Thursday, December 14, 2017

Odious Wisconsin Granny Starver Retiring-- Too Late For GOP Incumbents Bracing For A Tsunami?


Every Beltway insider who read the DWT predictions for the last couple of months-- once I started seeing the WI-01 internal polling numbers-- that Ryan would retire, rolled their eyes. Then, today, Tim Alberta and Rachel Bade went with the story at Politico-Pro: Paul Ryan Sees His Wild Washington Journey Coming To An End.

Last night I was at a fundraiser here in L.A. for Kaniela Ing. Kaniela told his life story and how that story turned him into a progressive. While he was telling it-- he came from a modest background and his father passed away when he was young and he was dependent on a then-strong social safety net to make it and, in his case, escape from the pineapple fields. Except for the part about the pineapple fields--and the conclusion-- it's almost the same as Paul Ryan's life story. But Kaniela internalized the struggle and decided to devote his career to helping others struggling the same way he ands family struggled. Ryan took a different approach, working tirelessly, after reading and internalizing Ayn Rand's simplistic adolescent novels, to pull up the ladder behind him and shred the social safety net that helped him escape from poverty.

Ryan's Tax Scam was carefully written to eventually end what's left of the New Deal and completely shred what remains of the social safety net, which, he has said many times, makes people lazy. Alberta and Bade were more generous about how they phrased it: "Having spent a quarter-century in Washington-- as an intern, waiter, junior think-tanker, Hill staffer and, since 1999, as a member of Congress-- he had never wavered in his obsession with fixing what he viewed as the nation’s two fundamental weaknesses: its Byzantine tax system and ballooning entitlement state... The speaker has since gone public with this aspiration, suggesting that 2018 should be the year Washington finally tackles what he sees as the systemic problems with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid."
Tinkering with the social safety net is a bold undertaking, particularly in an election year. But Ryan has good reason for throwing caution to the wind: His time in Congress is running short.

Despite several landmark legislative wins this year, and a better-than-expected relationship with President Donald Trump, Ryan has made it known to some of his closest confidants that this will be his final term as speaker. He consults a small crew of family, friends and staff for career advice, and is always cautious not to telegraph his political maneuvers. But the expectation of his impending departure has escaped the hushed confines of Ryan’s inner circle and permeated the upper-most echelons of the GOP. In recent interviews with three dozen people who know the speaker-- fellow lawmakers, congressional and administration aides, conservative intellectuals and Republican lobbyists-- not a single person believed Ryan will stay in Congress past 2018.

...He would like to serve through Election Day 2018 and retire ahead of the next Congress. This would give Ryan a final legislative year to chase his second white whale, entitlement reform, while using his unrivaled fundraising prowess to help protect the House majority-- all with the benefit of averting an ugly internecine power struggle during election season. Ryan has never loved the job; he oozes aggravation when discussing intra-party debates over “micro-tactics," and friends say he feels like he’s running a daycare center. On a personal level, going home at the end of next year would allow Ryan, who turns 48 next month, to keep promises to family; his three children are in or entering their teenage years, and Ryan, whose father died at 55, wants desperately to live at home with them full-time before they begin flying the nest. The best part of this scenario, people close to the speaker emphasize: He wouldn’t have to share the ballot with Trump again in 2020.
The bad news for House Republicans is that Ryan is even less popular among voters than Trump and having him leading the House Republicans into the midterms is likely to be catastrophic. Sunday, we ran this polling data showing Ryan's approval/disapproval numbers in key congressional districts around the country:
VA-10 (Barbara Comstock)- 20/71%
PA-06 (Ryan Costello)- 21/70%
WA-08 (Dave Reichert)- 20/67%
AZ-02 (Martha McSally)- 23/65%
IA-03 (David Young)- 24/65%
MI-11 (Dave Trott)- 22/65%
CO-06 (Mike Coffman)- 25/64%
CA-49 (Darrell Issa)- 25/63%
MN-02 (Jason Lewis)- 29/62%
IA-01 (Rod Blum)- 26/61%
ME-02 (Bruce Poliquin)- 25/61%
PA-15 (Charlie Dent)- 25/61%
NY-22 (Claudia Tenney)- 26/52%
CO-03 (Scott Tipton)- 24/52%
PA-08 (Brian Fitzpatrick)- 30/52%
NY-27 (Chris Collins)- 29/51%
NY-24 (John Katko)- 32/49%
CA-25 (Steve Knight)- 26/48%
CA-39 (Ed Royce)- 26/43%
Randy's campaign manager, David Keith, just told us that "It is no surprise that Paul Ryan is contemplating going home. From day one of Randy's campaign, southeast Wisconsin-- and the nation-- has woken up to the sound of hope and a working class vision of fairness and justice. Paul Ryan has been spending too much time in bourbon-filled back rooms on Wall Street to hear that message, but clearly, it's loud enough now. He's more than welcome to apply for an iron working apprenticeship so he can learn a thing or two about how he'll spend his time during retirement."

