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Wed Apr 11, 2018, 12:29 PM

Parsing the Ryan Retirement

Short summary: The GOP has largely conceded the House in the 2018 election cycle. They'll still throw effort and money into some key races, but by and large they're reorganizing as the prospective Minority Party in the Senate. The bulk of Koch money and what's left of Russian hacktools will be diverted into expanding their control of the Senate.

In a little more detail:

GOPpies have always been more comfortable monkey-wrenching government than actually running government, for which they lack all the essential qualifications. Their qualifications in the area of "nuisance value", on the other hand, continue to accrue and expand. They're still (essentially) the party of "Oh, hell no!" and they're damn' good at that.

Ryan's pretense of being able to actually govern will be no longer needed as a Minority Leader. Believe it or not (I know it's hard!) they have WAY more effective bomb-throwers than Ryan, many from districts that will remain safe no matter what.

Ryan can now retire and take up his lucrative "consulting" practice, selling influence, promoting sleazy treason from behind the scenes, and providing media cover for the ongoing genocide of poor and disadvantaged Americans. His government pension and retirement benefits are safe, the consulting cash will be lagniappe.

The role of the GOP House Minority will morph into feeding red meat to the base via Sinclair and Faux, with leadership chosen for its rhetorical skills and extremist "policy" ideas.

However, look for them to throw money into, and work hard to defend, some relatively low-profile, pseudo-moderate "establishment" Congresscritters whose long experience and backroom infighting skills will still be necessary to stall committees, waste time with specious amendments, and employ every trick the House Rules allow to keep responsible legislative action from ever happening.

In the mean time, watch the targeting on key Senate races, looking for large influxes of money and a huge media slime machine to focus on vulnerable incumbent Dems. The Kochs have earmarked $300 million, I'm guessing more than two-thirds of that will be expended, one way or another, to defeat four or five Democratic incumbents.

They are also counting on the Democratic base to "write off" some Dem incumbents, including Donnelly, McCaskill, Heitkamp, and Manchin, who have all done things to piss off the most-progressive wing of the Party, making it hard to mobilize the grassroots fervor that will protect some of the others up for re-election.

It's a viable strategy, when you're increasingly vulnerable, to shrink your defensive perimeter and make strategic offensive selections.

Ryan's "retirement" is just the beginning.


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