As we mentioned yesterday, Paul Ryan dis-invited radical right GOP House candidate Todd Long to his Orlando town hall Sunday. Long has been campaigning on abolishing Social Security and Medicare and recent polls show him scaring away older voters, not just older Democratic and independent voters, but even older Republican voters. One poll shows Alan Grayson winning 25% of older Republicans in the FL-09 race! There are many reasons Ryan may have excised Long from the program: Long was found passed out drunk in a school yard 200 miles from his house; Long was banned from the biggest shopping mall in central Florida for making a nuisance of himself, again, drunk; Long's wife testified in court that he had been abusing her-- and even Republicans know wife beaters are a no-no at election time-- and Ryan may have wanted nothing to do with Long because Long has vowed to vote against Ryan cronies John Boehner and Eric Cantor for House Leadership positions if he's elected, because, he says, they're "too liberal." But the one reason Ryan shouldn't have banned Long is over policy. Long's policy statements may have been inelegantly-- even embarrassingly-- stated but they are, at their core, straight out of Ryan's "Plan For the World," his dystopian, Ayn Randian budget.
You may have seen the Gallup poll released yesterday that shows that by a widening margin of 51-43% Americans trust Obama more on Medicare issues than Romney. There's an even worse poll out for Romney-Ryan. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken even before Ryan was booed by seniors at the AARP convention in New Orleans last week "indicates that during the past two weeks-- since just after the Democratic National Convention-- support for Romney among Americans age 60 and older has crumbled, from a 20-point lead over President Obama to less than 4 points. Romney's double-digit advantages among older voters on the issues of healthcare and Medicare-- the nation's health insurance program for those over 65 and the disabled-- also have evaporated, and Obama has begun to build an advantage in both areas. ... Romney's selection of Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate put the federal budget and Medicare at center stage in the campaign. But the debate over spending and entitlement programs that Romney seemed to be seeking has not unfolded the way Republicans wanted." Here's Paul Ryan being Paul Ryan in 2010 when he refers to the Cayman Islands, where Romney has stashed tens of millions of dollars to avoid paying his fair share of taxes, as "the place to hide your money." Yeah let Ryan be Ryan...
And the clamour on the far right in response to all this? Double down, triple down. Let Ryan Go Rogue! Let Ryan Be Ryan! Far right extremists want to embrace sociopaths like Todd Akin and Todd Long-- the GOP Tard Strategy.
Conservatives initially saw the selection of Mr. Ryan as a hopeful sign that Mr. Romney had fully embraced their small-government agenda and eagerness to turn the election into a head-on clash of ideologies. But now, with Mr. Romney encountering a host of problems and Republicans openly fretting about the outcome in November, Mr. Ryan’s slow fade back into the secondary and sometimes afterthought role traditionally played by running mates has given conservatives a new outlet for frustration over the state of the race.
“I was enthused when Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan because I thought it was a signal that this guy was getting serious, he was getting bold,” Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Mr. Ryan’s home state, told a Milwaukee radio show host on Friday. “It’s not necessarily even a frustration over the way Paul Ryan’s been used but rather in the larger context: I just haven’t seen that kind of passion I know that Paul has transferred over to our nominee, and I think it’s a little bit of some pushback from some of the folks in the national campaign.”
Dan Senor has been assigned to keep Ryan in check and make sure he doesn't pull any Sarah Palin moves. He's with Ryan every day and watches him like a hawk (aside from trying to teach him a little something about foreign policy). But if Ryan is anything it's a craven little lackey who obeys authority. He's "not the kind of No. 2 whose ambition or temperament inclines him to buck the boss."
[S]ix weeks after Mr. Ryan’s selection the political value of adding him to the Republican ticket seems to be dissipating. His presence has fired up Republican partisans, but it has energized Democrats as well. Mr. Ryan’s signature issue-- overhauling Medicare-- has moved front and center, but polls suggest that so far it is playing to Mr. Obama’s advantage.
Even the possibility that he could help Mr. Romney win Wisconsin, a state that Republicans had high hopes of capturing, seems to be in doubt, with a number of recent polls giving the Democratic ticket a small advantage there.
And now there's even a rumor that the Democratic Establishment, long overtly hostile to any Democrat seeking to seriously challenge Wall Street's favorite congressman, is warming up to Rob Zerban and may actually give the greenlight to Democratic donors to help fund his campaign. At a town hall on Long Island this weekend, Ryan-protector Steve Israel hinted there may be a change coming soon in terms of the DCCC's refusal to challenge Ryan. 'Til then, there's always this... for people who know better than waiting for the DCCC to get serious. Ending Paul Ryan's political career should have been a top priority for Democrats for the last decade. Instead, led by the DCCC, they enabled him, taking cash from the same Wall Street special interests who are determined to see Ryan in the White House... no matter how long it takes and no matter how much they have to spend on the project.