Saturday, August 26, 2017

I Don't Feel Sorry For Paul Ryan-- He Made This Bed


As I sat down to write this post, the big headlines at Bannon's and Mercer's extreme right website were a series of attacks on Trump chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kushner-in-law and on the Senate's most vulnerable Republican, Dean Heller. The anti-Heller diatribe was something that has many congressional Republicans wondering when they should break with the Trump Regime for their own political survival.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed Danny Tarkanian for the U.S. Senate in Nevada, an endorsement Palin and Tarkanian provided to Breitbart News exclusively ahead of its public release.

“Danny Tarkanian is a conservative outsider who will support the ‘America First’ policies our nation needs to survive and thrive, including building the border wall, ending sanctuary cities, and finally repealing Obamacare,” Palin said in the statement endorsing Tarkanian, provided exclusively to Breitbart News. “Commonsense Conservatives in Nevada and across America need to unite and help win this critical fight. I strongly endorse Danny Tarkanian for the United States Senate and look forward to helping him win this important election.”

...Tarkanian’s race against Heller comes as Heller, a far-outside-the-mainstream establishment Republican, has not stood with President Trump on most issues. For instance, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Heller “bragged about his dissent against the Republican-backed health reform bills” and he “stated he would continue to uphold” support for former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive amnesty for illegal alien youths.

In addition, Heller announced his opposition to the idea that President Trump would pardon Arizona’s former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Meanwhile, a top player inside the Mercer/Bannon operation contacted Blue America to ask if we would partner with them on a project to topple Paul Ryan who they hate with a fierce passion. They really hate Ryan-- probably as much as we do. The WI-01 congressional race will hinge on independent voters choosing between Ryan's increasingly ugly and deteriorating brand and the vibrant and sparkling everyman brand Wisconsin iron worker Randy Bryce has patiently built up for years. A little over a third of the midterm voters will be Republicans and a slightly smaller number will be Democrats. But over a quarter of the voters will be independents who are indicating in no uncertain terms they don't think Ryan has earned another reelection. Trump-leaning independents are as adamant as Democratic-leaning independents that Ryan is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Politico's Rachel Bade covers Ryan from a very sympathetic perspective. Yesterday she asked the country to feel sorry for his plight. "For all its power and prestige," she empathizes for her idol, "the speaker of the House is one of the most thankless jobs in Washington-- just ask John Boehner. Now, with Congress barreling toward major fiscal fights this fall, Paul Ryan is about to get a taste of the Boehner treatment-- and then some. Consider what's on the immediate horizon for the GOP wunderkind: President Donald Trump is ready to shut down the government over his border wall with Mexico. Breitbart has all but declared a renewed, Steve Bannon-led war on GOP leaders, with Ryan in its cross hairs. And conservative lawmakers are exhorting the speaker to play hardball on raising the debt ceiling-- even as the White House demands a no-strings-attached increase to calm nervous creditors."
"Conservatives aren’t going to roll over when it comes to the debt ceiling,” said Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) in a Tuesday interview. “I can tell you: It’s going to be a battle.”

Asked about Ryan’s leadership on such matters, Walker added: “I would like to see his genius in policy manifest itself… Behind closed doors, there are strong conversations when it comes to holding the line for the will of the bulk of the conference. And I would like to see some strength in that area.”

When Ryan reluctantly took the reins of the House Republican Conference in late 2015, he went out of his way to say he was only heeding the call of duty and didn't really want it. Two years later, he faces the most treacherous stretch of his speakership as September showdowns over the budget and debt ceiling approach.

Like Boehner, Ryan will be forced to mediate the long-running hostilities in his conference-- between the always-potent Freedom Caucus and a newly-empowered faction of centrists. Only this time, Ryan also has a demanding and unpredictable president thrown into the mix, too.

Trump isn't making it easy. On Thursday he attacked Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for rejecting his proposed strategy of pairing a debt ceiling increase, a toxic vote for Republicans, with a popular veterans bill to garner more support.

GOP leaders rejected the approach because they ran out of time before recess and worried some Republicans would fume that they got arm-twisted into voting for the debt bill they'd otherwise oppose but for the vets provision.

Trump didn't care about those sensitivities, tweeting Thursday: “I requested that Mitch M & Paul R tie the Debt Ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. Bill (which just passed) for easy approval.... They didn't do it so now we have a big deal with Dems holding them up (as usual) on Debt Ceiling approval. Could have been so easy-now a mess!”

That slight came just days after Trump said he'd be willing to shut down the government in order to secure funding for his border wall-- a strategy that could backfire on the Republican congressional majority in next year's midterms. And as if that's wasn't enough stress, Ryan will almost certainly be forced to rely on Democrats for the fall’s big fiscal votes-- a move that was eventually Boehner’s undoing.

