Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Rules Are Made To Be Broken-- Even In Wisconsin


The excitement around Randy Bryce's candidacy for the southeast Wisconsin congressional seat Paul Ryan has held since 1998-- without even one DCCC challenge, odd for a swing district Obama won in-- is palpable, growing and national. And in Wisconsin... I was first introduced to Randy simultaneously by two trusted political leaders there: Rob Zerban, the only Democrat to ever make a serious run against Ryan (with no help from the DCCC) and state Senator Chris Larson, the most progressive member of the Wisconsin's legislature. Polling shows Randy can beat Ryan-- if Ryan even decides to run again, a proposition looking iffier by the day.

Yesterday, National Nurses United (NNU) endorsed Randy for the seat. Here's the letter Ken Zinn, NNU’s Political Director, sent to Randy: 
I am happy to inform you that National Nurses United, the nation’s largest organization of registered nurses, is supporting your campaign for Congress to represent Wisconsin’s 1stcongressional district. We appreciate your commitment on the key issues of health, labor, economic justice, women’s equality, and civil rights, which are important issues to registered nurses.
In releasing the letter, Randy reminded the media that NNU was an early backer of then presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and "organized powerfully around the Senator’s platform of single payer healthcare, among other progressive cornerstones of his candidacy. They have been instrumental in crafting the Medicare for All legislation, which is quickly gaining traction among Democratic Senators this week... NNU has never wavered in their support for single payer healthcare, and I am honored to have their support. Paul Ryan stands in the way of our shared vision and with NNU’s support, he will be repealed and replaced in 2018. The time is now to support a bold, progressive vision for our country.”

Goal ThermometerRandy's campaign was quickly embraced by stalwart progressives like Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, Ruben Gallego, Ted Lieu, Alan Grayson, Raul Grijalva, Joe Kennedy and Jan Schakowsky and then the Congressional Progressive Caucus. So what about the Wisconsin congressmembers? There are 3 Democrats in the delegation-- two progressives, Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore-- and a less-than-worthless reactionary, New Dem Ron Kind who is personally very, very close with Ryan with whom he frequently votes. But none have formally endorsed Randy. (Pocan has been talking Randy up big time in Wisconsin and in DC.) The lack of endorsements is because of something called "the Dave Obey rule," a uniquely Wisconsin institution that prevents members of Congress from endorsing members of their own party against incumbents of the other party. It's an absolutely sucky rule and this would be a great year to rip it to shreds.

Now, Dave Obey, still one of the state's most influential Democrats, isn't in Congress any longer. But today he endorsed Randy Bryce himself. A signal? "Paul Ryan," he wrote, "has for far too long gotten away with his finely tuned act of being a moderate policy wonk, fighting the good fight on behalf of his constituents in Southeast Wisconsin. Rather, Ryan is an intellectually rigid, romantic ideologue masquerading as a moderate and pragmatic legislator. The only thing moderate about Paul Ryan is his demeanor. Candidate Trump had promised working people that they could count on him to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Advancing his own agenda that is hard on working people, Paul Ryan has pushed to turn Trump from a promise-keeper to a promise-breaker, in ways that would severely hurt working people. Working people can’t afford that kind of Koch Brothers-inspired and funded agenda. Working people can count on Randy to repeal and replace that kind of brutal thinking."

It will be worth watching what Mark Pocan, Gwen Moore and even Ron Kind do next.

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At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It'll be even more interesting to see what actual WI-01 voters do.

Ryan's intellectually rigid, amoral, misanthropic crusades have been no mystery at all. Voters know who he is. His party knows who he is. His PATRONS (Kochs et al) certainly know who he is just as EVERYONE knows who his patrons are.

And with this knowledge WI-01 has re-elected him many times.

Still, the kochs needn't worry. Pelosi and scummer will never allow MFA/SP. They'll use the threat to milk BILLIONS from the medical and phrma lobbies... but they'll NEVER allow it to pass.

At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Let's face it, Pelosi does not really want to win, she prefers doodling in the middle rather than take a stand. To win, one must take a stand. She needs to go.

At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, you have it a little backwards.

While true that she cannot take a (FDR Democrat) stand because of the demands of the donors, that does not extend to ALL of the party. And with the irrelevant numbers of Ds for quite a while now, and because of Bernie, individual Ds have been crowing about passing MFA/SP, raising taxes on the rich, new regs on finance and energy, free college, student loan forgiveness and other things that Pelosi's donors will never allow.

She and her senate partner, scummer, allow and even encourage individuals to so advocate. But be assured that none of these things will ever pass in a Pelosi house or a scummer senate.

If they gain majorities, especially in both, they'll have to come up with some fancy footwork to excuse their refusals to do any of them. Remember in 2009-2010 when the Ds had 60 in the senate and a 50 seat plurality in the house along with a VOTER MANDATE to fix finance, get the fuck out of Iraq, put torturers and banksters in prison, assure voting is fair and reliable, stimulate a depressed economy and so many other things?

Remember them doing anything at all about any of these? Of course not. Never happened. Obamanation manufactured the health care issue to distract us... and then he refused to allow a workable fix. Instead we got ACA which is a bailout for insurance CEOs.
Remember how voters were so pleased with the performance of that democrap congress that 15 million of them stayed home in 2010? I do. You know what the consequence of losing in 2010 is? It let the Rs gerrymander districts after the 2010 census. That's a big reason we have such a cluster fuck of a congress plus 2 states in 3.

Remember before 2009 when Dennis Kucinich wrote articles of impeachment to remove cheney and gonzalez? Remember all the house debate on these? Of course you don't. never happened. Pelosi refused to allow them to reach even the relevant committee.

So, you see, Pelosi doesn't really WANT a majority in the house. She'd be forced to put on a convincing performance about why it's so impossible to do MFA/SP and a host of other things. She likes being able to bitch about the vile Rs, but doesn't want to expose to voters how vile she truly is.


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