Saturday, May 27, 2017

Nehlen's Not Going To Nail Ryan In 2018 But There Is A Candidate Who Will


Far right Trump-worshipping crackpot Paul Nehlen wants a rematch. He's challenging Paul Ryan in Ryan's southeast Wisconsin congressional district to a primary battle again. In 2016 Nehlen put up $62,766 of his own and raised another $1,379,852 in a clash with Ryan. Nehlen was the Breitbart candidate and had very vocal support from Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter and Phyllis Schlafly. That kind of lunatic fringe support may help account for Ryan crushing him with 57,364 votes (84.1%) to Nehlen's 10,864 (15.9%).

In 2018 Ryan will be vulnerable to a solid Democratic challenge. The DCCC wants nothing too do with that but one gets the sense that iron worker and union activist Randy Bryce from Caledonia is putting together a challenge that will better reflect the swing nature of a district the DCCC had purposefully ignored for a decade. Polling in the district shows Ryan very beatable and Bryce is just the candidate to bring voters a nitty gritty contrast to Ryan's slick and increasingly unbelievable barrage of shallow lies.

Voters from Kenosha and Racine through Burlington and Elkhorn out to Janesville are wising up to Ryan's austerity bullshit. This summer will be the 7th anniversary of Paul Krugman's explanation of why Paul Ryan is America's ultimate Flimflam Man, something worth re-visiting today. Long before Ryan was Speaker, Krugman put him into context:
One depressing aspect of American politics is the susceptibility of the political and media establishment to charlatans. You might have thought, given past experience, that D.C. insiders would be on their guard against conservatives with grandiose plans. But no: as long as someone on the right claims to have bold new proposals, he’s hailed as an innovative thinker. And nobody checks his arithmetic.

Which brings me to the innovative thinker du jour: Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Mr. Ryan has become the Republican Party’s poster child for new ideas thanks to his “Roadmap for America’s Future,” a plan for a major overhaul of federal spending and taxes. News media coverage has been overwhelmingly favorable; on Monday, The Washington Post put a glowing profile of Mr. Ryan on its front page, portraying him as the G.O.P.’s fiscal conscience. He’s often described with phrases like “intellectually audacious.”

But it’s the audacity of dopes. Mr. Ryan isn’t offering fresh food for thought; he’s serving up leftovers from the 1990s, drenched in flimflam sauce.

Mr. Ryan’s plan calls for steep cuts in both spending and taxes. He’d have you believe that the combined effect would be much lower budget deficits, and, according to that Washington Post report, he speaks about deficits “in apocalyptic terms.” And The Post also tells us that his plan would, indeed, sharply reduce the flow of red ink: “The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan would cut the budget deficit in half by 2020.”

But the budget office has done no such thing. At Mr. Ryan’s request, it produced an estimate of the budget effects of his proposed spending cuts-- period. It didn’t address the revenue losses from his tax cuts.

...[W]why have so many in Washington, especially in the news media, been taken in by this flimflam? It’s not just inability to do the math, although that’s part of it. There’s also the unwillingness of self-styled centrists to face up to the realities of the modern Republican Party; they want to pretend, in the teeth of overwhelming evidence, that there are still people in the G.O.P. making sense. And last but not least, there’s deference to power-- the G.O.P. is a resurgent political force, so one mustn’t point out that its intellectual heroes have no clothes.

But they don’t. The Ryan plan is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future.
Even earlier, in a column titled "Don't Know Much About Economics," Krugman explained to his readers that Ryan is "stone-cold ignorant" and laughed about how he's "the smartest Republican Congress has to offer," eviscerating the notion that Ryan has any idea of what he's talking about. "Ryan’s idea of fiscal reform," Krugman warned us even back then, "is to run huge deficits for decades, but claim that it’s all OK because we’ll cut spending 40 years from now; and he throws a hissy fit when people challenge his numbers, or call privatization by its real name. But hey, he’s intellectually ambitious."

Ambitious, yes. Intellectually ambitious? Well for someone who thinks Ayn Rand is an intellectual... sure. In 2011 Ryan was on Face the Nation doing what Wall Street pays him to do: lying his ass off about his "cause," or what the GOP was passing off as his budget proposal. Soon after he started reciting his talking points it was impossible to keep track of all the misinformation and outright deception. Remember, Ryan, who was basing his budget on "closing loopholes" has adamantly supported corporate loopholes for his entire career, even voting against closing tax loopholes for companies shipping jobs overseas and using those loopholes to lower their tax liability. Underscoring his lack of credibility on loopholes, he voted against closing them again that year when the Democrats proposed stopping the federal government from giving contracts to companies that outsource American jobs overseas. When Ryan runs to the media insisting that “we're saying keep tax rates where they are right now, get rid of all those loopholes and deductions which are mostly enjoyed by wealthy people so you can lower tax rates” he's determined to mislead his listeners. He does the same thing when-- petrified Americans see though his plan to end Medicare-- he insists Republicans don't want to ration Medicare. But the CBO warned even back then that higher payments could affect care as beneficiaries might be less likely to use new, costly, but possibly beneficial, technologies and techniques-- "free market rationing," pure and simple. Even the Wall Street Journal acknowledged Ryan's plan would end Medicare: "The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills. Mr. Ryan and other conservatives say this is necessary because of the program's soaring costs." And Ryan's most current plan to destroy America's families-- TrumpCare-- would remove 48,900 residents of his own district from the rolls of Americans who are covered by health insurance.

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At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Tom Wakely said...

I lived in Paul Ryan's district for over a decade. My daughter graduated from Woods School in Lake Delavan in Walworth County. There were 12 kids in her 8th grade graduating class and like all of these small rural schools in Walworth County, they fed into Lake Geneva High School. Being the good father I am I decided to keep an eye of my daughter Kellt given that she was heading off to a 2,000 plus high school. So what did I do, I ran for school board. I defeated a 20 yr. conservative incumbent. How, by knocking on every day I could, visiting every farm I could, and advertising on the local AM station. My point being, a progressive can flip this district.

At 6:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ryan has won several terms promising to do exactly what he's done -- end medical care for the least 10%-20% among us and transfer all money devoted to helping those abject unfortunates to the billionaire caste.

And WI voters, with all due respect to Mr. Wakely, have enthusiastically supported him all the way.

WI voters failed miserably to recall walker and his labor-crushing, Koch-fellating admin.

And anyone running under the democrap banner has THAT millstone around their neck to overcome even before not getting money or other support from the DCCC. You'd be as well off, maybe better, if you ran as a Green. THEY might slip you a coupla bucks and a few volunteers from the University.

Ryan gets re-elected again by 15 points. mark it down.


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