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June 24, 2011 9:31 pm

Paul Ryan Radioactive to Republicans

  • by: Colorado Pols

The Republican budget plan drafted by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan has created a — yes, we’ll say it — shitstorm of problems for Republicans around the country because of a key component that would dramatically change Medicare.

Here in Colorado, freshman Rep. Cory Gardner has been furiously trying to spin the Medicare piece of “The Ryan Plan” to make it appear less horrible to average voters. In CD-3, Republican Rep. Scott Tipton is facing the same problems. But all the spin in the world on various pieces of “The Ryan Plan” may not do much to help Gardner and Tipton if Paul Ryan himself remains as unpopular as he is in a new poll. As Politico reports:

Democrats are winning the messaging war on Rep. Paul Ryan’s bid to overhaul Medicare, with a new Bloomberg poll finding 57 percent of Americans believe they would be worse off under his plan.

Only 34 percent said they would be better off if Congress replaced “traditional Medicare” with a program to purchase private insurance with government subsidies, as Ryan has proposed.

The poll also found Ryan is now the nation’s third most disliked Republican, with net unfavorable ratings that trail only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Yikes! This creates a whammy of a messaging problem for Gardner and Tipton, because any attack ads in 2012 can double-down on the rhetoric for better effect. We can already see the ad: [insert scary voice] Cory Gardner voted to approve Paul Ryan’s budget plan that would destroy Medicare as we know it.

Not only would this message hurt Gardner (and Tipton) because of people angry with the proposed Medicare changes — it also hurts with people who don’t like Paul Ryan.

Thanks a lot, budget wunderkind!



21 thoughts on “Paul Ryan Radioactive to Republicans

  1. Most unregistered and registered voters have never heard of Paul Ryan – at least the one we’re talking about.

    If Democrats and super-secret-mega 527’s like Priorities USA want to spend an ass-load of money getting Paul Ryan’s name ID up then knocking him down then tying him to Republican candidates – go for it.

    Meanwhile, Republicans are going to shove Obama’s debt limit vote and his “if the economy isn’t better in 3 years, this is a one-term proposition” quote right up his ass.

    Even the AARP is amenable to discussion (finally) about not screwing their grandkids.

    But you guys have your silver bullet in Ryan so everything else is just background noise.

    1. The poll notes that 49% of all people surveyed have an opinion about Ryan.  That’s more than most Congressmen.  His position, and the fact that he’s pretty much explicitly written into the House Rules, have boosted his name recognition substantially.

      And I think setting him up for this is a wise move by Democrats.  Naming a bill after a Congressman has a long history of acceptance to the public, and it gives a face to an action.  Making the Ryan Budget synonymous with dismantling Medicare is a wise move, and making individual candidates answer the question of whether or not they support it is a fast way to polarize the electorate on the issue.

      Please, PLEASE shove the debt limit vote wherever you want.  Republicans are the ones throwing temper tantrums today; the optics on it suck.

      1. of the poll, but if they are saying that 49% have an opinion on Paul Ryan – then a bigger % must know who he is – and a bigger % must have at least heard about him.  That is completely disconnected from reality; there are so many things wrong there.  Scientologists are likely more right than that poll is.

        I understand that if you tell people there’s a plan, called the Ryan Plan, that would “dismantle medicare, bs, bs, bs” and asked people how they feel – many would say they don’t like it.

        But that’s not what the poll is saying.  It’s saying that if I walk into King Soopers, almost anyone I run into will know who Paul Ryan is and half of them will actually have an opinion of him.

        And though I haven’t read Cantor’s side yet, I agree the optics don’t look good for him walking out.  

        But an unambiguous, straightforward NO-vote on the debt ceiling and video of a sitting president saying he shouldn’t be re-elected are even worse.

        1. Now there’s an understatement.  On the one hand you got an Orangeman led House caucus obsessed with it’s power (see also, the muddled “No” votes on Libyan hostilities AND on not discontinuing the funding), which would include the power of the governmental purse.

          And on the other hand, you’ve got the same band of asshat whiners complaining that the adult running the country hasn’t taken the time to come into their room and supervise the handing out of their milk and cookies.

          Optics look like . . . a cesspool, indeed.

