House Speaker Paul Ryan took a swing at “identity politics” on the populist conservative side during the President Donald Trump era, and talked about the supposedly massive disadvantage that his House Republicans have in the 2018 midterm elections. Ryan is leaving the speakership and Congress after the November election.
“How many seats did Ronald Reagan lose in the ’82 election? 26?….So, we have a 24-seat majority, 23 of our members are in Clinton-carried districts. The average is 32, the average of the party in power’s first midterm is a 32-seat loss. So we basically have an historic trend that cuts against us,” Ryan said in a panel at the Ronald Reagan Institute with National Review editor Rich Lowry. (35:00 Minute Mark In Video Below)
Ryan said that if Republicans focus on issues then the GOP will be “just fine.”
“But if the election is like any other type of midterm election, and it swings all over the place, we may not know until the very end,” Ryan said.
Ryan also swiped at Trump supporters and the populist nationalist movement that backs up President Donald Trump.
Ryan said that Reaganism is “needed now more than ever before because it is under duress.” (30:00 Minute Mark In Video Above).
“So, as a person who literally got interested in politics because of my affection for Ronald Reagan, who then went to work for someone who was a protege of Ronald Reagan who was a mentor of mine, Jack Kemp, I’m a big believer in aspirational inclusive politics. And I think Ronald Reagan proved that it’s successful politics.”
The challenge we have, and as conservatives we always thought identity politics was like a Saul Alinsky thing that the left did to get their base mobilized. And for a while that was the case. I think the Obama era proved that it could more than mobilize their base, it could win elections. And then the Right took the wrong lessons from that in many instances and said, ‘We too can do this.’ And now it’s being practiced on the Right. So you have tribalism and identity politics that has proven to be successful, you can make money on it, it challenges all these institutions and media in a way that we’ve never been challenged before because their business models are going through all this churning. And so if there was ever a time for us to re-assert and re-prove that this kind of politics still has juice…this is the time. So of all the things that I think, you need Reaganism again, it is to show that inclusive aspirational politics is smart politics, is strategically valuable politics, it’s winning politics. And right now we’re taking it a little bit on the chin with that thought.”
Ryan said that his GOP House colleagues would likely applaud his sentiment.
“I think we’re in a populist moment in a populist era, and part of it’s reactionary populism. Part of it’s what some people think is populism that has been proven effective. By and large, most people I serve with think my way of thinking is correct.”
“I distinguish between blood-and-soil populism and nationalism, and populism and nationalism rooted in good principles, in correct proper principles. What I mean when I say that is, morally sound principles like freedom and free enterprise and self-determination and rejecting relativism. But if it’s populism and nationalism rooted in this blood and soil business, that’s ridiculous. And that unfortunately, look, it’s happening in Europe, it’s happening to a lesser extent I think here.”
Ryan said that a prosperous economy “will suck some of the oxygen away from that stuff” and will be “denying some of the oxygen that blood and soil nationalism sort of used, because we had a terrible recession, we had a long period of absolutely anemic economic growth.”
In the most astonishingly bone-headed move since nominating Mitt Romney for President, the GOP establishment spent major cash to help elect Democrat Conor Lamb in last night’s highly contested PA-18 special election.
Yes, you read that right. Failed Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan and his Congressional Leadership Fund pushed a Democrat to victory over a Republican with direct mail advertising touting support “for our Second Amendment Rights.”
I’ll repeat that again. A so-called GOP PAC led by Paul Ryan spent thousands of dollars in a direct mail campaign to convince voters that Conor Lamb was a conservative who would protect American’s gun rights in Congress.
Here’s the shocking mailer:
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