No one is saying Ryan's job is in jeopardy. But the way he handles all these situations could well determine his standing and popularity within the GOP.

Meanwhile, frustration is mounting among Republican voters that Congress failed to deliver on campaign promises like repealing Obamacare. While Ryan points out that the House passed legislation and it was the Senate that came up short, the public isn't necessarily interested in that distinction.

Neither, it seems, are Trump and his allies. In fact, the president has shown he has no compunction about blaming Republicans in Congress for not enacting his agenda. And while Bannon engaged politely with Ryan and GOP leaders in the White House, he’s made clear that he plans to pound them relentlessly from his new perch atop Breitbart.

"You can see the emerging theme from Trump world is that Trump doesn’t fail; Trump has been betrayed," said longtime Ryan acquaintance Charlie Sykes, a prominent conservative commentator based in Wisconsin. "They’re going to line up the scapegoats... No matter how much [Ryan] appeases Trump, it won’t take long for Trump for turn on him."

Most of Trump's ire has lately centered on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in retribution for failing to pass a bill to repeal Obamacare. But the Trump-Ryan marriage has always been one more of convenience than true love, so many are wondering how much longer it will last.

Here in Ryan’s southeast Wisconsin district, longtime Ryan supporters worry their congressman will be crippled from all the impossible demands and pressures. Marlene Lamberton, a Ryan constituent and retired manufacturing employee from Caledonia, Wis., said this week that Ryan is being “forced to do many unpopular things” and “make a lot of compromises" because his conference is so divided.

“Being speaker of the House has become a setback… It’s basically ruined his career for a while,” she said. “I think Paul Ryan is a good person. I think he’s one of the most honest politicians I’ve ever known and heard. But I think he is compromising his values a little.”

We contacted David Keith, Randy Bryce's Racine-based campaign manager about how this is playing out in southeast Wisconsin. He told us that "Ryan finds himself in a very precarious situation: does he hug the far right in the hopes of fending off a revolution from the Bannon-types, or does he dismiss the far right in the hopes of winning enough of the independent vote to get him to 50+1? The latter is the type of tactic Ryan is normally comfortable with. In Ryan world, his cookie-cutter style will be: dump millions of negative advertising on Randy Bryce while amplifying the 'aw-shucks' Mr. Nice Guy/I'm your wonky neighbor type to target milk toast moderates (a vote that I believe is becoming few and far between).

"There is a problem with this approach however. 1/3 (maybe slightly less) of the vote will be independent, meaning that he would have to win 75% of the independent vote in addition to winning ALL of the Republican vote. If Ryan deserts Trump and his Bannon-type extremists, he CAN'T win 100% of the Republican vote, or even anything remotely close to that. They may stay home. They may vote for the iron-worker, or they may vote for a third party...

"So this dynamic begs the question: is Paul Ryan nearing a check mate scenario? No matter how bad the Koch Regime and their money apparatus muddy up Randy's name, Democrats are eager to vote, Independents hate the President and his agenda so their vote will likely mirror the Democratic voter sentiment, and the far right hates Ryan. I don't see a majority coalition there for Ryan.

"Damned if you do, damned if you don't, might be the phrase increasingly playing in Lyin-Ryan's head for the next 15 months."

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At 11:22 AM, Blogger Bula said...

I heard that wack job Nehlen wants to primary Ryan again...

Gee, that would be a shame for Ryan... especially if Mercer bankrolled him!

He had the endorsement of a number of right wing nuts last time...

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Bryce would be fantastic. David Keith will make it happen. Fingers crossed.

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In Ryan world, his cookie-cutter style will be: dump millions of negative advertising on Randy Bryce while amplifying the 'aw-shucks' Mr. Nice Guy"

Is it just possible that people are sick of this, sick of the mud that we're being asked to swim in, day after day? Maybe somebody who's not a liar can break through this. People just have to want it enough.
We don't owe pity to anyone who made a career out of cruelty.


At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a logical world, all this would make sense.

Except ryan's evil has never been a mystery. and he still enjoyed 8 or 9 re-elections by the electorate in WI-01 (or those who pretend to count votes... always a question in this shithole of a country).

What one must ask is what threshold did ryan overstep this time that he wasn't already miles past the second time his name was on the ballot? And why would an electorate that was thrilled (by big margins) to have him 9 times would decide he was toxic now.

The only difference between then and now is he was just bitching about someone else in power then; and now he *IS* that power. And all his promises to his electorate -- to cut billionaire taxes, allow corporations to rape and pillage and kill employees, and to deny 25 million their health care -- that they LOVED (?!?) could not be passed because too many other congresswhores still worry about electoral demise from those ryan lusts to ratfuck?

If THAT electorate is given another chance to show their evil, I expect them to show it again.

Bryce is running on the hope that WI-01 isn't a fetid cesspool of evil. I'm not so sure he could possibly be correct.


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