Thursday, August 31, 2017

Time For The DC Parties To Dump Ryan And Pelosi For Their Own Good


About a year ago, Pew released a survey about party affiliation in the U.S. One conclusion you would have drawn is that registered voters who identify as independent might soon outnumber both Republicans and Democrats-- combined. More recently-- like last week-- a Harvard-Harris Poll showed net favorability for some of the country's most prominent political leaders. The only leaders from either party with statistically more positive support than negativity are Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. People-- as in registered voters-- absolutely hate both Trump and Hillary, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The public rejects these people-- yet they still are managing to control the levers of power in Washington. The whole corrupt, money-fueled system stinks to High Heaven.

It's hard to imagine Pelosi being able to hold on much longer. Her support inside the House Democratic caucus is finally evaporating. Virtually no one I speak to-- neither incumbents nor challengers-- want to see her leading the party again and the only thing that keeps her in place are the alternatives-- all of which are far worse than she is: Steny Hoyer, Joe Crowley, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Tim Ryan-- or is he on to the presidential sweepstakes now? I called an even dozen House candidates yesterday and even the ones-- about half-- who said they would vote for her as Speaker in 2018, refused to let me use their names. "She's pretty toxic among the independent voters here," one candidate told me. "I don't have anything against her but it isn't just Republicans who hate her. Many Democrats want to see her just move on and make room for someone else... Her time is over."

Yesterday was even worse for Paul Ryan in that regard. Dave Weigel, reporting from Minnesota for the Washington Post went to a Republican candidates' primary forum and found that GOP candidates are as sick of Ryan as Republican voters are. When the a member of the audience asked the 5 Republican congressional candidates if they plan to vote for Ryan to lead their party, 4 refused to back him. Watch at the 56 minute mark:

“I think he’s going in the wrong direction,” said state Rep. Tim Miller.

“I would prefer someone else,” said commercial pilot Dave Hughes.

“We’ll see who runs for speaker,” said businessman Jim Hagedorn.

“He might not even run for speaker,” said St. Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber.

...Public polling, however, has seen Ryan’s favorable rating and approval rating tumble since the start of the Trump presidency. According to HuffPost’s poll tracker, Ryan’s approval rating was barely underwater, 35/41, the week of Trump’s inauguration. Today, it’s underwater by close to 20 points, 30/49; Pelosi’s rating is 29/49. A Bloomberg poll, conducted shortly before the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed in the Senate, found 61 percent of Republican voters approving of Ryan, with every other voting bloc viewing him negatively.

“His numbers are no better than mine,” Pelosi said after Democrats lost a special election in Georgia’s 6th District. “The difference is we don’t engage in the politics of personal destruction.”

Republicans remain confident that Pelosi, who after Hillary Clinton’s defeat has become the focus of most negative conservative ads, is far more polarizing than Ryan. The Democrats’ 2018 House map, skewed by gerrymandering in key Rust Belt states and parts of the south, sets up races in suburbs where Pelosi remains toxic.

But the reluctance on display in Minnesota came from candidates running in three of the cycle’s 12 Trump/Democrat districts-- places where 2016 voters broke Republican for president, but sent a Democrat back to Congress. Trump’s surge among rural white voters nearly took out Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), whose 1st District in the southern part of the state backed Barack Obama by 1.4 points, then backed Trump by 14.9 points.

Hagedorn, who was nearly elected by that swing, was among the candidates who refused to take a stand on Ryan this week. Saying he did not want to alienate any potential supporters, even “Washington Republicans,” he suggested that it was too early to ask candidates who they’d back for speaker.

...Only one of those candidates, trucking company owner and 7th District hopeful Matt Prosch, said he would back Ryan for speaker. His rivals, Hughes and Miller, veered between criticism of Ryan and hope that he could redeem himself.