        2. Thing is, the Ryan plan has “enjoyed” wide and long term media coverage, both MSM and rightie talkers, replete with video of Ryan himself. In the beginning he was being lauded on outlets such as CNN as being brave and even future presidential material because of it.  After the first few days, not so much.  But on the plus side, he’s still more popular than Newt or Sarah.

          You just can’t convince even the least engaged people that killing medicare and replacing it with a coupon you can use at the mercy of private insurers who have no interest in covering expensive old people for low, low prices is actually ” saving” medicare. It’s Ryan’s plan. Ergo….

          1. Pelosi has been around for a long time as a Dem leader.  Once she became the first female speaker in history, her name recognition went through the roof.  She was singularly targeted by Republicans for two years before Obama came around.

            On the other hand, Dems are going after Romney, Palin, Boehner, Tea Party, Ryan, etc.  Paul Ryan (not exacly a unique name) is one of many faceless congressmen.

            I guarantee you do a poll that says something like:  Who is Nancy Pelosi and what do you know about her – vs, Ryan – she beats him by a mile.

            1. But ‘the Ryan Plan to kill Medicare’ does sum it up nicely.

              As in ‘Scott Tipton supports the Ryan Plan to kill medicare’

              and ‘Cory Gardner supports the Ryan Plan to kill Medicare’

              Has a great ring to it, almost a cadence, I think.

            2. We all remember the elections of 2006 (don’t let that San Fransico Liberal Nancy Pelosi become Speaker) and 2008 (we must be saved from evil San Francisco Liberal Speaker, Nancy Pelosi). The deonization of Pelosi didn’t have any affect on the terrifc for Dems results.  2010 wasn’t about a massive effort to rid the House of Speaker Pelosi. It was more of a something else, please election and has been followed by lots of buyers remorse, especially where loony rightie Governors are concerned.  

              You’ve never canvassed have you? Try knocking on some doors and asking who is Speaker of the House and who is Minority Leader.  Don’t hold your breath while waiting for your first correct responses. You could also try asking who was the first woman Speaker of the House.  Plan on lots of knocking before you get an accurate response on that one. I guess it depends on how you define “through the roof”.

              Point is, you probably ought to accept the reality that the Ryan plan is very unpopular and that has caused a plunge in popularity for its author. Not many urging him to get into the presidential race these days, are they? But that used to be much talked of, wasn’t it? And people do tend to be more aware of names bandied about in the context of the presidential race and well publicized threats to their medicare or social security (“Keep your government hands off my medicare” having been a familiar Tea Party battle cry in 2008 with Rs promising they wouldn’t let evil Obama mess with it)) than they are of who’s who in the House leadership.

    2. The AARP is getting a metric buttload of shit for even suggesting that they’d be open to degrading benefits.  Don’t be too sure of their support.

      (This is one of a number of things they’ve done lately that their membership has been less than enthused about – one wonders just WTF has happened to their board…)

    3. If Jim DeMint has his way we’ll see the Republicans shove us straight into a world-wide depression. The Republican party will spend the next 30+ years in the wilderness for their irresponsibility.

      On what you would see as the good news side, that self-inflicted disaster will make everyone forget the Ryan Medicare proposal as the global economy goes into melt-down.

      1. I think there will be an agreement to raise the debt limit.  But Obama will (should) give up a few pounds of flesh for it.

        He doesn’t get a pass for making a purely political – stick-it-to-the-president vote on the debt ceiling as a US Senator then admonish Republicans for playing politics in the same exact situation.

        Not only is his hypocrisy blatant and in digital form, but now Republicans have a lot of leverage to work on fixing the budget.

        BTW, Obama’s name is much more likely to go down in history tied to any fiasco than will a congressman or political party.  Again, I think the raise will happen.

        1. BTW, Obama’s name is much more likely to go down in history tied to any fiasco than will a congressman or political party.

          And Ryan’s plan does end Medicare, for all intents and purposes.  Regardless if the GOP House censors make everyone call it  ‘premium support’ rather than voucher, to paraphrase Cheech and Chong…’hey man, it looks like dog shit…you gonna taste it?’

          As for not calling it a voucher, apparently the folks at ‘Hot Air’ didn’t get the memo…

          Paul Ryan’s plan to remake Medicare into something closer to a free-market plan relies on vouchers to allow seniors and the disabled to choose their own plans and manage their own care decisions.  

