According to yesterday's Politico story, Paul Ryan now refers to Mitt Romney as The Stench. Whether the story is true or not, it is obvious that Paul Ryan is starting to survey the landscape of the presidential race and realize that he will not be the next vice president of the United States. Naturally this would lead him to make moves to assure that he retains his seat in the House of Representatives.
I was just watching Hard Ball with Chris Matthews yesterday and caught a glimpse of the ad Paul Ryan is running in his congressional district. Here it is:
Questioner: "Can American afford the path we are on?"Why do I characterize this ad as despicable? Because Paul Ryan is pretending to take a question from a constituent. Time and time again we have seen evidence that when Ryan's real constituents try to ask him a question, Paul Ryan treats them with disdain. Paul Ryan has an excellent challenge for his congressional seat in Rob Zerban. With it looking more and more like the Democrats can win back control of the House of Representatives in November, the fact that Paul Ryan is on the national stage can play in Zerban's favor. Ryan is being scrutinized by the national media, and not coming out looking good. Please follow me below the fleur-de-orange.
Paul Ryan: "Our country has a critical decision to make. Will we leave something better or worse for our children? Politicians from both parties have made empty promises, which will soon become broken promises if we fail to act now. We must take action to prevent the most predictable economic crisis in our country's history. Washington promotes a culture of dependency; we need a culture of accountability and personal responsibility. I'm Paul Ryan and I approve this message."
I pointed out several examples of how disrespectfully Paul Ryan treats his constituents earlier this month in a little seen diary with a video of Paul Ryan on Labor Day last year before he was thrust on the national stage this year. I listed several other examples of Ryan caught on camera showing his disdain for constituents. Then I shared the video from Labor Day 2011, which is a glaringly example of how poorly Paul Ryan treats his constituents.
You don't need to watch this entire video, but watch from about 0:55 to 3:19. Paul Ryan's body language and the way he talks to these people is shameful:
[Man #1 approaches Congressman Paul Ryan, pushing a stroller with his wife and sons]As I said the first time I posted the video: "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."
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.
The video then switches 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.
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 ...Evidently, Paul Ryan only talks to his constituents in a staged setting while producing an ad for television. The rest of the time, if you're not a donor, not so much. Earlier this month, Shawn Russell pointed out "the sadistic pleasure Paul Ryan gets from the working man and woman’s misery" when he first posted the video here at DailyKos.
[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.
Why is Paul Ryan running ads for his congressional seat? Because he has a viable opponent for his Congressional seat this year. His name is Rob Zerban.
Help Elect Rob Zerban to Wisconsin's First Congressional District
Haven't heard of Rob Zerban? Check out this article about him in Sunday's edition of The Chicago Tribune.
Rob Zerban is hardly a household name, but come election night, he will be either a national political sensation or the answer to a trivia question.Rob Zerban has been posting here at DailyKos, most recently: Demand that Paul Ryan Debate Rob Zerban. You can also visit his campaign website.
The 44-year-old Zerban, an Illinois native and a trained chef who once owned catering firms based in Vernon Hills, is the other candidate running against Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., this fall — the one not named Joe Biden.
And in one of those curious ironies of politics, Ryan's multitasking as he seeks re-election and the vice presidency also shines an unexpected bright light on Zerban's long-shot bid for Congress, generating a level of attention he never could have achieved on his own.
"It definitely helps raise the profile of my race," said Zerban, who considers House-passed austerity budgets crafted by Ryan as an affront to his own rags-to-riches story, one in which government played a role. "The vice presidential race helps us bring scrutiny to his budget plans."
Wisconsin's first congressional district deserves better representation than Paul Ryan who only pretends to be concerned about their concerns in political ads. I put my money where my mouth is last night and donated $25 to Rob Zerban's campaign. Will you join me and make a donation too?