Happy Labor Day to all! Today is Labor Day 2012, but an interesting thing happened during Labor Day 2011. Paul Ryan walked in a parade, and was confronted by his constituents. This is a must see video of the man who wants to be our vice president and how he interacts with the people he is supposed to represent.
Earlier this morning, I posted a diary, Oops! Mitt Romney Called U.S.A. ... "this company". The title was meant to be an attention grabber, but the context was to discuss whether or not businessmen make good government leaders. I really could care less about a slip of the tongue that Mitt Romney made when he was tired.
Over the last few weeks, when I’ve posted a diary, one commenter I always look forward to seeing is hannah. I don't know if I ever have, but I know I've always wanted to, tell hannah how much I admire her perspective. I want to tell her so publicly now because hannah has given me a lot of good insight and information to think about. Today hannah posted this comment in my diary:
Yes, people endowed with the gift of.
gab tend to have a high opinion of themselves, perhaps because they believe what they hear themselves say. Blabbermouths set up an impenetrable feed-back loop.
Eastwood channeling Obama saying "shut up" was on the mark, even though Obama is never so rude.
Willard and Paul should be told to shut their traps. But then, nobody would pay any attention to them, would they?
They'd just have to slink away as Pauli did from the labor day parade:
I've learned that hannah discovered this video in Shawn Russell's diary John Nichols of the Nation Eviscerates Paul Ryan Once Again!, which is a great read and also exposes "the sadistic pleasure Paul Ryan gets from the working man and woman’s misery."
You have to watch that video! Since Paul Ryan was nominated as Mitt Romney’s running mate, you may have already seen the video from back in September 2011 Paul Ryan Protester Handcuffed, Pushed To Ground By Wisconsin Police, where Ryan tried to make light of the situation, saying, “I hope he's taking his blood pressure medication.”
After Ryan received the nomination, you may have also seen the video of Paul Ryan Speaking at the Iowa State Fair where after two women were removed by police, Ryan yelled over the crowd, “It's funny because Iowans and Wisconsinites we like to be respectful of one another and peaceful with one another and listen to each other. These ladies must not be from Iowa or Wisconsin.” One of “these ladies” turned out to be a 63-year old school teacher from Iowa. I’ve also seen video (which I can’t find right now) of Paul Ryan during the same event:
Maybe Ryan will grow on people; certainly we’re being told he adds youth and vitality to the ticket. By most accounts, he’s a pleasant enough guy, supposedly good at retail, person-to-person politics, which Romney stinks at. Maybe voters will come to like him.If you go back in time to the video that hannah posted, you will see a Paul Ryan who displays a sense of entitlement when confronted by his constituents. The video begins with the words “Paul Ryan Labor Day Confrontation” and then the camera pans to what looks like a train station platform and the sign, “Janesville.” People are handing out yellow flyers, and then the camera focuses on a older gentleman holding a sign that says “FIRE RYAN.” The gentleman says
Or maybe they won’t. Ryan, who’s supposed to be the warm, regular guy on the ticket, gave a whiff of that odd Romney entitlement today at the Iowa State Fair. Asked whether he supported efforts to provide federal relief to farmers struggling with the state’s historic drought, Ryan waved off the reporter. “We’ll get into all those policy things later,” he said, adding, rather unbelievably, “Right now I just want to enjoy the fair.”
The United States is the only country in the world where healthcare is a business. We need to deal with controlling the runaway costs. I take a medication that went from $58 to $400 in the six months. And his plan will leave that cost coming out of my pocket.The camera moves to images of parade participants driving little vehicles shaped like airplanes; men dressed like minutemen carrying musical instruments; and a big red tractor getting ready to pull a homemade float. And then we arrive at the must-see part of the video from about 0:55 to 3:19:
[Man #1 approaches Congressman Paul Ryan, pushing a stroller with his wife and sons]You actually have to watch this video and hear the pleas in this man's voice when he says that last part. The way Paul Ryan is smugly dismissive of this man, who Ryan was elected in Congress to represent, is nothing short of disgusting. Evidently, the man in the green shirt succeeded in rescuing Paul Ryan from the questions the man was posing because the video cuts to another scene where Paul Ryan is once again being asked questions by another constituent. The first few exchanges are inaudible, transcript picks up where what is being said can be understood.