          Everyone wants to make their own health care decisions, of course, as in:

          “Should I eat today or buy my medicine?”

        2. Their idea of negotiating is to refuse to see anything they don’t like on the table at all. That’s not negotiating.  If they want some of the cuts Dems don’t want they need to accept some of the tax cut and subsidy roll backs they don’t want.  It’s called compromise and as long as Rs consider the other side the un-American enemy and compromise treason their can’t be any negotiation and, really, they can’t fulfill their duties as legislators.  

          The Tea Party cry of no compromise pretty much means no meaningful legislation unless  the GOPT holds all three branches.  In the meantime the GOPT just refuses to participate which means our Republic can’t operate as the constitution sets forth. The take away message ought to be, vote out the GOPT so we can be a functional American Republic again. We shouldn’t have to commit to one party government by either party because one party insists compromise with the other is inherently evil.  

    4. Rep. Paul Ryan has been trotted out on every Sun am issue show, his mug & budget has led numerous nightly newscasts, he’s made in AARP newsletters, web blogs, & email campaigns.  

      Fuxsake, frosh Reps stepped up right & further right to tie their privatized dreams to Ryan’s FAIL.  It’s led how many headlines on who does or doesn’t support it.

      GOP Reps & Sens have all had to state a position pro/con on it and they sucked those free airwaves to get their voices heard.

      So what the fuck world do you live in?

      What I love is that GOP’rs, TeaBaggers, and super-duper-secret-mega(churched)527s on your side gotta spend $$s to support Ryan’s FAIL or explain it away good or bad.  

      Honestly, the sane can just sit back and watch y’all feed on yourselves drawing blood in time for 2012.  

  2. Well the economy is better than it was 3 years ago. We’ve actually been ADDING private sector jobs over the last year. The President just has to ask, “are you better off than you were four years ago?” I suspect most will be able to answer ‘yes’ by November 2012 – that is if people can remember what it was like four years ago.  

    1. Not sure the numbers or the public agree with you.


      2008   5.8%

      2009   9.3

      2010   9.6

      2011   9.1 (May)

      Misery Index

      2009-02  8.44%

      2011-05  12.67

      Obama (from Gallup)

      October 1, 2009

      Aprove     52%

      Disapprove 41

      June 20, 2011

      Approve    45%

      Disapprove 47


      1. You can’t just give a yearly average unemployment rate. The bulk of job losses came in the last months of 2008 and the first half of 2009 while President Bush’s economic policies were still in place. It peaked at 10.1% in October 2009, just 9 months into the Obama administration. Now it’s at 9.1%, and that’s despite many thousands of jobs lost in the PUBLIC sector due to state and local government budget cuts. Conservatives should love the current jobs trend – a consistent increase in private sector jobs and decrease in government jobs.

        President Obama inherited an economy that was out of control. The stimulus may not have provided the economic boost it was expected to, but it saved states from bankruptcy and funded much needed infrastructure improvements that will create a multiplier effect for years to come. It also once again displayed the ineffectiveness of tax cuts as a way to stimulate the economy.

        Personally, I don’t believe in the notion that Presidents or Congress have a substantial impact on the economy, G.W. Bush included. Economic trends have much more to do with the purchasing and investment behavior of individuals and the laws of supply and demand. But in our irrational political culture, the President is somehow responsible for everything that happens. The battle becomes who can more effectively skew the statistics in their favor – thus our entire conversation here.  

        1. I agree with you that the president, any president, typically gets too much credit and too much blame for the economy.

          And many times, presidents start off with momentum created under the prior administration.  Clinton inherited an economy that had been on the upswing for almost a year (despite the campaign rhetoric) and Bush inherited a falling stock-market that had peaked in March ’00.  And yes, Obama inherited an economy with the bottom falling out.

          Nonetheless, I gave a range of different numbers that paint an overall picture to answer the question “Are we better off now than we were four years ago.”

          You can argue whether or not that’s a fair question.  Though Obama can’t take the blame for starting it (it’s more a combination of congressmen from both parties making purely partisan votes like Obama’s debt-ceiling vote and a schizo public), he will get punished for not fixing it after 4 years (per his quote about being held accountable).  

          I get that there is more to it.  But this is the political bumper sticker within which each candidate must navigate.

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