Paul Ryan Denounces Republican Strategy

You may have heard that establishment Republicans are almost as terrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency as the rest of us. And since they haven’t been able to stop him so far, they’re getting a bit desperate.
So today, Speaker Paul Ryan opened his mouth and said some words:

The Republican party does not prey on people’s prejudices—we appeal to their highest ideals.

Are you fucking kidding me? He would have us believe that he lives in this country, has managed to become Speaker of the House, and yet somehow has never paid attention to electoral politics in the last twenty-some years?

Republicans gave us the Willie Horton ad. They gave us “welfare queens”. They made “9/11” the most commonly-repeated phrase in several conventions.

Republicans were the ones screaming loudest that gay marriage would undermine religious liberty, destroy the family, and probably rain on your Fourth of July barbecue. Ditto gays in the military. And gay scout masters. And now the fearmongering about trans people in bathroom bills is all coming from the right.

Who kept accusing Barack Obama of not being American? Which party gave us “blah people”?

I understand that Ryan doesn’t want Trump to be president. But he’s the culmination of years and years of Republican divisiveness and fearmongering. They, as the saying goes, built that. Preying on people’s prejudices and fears is what Republicans do. Does Ryan really expect anyone to believe otherwise?


A selection of headlines in my news aggregator this morning:

One of these things is not like the others.

(Also, what’s with the scare-quotes around “Isaac”?)

Why Don’t the Republicans Want My Vote?

I like Dean’s Fifty-State Strategy. For those who haven’t been following along, the idea is that for years, the Republicans and Democrats have been concentrating their campaign money where they think it’ll do the most good. Thus, for instance, the Democrats would realize that they’re not going to win some rural seat in Georgia, and therefore there’s no point in campaigning there. Then the Republicans would see that there’s no Democratic competition for that seat, and would concentrate their resources on a more disputed election, perhaps in Ohio or Missouri.

We all saw the 2000 and 2004 elections. So Dean apparently decided that the old was weren’t working so well anymore, and that the Democrats should actually spend money on every race in 2006, even the ones they can’t reasonably win.

The effect is at least twofold. For one thing, remember that dogcatcher race in rural Georgia? If the Democrats are actually spending money on it and putting up a fight, that means the Republicans can’t just take it for granted, and are going to have to spend money there as well, which is money they can’t spend in Missouri or Ohio.

The other effect is that stories are coming out about a resurgence of the Democratic party in unlikely places, like Alabama. Places where, in past election cycles, the Democratic party presence consisted solely of a PO box now have actual paid staffers, and people are getting to meet real live Democrats for the first time. This is all well and good and in the spirit of democracy, giving people a choice of candidates.

But I guess the Republicans didn’t get the memo. This November, I’ll be voting for or against Steny Hoyer, who has said a few stupid things recently. So I thought I’d see who the competition is.

As far asI can tell, there’s no Republican in that race. Apparently Ron Miller was running, but decided to switch to the Senate race. But no Republican will take the Maryland 5th house seat, because they haven’t put up a candidate.

I sent them mail yesterday asking about that, but I’m not terribly hopeful. I sent them mail in April asking for a platform document (no snark or anything; just a straight request), and never heard back.

Which brings me to the question in the subject: apparently the Republicans don’t want my vote. Why not?

Update, Aug. 11, 2006: I actually got a response from the MD GOP. My request:

Hi! I’ve been trying to find out who will be the GOP candidate in Maryland’s 5th Congressional district this November. I’ve searched the web site, but haven’t been able to find this information.

If you could help, I’d appreciate it.


Their response:

There is no Republican candidate going against Steny Hoyer this year. We originally had one candidate, Ron Miller, running but he decided that running against Mike Miller in the state Senate presented a better opportunity for success and impacting the people of the district. There was one other candidate who thought about getting into the race, but decided at the last minute that his time and energy was better spent re-electing Governor Ehrlich, electing Michael Steele to the U.S. Senate and bringing more Republicans into the General Assembly.

Thank you for your email. I hope this information helps.


Audra Miller
Communications Director
Maryland Republican Party