Man #1 holding out hand to shake Ryan's hand: Congressman Ryan.
Ryan: I'm sorry, I just ... [shakes man's hand]. Nice to see you. We're just getting started here.
Man #1: I just really want to ask you a question.
Ryan: Not right now because we're just getting started.
Man #1: It's about the tax breaks ...
Ryan (handing man a card): Do me a favor, go to my website.
Man #1: I have. I've read it.
Ryan: Then you know what I think we ought to do.
Man #1: I know. And you think the same as Bush, and that's what I don't understand.
Ryan: Well, we're just going to have to disagree on that, okay? Take care, I hope you do better. I want to get jobs, and we just have a different opinion on how to get them, okay?
Man #1: So what should I have to work for to get a job? Should I have to work for the same wages as in China? Should I have to work for one dollar an hour?
Ryan: Have a nice day, all right?
Man #1: Is that the competitiveness that's needed?
Ryan: Have a nice day, all right?
Ryan's wife (smiling broadly): Have a nice day.
Ryan: Would you like some candy?
Man #1: No.
Ryan (Laughing, smugly): Would you like a Packers-Badger schedule?
Man #1: We need jobs in this community. There needs to be better jobs in the community.
[Ryan smiles smugly looking away pretending the man isn't there; wife is laughing]
Man #1: What is deregulation going to do? Why should we allow corporations to do whatever they like? Is that the goal?
[Man in green shirt with RYAN on the back approaches Man #1]
Man #1: How can we be at Labor Day when there's so much unemployment? This is a sad Labor Day.
Ryan: No, I was camping with my children.Once again the body language says it all. You have to watch it. While the man continues to question him, Ryan keeps looking away with a smug smile on his face, looking like he wants the man to just go away.
[Ryan turns his head away from the man and looks at his wife, while the man continues to try and ask Ryan a question, which Ryan clearly isn't listening to. Ryan obviously just wants the man to go away.]
Man #2: You didn't go to Illinois and ... be with the campaign donors ...
Ryan: This isn't a good time to have this meeting. Let's just enjoy this parade.
Man #2: It's a Labor Day parade.
Ryan: That's right. Let's have a parade.
Man #2: That means that it's for workers. Do you think that we should have a minimum wage in this country because you're always saying that we should be competitive against China and ...
Ryan: I think I'm going to have a good day; you too.
Man #2: Should we abolish the minimum wage? Would that make us more competitive?
Man #2: Mr. Ryan. This is the only time we'll get to see you is here. You weren't in your office in Kenosha. You were speaking in Janesville, Racine ...Ryan only wants to focus on his family, friends, and supporters. Clearly this man is ruining his day by being a constituent who would like to ask his representative in government a few simple questions.
[Woman walks up and hands man candy.]
Man #2: Thank you.
Ryan, Thank you, guys.
Voice from off camera: Have a nice day.
Man #2: Mr. Ryan, can I ask you just one question.
Ryan: You know, I just don't think it's a good time. We've offered to have conference calls with you guys; to schedule meetings. Why don't you schedule a meeting like everybody else?
Man #2: Well, we just want to talk to you face to face like your campaign donors always get to do.
Ryan smiling smugly, clearly uncomfortable: Right.
Man #2: You did meet with your campaign donors earlier this week, right? Did you?
Man #2: The [inaudible]?
Ryan: Not that I know of, but ah, I met with some ...
Ryan's wife: This is not the time.
Ryan: This is not the time.
Man #2: You didn't meet with campaign donors?
Ryan: This is not the time to have this conversation.
Ryan's wife: This is not the time. We’re here for a parade. We'd just appreciate it if we could just focus on our family and focus on the parade.
Man #2: Look I'm not angry or anything ... [inaudible]
Ryan: No, I know. Let's just focus on our family, our friends, supporters and having a good time.
The remainder of the video contains images of the parade and the protesters shouting at Paul Ryan throughout. The next image we see is a float with a banner, “Unemployed Workers United For Good Jobs!,” then pans to the back of the float where another banner says “JOBS NOW WISCONSIN. Fighting for a Fair Economy.” Another float goes by for a dance studio by with young people dancing on it.