Randy Bryce: "We knew Paul Ryan was too afraid to stand up to Donald Trump, but now it appears that he's too afraid to face the voters of his own district as well. Ryan must be seeing the same thing we are: his poll numbers are dropping, while our campaign has caught fire." Randy's campaign chief strategist, Bill Hyers brought up the new poll from Global Strategy Group which shows Ryan's poll numbers are tanking at home, with 47% of district voters saying they view Ryan negatively, compared to just 46% with a positive impression-- a net drop of 9 points since August. Despite having a fraction of Ryan's name recognition, Bryce is already within striking distance, trailing 46-40%-- and when voters learn about Bryce, he pulls substantially into the lead, which must have driven Ryan to make this decision to retire. Hyers: "Ryan would rather retire than be held accountable for what he's done, but one way or another, Paul Ryan will be out of a job in 2018."

Did the Politico story even mention Randy Bryce, the construction worker on the verge on defeating Ryan on election day? Is Ryan's plea to voters in Kenosha, Janesville, Racine and across southeast Wisconsin going to now be, "hey, I'm leaving anyway... don't embarrass me now? Have pity." Regardless of what he says this is the time to double down... triple down. Whether Ryan runs with the intention of retiring of doesn't run, the key has always been to replace him with a stalwart defender of the legitimate aspirations of working families... Randy Bryce. See that thermometer below?

Goal ThermometerThis morning, the folks at VoteVets alerted their members about Ryan's decision: "Moments ago, news broke that Congressman Paul Ryan is considering retiring after the midterm elections. But honestly, Paul Ryan doesn't deserve to retire with dignity, he deserves to be sent out with an embarrassing defeat... Paul Ryan thinks he is going loot the U.S. Treasury to rain cash on some of the richest Americans in this country and then leave out the back door? No way. No how. We're gonna beat him first." And by "we," they meant everyone coalescing around Randy Bryce to defeat Ryan. You can chip into Randy's campaign by tapping the Blue America Stop Paul Ryan thermometer on the right. One of the candidates we're eager to see working in Congress on behalf of working families alongside Bryce is Iowa's Austin Frerick, a former Treasury Department economist under Obama. "For once, I encourage Rep. David Young," he told us moments ago about his rubber stamp opponent, "to take Speaker Ryan's lead and retire at the end of this session as well. He can save himself the humiliation come November 2018."

Sam Jammal, who's running for Ed Royce's Orange County seat had a similar point of view today" "Ryan can announce he is retiring, but Ed's still stuck with him. Ed's a yes vote that Ryan has banked on for votes to raise taxes on families in our district, cut Medicare for our seniors , undermine our environment and push Donald Trump's reckless agenda that does nothing for our community. Just like with Trump, there is no running away from Ryan next year." And Katie Hill, running north of there for the seat Steve Knight has such a tenuous grasp on told us that "Ryan is less popular in the 25th district than any other elected official. CA-25 voters know that his tax 'plan' and his efforts to repeal the ACA hurt the residents of the district. Steve Knight has continually supported his corporate cronyism agenda. After Virginia, New Jersey, Alabama, and other elections around the country the writing on the wall is clear; voters have had enough. The 2018 elections will turn Speaker Ryan into the Minority leader. A blue wave is coming and I look forward to making the 25th district part of it." Doug Applegate, the progressive in the race to unseat Darrell Issa, saw the Politico story and reminded us that "Without Paul Ryan leading the GOP herd, Darrell Issa will be lost. Constituents of the 49th will see that the GOP only wants to make sure their government does nothing for working men and women of America."

And to quote Beyonce, "tell 'em boy bye"

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At 5:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He won't go home. He'll move to K street, make an order of magnitude more money bribing his heir to starve grandmothers and orphans.

I'm surprised, though. He could have vacuumed a billion dollars from the likes of the kochs to try to get re-elected and if he didn't spend it all... well, even a loss would leave him pretty well provisioned...


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