Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Paul Ryan Is Extremely Vulnerable-- Despite A Massive War-Chest From Wall Street


Dave Weigel had observed for the Washington Post hours before Paul Ryan's fake CNN town hall-- in reality a deceitful infomercial gifted to his campaign with pre-screened questions and a pre-selected audience by CNN-- that the staged event had "turned into a marketing opportunity for progressives. Randy Bryce, Ryan’s likely Democratic opponent in 2018, has purchased time for two 30-second spots that will run during the broadcast in the Republican’s district. The first spot is designed like the sort of question-from-voters videos that are often used at town halls. Bryce fires off three questions, starting with one on the Congressional Budget Office’s coverage estimates for the American Health Care Act. Bryce then says: 'Donald Trump is clearly a racist. When will you censure him in Congress?'"

After the informercial ran, fake journalist and Ryan-booster Rachel Bade noted for Politico, an embarrassing lapdog, that Ryan, who is incredibly and increasingly unpopular back in the southeast Wisconsin district he abandoned "remains undeniably popular in his home state." She just gratuitously pulled that out of her ass-- as is her style of pseudo-journalism-- and it contradicts every single poll of WI-01 voters this year. A couple of paragraphs down, Bade was at it again, proving her devotion for the cardboard cutout congressman most Beltway types have now recognized as the fraud he's always been.
To be sure, Ryan is still extremely popular with Republicans here in the 1st District. All but one Republican interviewed for this story said he or she would vote for Ryan again, and others used adjectives such as “honest,” “tenacious” and “hard-working” to describe.

Some, like Franksville-native Bill Jaeck, even parroted Ryan’s talking points about House-passed bills stalling in the Senate.

But there’s a sinking feeling among some Ryan supporters that the man they’ve known and voted in for years is not the superman they’d hoped.

“Being speaker of the House has become a setback… It’s basically ruined his career for a while, because he’s forced to do many unpopular things,” said Marlene Lamberton of Caledonia, a longtime supporter.

The retired manufacturing employee said she’s worried that her fellow Republicans “blame him” for the lack of GOP accomplishments and that Ryan's popularity is declining. “He’s forced to make a lot of compromises," Lamberton said. "He’s trying to keep his promises but he’s bumping up against some wall.”

Ryan’s town hall at the Racine Theater Guild wasn’t like most GOP town halls. Jake Tapper moderated the talk, carried live on CNN. Some Ryan constituents who wanted to attend weren’t happy that they were locked out-- particularly since it was his first town hall since the fall of 2015.

“Why would you not hold a town hall for all of your constituents as opposed to this small, staged event where only a few are allowed in?” asked Kenosha resident Jeanne Lepp, a retired teacher and Democrat who wanted to attend the event but could not.

...As with most GOP town halls since Election Day, progressive groups came out in full force, gathering on the front lawn with signs that read “repeal and replace Ryan” and “your arrogance eclipses your duty.” Many protesters toted around pictures of Ryan’s head plastered on a “where’s Waldo?” outfit, with a sign that read: “Where’s Paul Ryan?”

Those signs tapped into a frustration even some Ryan supporters expressed: That the speaker has become less accessible as he’s risen through the ranks. Ryan's office denied that charge, arguing the speaker has reached more than 800,000 constituents through "tele-town halls" and taken questions during local tours of factories.

Those business tours, however, are closed to the public. And constituents said tele-townhalls offered little chance it mix it up with Ryan, since he does most of the talking.