“We’ve got to have to have leadership that ensures we do the will of the people,” Miller said. “Whoever that is, I’d support that.” Hughes, who lost to incumbent Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-MN) in 2016, suggested that he was “not impressed” with Ryan and would see who else ran.

Stauber, who has no primary challenger as he seeks to defeat Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), was just as lukewarm about Ryan. “When I’m in Congress, I’ll let you know, because people can change their views, change their ways,” he said. “People have the ability to change, and I hope he does.”

Answers like that could come back to haunt Republican candidates. In 2016, the CLF and the affiliated American Action Network spent $4.8 million on advertising against Nolan, a resilient campaigner who held on by just 2,072 votes. This year, as the CLF has focused on defending incumbents, it’s made clear that Republicans who buck Ryan won’t get help. That was demonstrated first when Rep. David Young’s (R-IA) initial opposition to the ACA repeal effort ended the CLF’s investment in his district.

“Our mission is to ensure that Paul D. Ryan remains Speaker after 2018,” said CLF executive director Corry Bliss. “Obviously in allocating resources to accomplish that goal, CLF will prioritize friends and family first.”
Goal ThermometerStauber, the goon running against progressive Democrat Rick Nolan said that "I won’t ask Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to come to my district." He better hope Nolan doesn't either. The sprawling 8th district, which goes from the exurbs not of Minneapolis west to Brainerd and north to Hibbing, Duluth and the Canadian border. Although Obama won the district comfortably both times he ran, MN-08 Democrats couldn't have asked for a worse candidate than Hillary Clinton. The blue collar district flipped to Trump and gave him a 54.2% to 38.8% win. Clinton underperformed Obama by 13 points. Bernie won the MN-08 caucuses by a gigantic margin-- 65.2% to 34.8%. District-wide, he had 12,096 caucus votes to Trump's 3,324. Bernie beat Hillary in every single one of the district's 18 counties and he beat Trump in all 18 as well. Stauber better hope Nolan doesn't invite him to the district. Bernie is, after all, the most popular national political leader in the district. I'm sure Nolan would love to see Bernie debate Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell or, best of all, Señor Trumpanzee, right up in Duluth.

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At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And here is the conundrum.

"People-- as in registered voters-- absolutely hate both Trump and Hillary, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The public rejects these people-- yet they still are managing to control the levers of power in Washington. The whole corrupt, money-fueled system stinks to High Heaven."

Yes it stinks. But it has stunk for decades. You listed the leadershit of both party's contingents in congress as being hated, which they are, deservedly so. Yet each has been odious in the extreme for decades. Yet they continue to enjoy wide electoral margins at each cycle *AND* they keep getting elected to their leadershit positions by their caucus members.

You go on to list the succession list for the democraps, characterizing them as worse, which is almost surely true. Yet THEY all regularly enjoy electoral margins and support within the caucus -- in spite of who you polled and what they said.

Look, it all boils down to this: If they don't get elected, they cannot become congressional leadershit. It all boils down to voters.

If voters elect better, parties get better. When voters elect oceans of pig shit, parties get really bad.

They're really bad. Have been for close to 4 decades (Rs longer than that). Wazzat say about voters?

Voters need to be better.

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to introduce the idea that positions like majority/minority leader and Speaker should have term limits. SHORT term limits.

At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to remind everyone that Pelosi and ryan are NOT the disease. They are simply the drop of pus at the center of one (each) open sore on a vast diseased body.

dab off that pus, more pus follows. You can't cure the disease by dabbing a little pus.

But thanks to the "sophistication" of voters, the disease will always and still be treated by prayer and leeches and rusty implements.

So don't look for anything to change. In fact, it is almost inevitable that things will continue to degrade for a while longer, until the final collapse of the American empire in a civil war or receivership or both.

Anyone hoping for a "Marshall Plan" implemented by China to help us out after we're nothing but a smoldering pit? That's probably our best hope for a halfway decent outcome. We certainly won't be fixing this ourselves.


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