Then men wearing green shirts walk on each side, carrying a green banner that says “Ryan” in large white lettering. You hear an announcer say over the speaker system: “Join us in welcoming, Congressman Paul Ryan and family ... (loud cheering, some words inaudible) ... Paul represents the ... congressional district and also is the House Budget Chairman. Welcome Paul. Have a good Labor Day.” Paul Ryan and his wife walk in the parade waving at crowd.
The parade continues and people chant at Paul Ryan: “Paul, look around!” and “What do we want? Jobs! When do we want them? Now!” While Ryan walks in the parade people walk parallel to him on the sidewall holding up homemade signs: “Labor Not Wall Street Fest” and “Hey Ryan, Hands Off Medicare” and “The Rich Get Richer. The Poor Get Poorer. Paul Ryan Gets on TV.”
The camera pans to a large banner needing two people to carry it that says “Ryan Ignores Working People.” Having watched two of his constituents try to engage Ryan in conversation, it seems this banner is very appropriate.
Another sign, being carried by the woman loudly chanting with the crowd joining in, What do we want? Jobs! When do we want them? Now! says “40,000 Unemployed District. Tax cuts don't work.” The woman then starts chanting, “Paul Ryan's got to Go!” Paul Ryan continues down the street waving and smiling.
The woman holding the “40,000” sign, yells “You're a congressman. We elected you. You work for us; not your corporate donors! Not the people who buy you wine. Not the people who take you to dinner! You work for us, the people you're waving at Congressman. And guess what? We can fire you.”
Now it is clear that the two men who tried to talk to Ryan earlier in the video are the two men holding the large banner “Ryan ignores working people!” Man #1 is yelling, “Corporate Puppet! Corporate Puppet!” The video switches back to street and Ryan walking, waving and shouting, “Hey, everybody, Happy Labor Day!” and then pans back to the sidewalk where people are chanting, “Shame on You! Shame on You! Shame on You!” and “Tax the Rich, Paul Ryan! Tax the Rich!” As the camera follows the parade, people sitting in chairs along the route are booing and continue to yell “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
As Paul Ryan ends his walk in the parade, and all of the people in Ryan's group wearing those green shirts with “Ryan” on the back gather together in a gas station parking lot, the protesters continue chanting, “Paul Ryan he's the worst. He puts corporate interests first.” Two policemen approach the protesters and tell them to “Keep walking.”
The protesters then walking in a circle chanting “Stop the attacks on the middle class! Stop the attacks on the middle class!” and then “Corporate Puppet! Corporate Puppet!” and finally “Where are the jobs? Where are the jobs?”
The video ends with Paul Ryan getting into the driver's seat of a light blue Chevy Suburban SUV, as the crowd continues to chant Paul Ryan drives away.
On Friday night, Ed Schultz interviewed two men in Janesville, who attested to the fact that Paul Ryan had been lying about the Janesville plant closing. One of the men said:
Where Congressman Ryan failed us, is when these employees needed it most, and to pull a stunt that he did at the Republican National Convention, and use the closing of this plant and to disgrace the plight of these workers when even today four years after the closing of this plant we have families separated. We have moms and dads that drive four or five states away to come home on the weekends to see their families. [Cheering from people in room.] And to use that and to turn this plant closing and into a political football is shameful and he ought to be ashamed of himself and we ought to be ashamed of him.People in Paul Ryan's congressional district are obviously very ashamed of him and would like a new representative in Congress. They have that opportunity to get one now. While Paul Ryan is traveling around the country auditioning for the job of vice president, back at home his constituents are in need of real representation. And while Paul Ryan will likely lose his bid for vice president, he is still on the November ballot to retain his seat in Congress.
Paul Ryan's opponent is Rob Zerban who has posted here under his personal name, and has started an account here for his Congressional Campaign. You can also visit the Campaign website. Paul Ryan isn't going to be the next vice president. Let's make sure that he also doesn't return to Congress in November. Let's help those people get a representative who will actually do the job of representing them!