"He may not like it, it may be contentious," said Ken Webber, a self-proclaimed Ryan voter from Pleasant Prairie, "but you have to have those town hall meetings.”
New polling released this morning

Most people in Wisconsin know who Charlie Sykes is. A popular conservative talk show radio host, he was widely credited with helping Ted Cruz defeat Trump in the 2016 primary. On the same April day Bernie beat Hillary, 570,192 (56.6%) to 433,739 (43.0%), Cruz defeated Trump 533,079 (48.2%) to 387,295 (35.0%). In the 8 counties where Sykes' WTMJ show dominated, Trump severely underperformed his statewide totals.
Dodge Co.- 32.6%
Jefferson Co.- 31.8%
Milwaukee Co.- 26.2%
Ozaukee- 20.5%
Racine Co.- 32.1%
Sheboygan Co.- 25.1%
Washington Co.- 23.5%
Waukesha Co.- 22.1%
Monday, Ana Marie Cox interviewed Sykes for the NY Times Magazine. He told her that he's "long admired Paul Ryan and thought of him as the future of the Republican Party. But he’s made a Faustian bargain. I keep thinking about that scene from A Man for All Seasons, where Thomas More says, 'What profit a man to gain the whole world if he loses his soul, but for Wales?' And I keep thinking, But for tax cuts, Paul?"

Even after Trump showed his racist/Nazi tendencies in the midst of the domestic terrorism debacle in Charlottesville, Sykes realized Ryan is just a lost cause. "I imagine," he told Cox, "that most of the elected officials are privately horrified in realizing that their bargain is increasingly untenable. But how that manifests itself, I don’t know. Ryan is not going to give up on tax reform because of this."

Cox asked him if the Republican Party is done for because of this dearth of leadership displayed by people like Ryan, McCarthy, McConnell and Cornyn. "It’s a moral, intellectual and political defining moment for the party. I just don’t see any long-term future if they don’t confront this. All this reveals something deeply troubling about the party itself but maybe also reveals something very troubling about what the electorate wants."

DC conventional wisdom says it's nigh impossible to beat a sitting Speaker of the House so Bryce is wasting his time. DC conventional wisdom says Ryan has tens of millions of dollars which he and his allies will use to pulverize Bryce so Bryce is wasting his time. DC conventional wisdom says people are used to voting for Ryan and they're not going to kick him out for some interloper who already lost 2 races, so Bryce is wasting his time. The DCCC may see it that way-- as do the DC insiders-- but we don't think so.

Polling shows registered voters in southeast Wisconsin are fed up with Ryan and his agenda and the way he has avoided them. Bryce is widely admired by working men and women who sense he's one of them, the polar opposite of "an interloper." He's running the best congressional campaign-- with no help from the DCCC-- in the entire country and has created a brand for himself that every political consultant is freaking out over because all their candidates are asking for the same thing. Even after the Republican legislature removed Beloit from the district and added in chunks of beet red Waukesha County to help Ryan, WI-01 is still a swing district where independent voters will cast the deciding votes. Independents have come to detest Ryan. The Bannon wing of the GOP seems willing to let the seat fall to a Democrat to get rid of their own bête noire. Breitbart wants Ryan out more than they want a red district. Bannon has some poison up his sleeves headed Ryan's way. But even without him, Randy Bryce can win this thing. Want to help? Below is a Stop Paul Ryan thermometer. Please click on it and contribute what you can.
Goal Thermometer

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At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beating ryan WOULD be satisfying. And Bryce does seem to be a "traditional democrat" (as in a FDR/HST type as opposed to the republican type that has controlled the party for nearly 4 decades).

But I'll remind you all again: If the Rs keep the house, they unplug ryan and plug in someone just as bad/evil or worse. Ryan isn't the disease. He's a symptom. He's only a small part of the tumor.
If the Ds gain a majority, which they really don't want, it won't be much different. They will plug in Pelosi or Crowley and will commence "raising shit-tons of money" so they can all retire in comfort and/or buy more seats for their friends and others of like mind, like more converted republicans and lobbyists.
You may see ACA tweaked but you'll never see MFA or any SP. They will make billions from those lobbies to prevent it. And any tweaks won't prevent insurance cartels from abandoning "markets" and raising premia without limits.

You'll even likely see tax cuts for the rich.

Congress without ryan would be like a metastatic cancer of the bone marrow without the tumor on the pinkie toe. You're still going to die eventually. no way out.


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