to realize-- or has come to fully realize-- that the DCCC is not a friend of the working class. Close to the ground in Wisconsin, Mike Elk also reported on the beginning of the Bryce campaign, BREAKING: Ironworker Randy Bryce Announces Bid to Unseat Paul Ryan. Please give it a read through and, if you want to help, consider contributing by tapping the thermometer on the right. Mike Elk:

Despite his 6’2 frame, the half-Mexican, half-Polish Army veteran known as the “@IronStache” on Twitter is the epitome of a gentle giant. Holding a beef brisket sandwich in his hand, he hugs, back slaps, and laughs his way through the crowd at the Juneteenth parade on the lakefront of Racine.

“I’m running for Congress against Paul Ryan,” ironworker Randy Bryce struggles to tell an African American woman over the noise of a gospel choir singing on the stage behind them.

Ryan, the Speaker of the House and a former vice presidential candidate, has more than $8 million in the bank for his re-election bid. By contrast, Bryce is a rank and file ironworker activist who has built some of Southeast Wisconsin’s best-known landmarks, including Milwaukee’s Miller Park and the landmark Northwestern Mutual Building.

However, it’s not an entirely uphill battle. Ryan’s district includes the pro-union bastions of Racine and Kenosha, as well as the suburban Milwaukee Republican stronghold of Waukesha. According to the Cook Political Report, the district is only 5 points more Republican than Democratic. If 2018 turns out to be a wave election year, some think Ryan could be defeated by a candidate like Bryce in such a marginal swing district.

So far, Bryce-- an Ironworkers Local 8 member-- has lined up endorsements from the Milwaukee Building Trades, state Senator Chris Larson, and former House candidate Rob Zerban, who ran against Ryan in 2012 and 2014.

He has also enlisted the help of Bill Hyers, who managed the winning 2013 mayoral campaign of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and has worked on campaigns for the late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Former Milwaukee Democratic Party Chair Sachin Ccheda has signed up to help build a grassroots army to defeat Ryan.

Many in the district feel that if anyone could beat Ryan, it would be a rank and file union activist like Bryce.

“People know that the system is rigged and something has to be done, and Donald Trump took advantage of that,” says SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin’s Bruce Coburn, who serves as the union’s Vice President for Politics and Growth. “Randy, though, is someone who really believes in people and has shown it in all the years he has been in the labor movement.”

I first got to know Randy through the #wiunion hashtag during the Occupation of Wisconsin Capitol in 2011, and since then we have become personal friends. Bryce was part of the tens of thousands who occupied the Capitol in order to stop Scott Walker’s anti-union agenda.

Bryce sips Limeaid in the living room of his small two bedroom apartment outside of Racine as he recalls that battle.

“Walker’s strategy was to divide and conquer,”  Bryce says. “His strategy was pointing out people and saying they are being the reason that the others didn’t have it as good as they possibly could. Now that’s being taken to the national level with Donald Trump.”

“Just to get the [White House], he pointed the finger at Muslims, at people from Mexico, at immigrants, and there is a huge divide,” Bryce continues. “Now, people are looking at why we are different and thinking that’s the reason why they don’t have what they could.”

A year ago, Bryce wasn’t preparing for a Congressional campaign. This isn’t his first race; he ran for the State Assembly back in 2012, where he lost in the primary. Two years later, he ran for Wisconsin Senate in a conservative district and lost to Republican Van Wanggaard.

He says that he was moved to run, however, after being approached by a number of people in the wake of Trump’s election. Finally, during this year’s May Day protest-- which saw over 20,000 show up in the streets of Milwaukee-- Bryce says he began to believe that he could build the type of multi-racial coalition that could defeat Ryan.

If elected to Congress, he sees his role there as being more of a shop steward than a politician, and that he aims to run a campaign that amplifies the voices of others. “For an African American woman, there is no possible way that I can put myself into that woman’s frame of mind, the struggles she faces on a daily basis,” Bryce says. “I could do something to pretend, but I can’t experience it myself, so I need to rely on other people.”

Although he was a Sanders surrogate during the primary, he campaigned for Hillary Clinton in the general election and would have been an elector for her had she won. Given the ongoing struggle for control of the party, many in the district say that Bryce is a candidate who could bring Democrats together.

If successful, he would be only the third American since 1862 to defeat a sitting Speaker. It’s a given that the GOP and their corporate allies will spend heavily in the swing district to avoid that embarrassment.

He’s not naive about his long odds. But Bryce says his experience as a rank and file ironworker-- having been suspended hundreds of feet above the ground while working-- has given him the confidence to take on the almost impossible task.

“Being an ironworker, I have seen some things that, unless I have seen them with my own eyes and been part of it, I would say you can’t do that-- that’s impossible,” says Bryce. “You know, you are gonna walk up on a two and half inch piece of metal, you are gonna be up three hundred feet in the air and walk across and carry something to get to a place to wield-- that’s impossible… When ironworkers hear somebody say, ‘We can’t, it means ‘I won’t.’”

“Let’s trade places,” Bryce quips. “Paul Ryan can come work the iron and I’ll go to D.C.”

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At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DC democraps want to learn how to fool their imbecile voters into THINKING they give a flying fuck, when, in fact, they don't.

After a cycle... maybe two of betrayals, inaction, excuses and acts in opposition to their pretend 'give a shit' and those voters who pay attention (granted, not a majority... yet) will go back into dormancy.

Bryce can maybe show them what to pretend to give a fuck about.

But Bryce cannot make them actually give a fuck. Those asshats get waaaaay too much money from corporations and billionaires for that to ever happen.

Now... if Bryce switched to Green or catalyzed a new 3rd party, maybe we'd have something.

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most frightening thing for a bully is people realizing how powerful their hopes are. Watch the bullies squirm under this, and desperately try to stir up a fight, and division. And laugh. Laugh real hard because they've just shown us how to beat them. A new day is coming. You can't be a bully and win forever.


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