Madison Politiscope: Is Paul Ryan the tea party's dream candidate?

2012-08-17T11:15:00Z 2012-09-05T22:00:47Z Madison Politiscope: Is Paul Ryan the tea party's dream candidate?JACK CRAVER | The Capital Times | jcraver@madison.com madison.com

Was putting Paul Ryan on his ticket Mitt Romney’s way to harness the power of the tea party?

Many liberals seem to think so.

“Ryan, tea party a match made in heaven,” declared a Huffington Post headline on Monday. Dan Payne, a former Democratic strategist who now writes a political column for WBUR, a Boston NPR affiliate, called Ryan’s selection a “triumph of the tea party.”

A recent CNN poll also found that 87 percent of self-identified tea partyers in Wisconsin approve of Ryan.

As I looked at that number, however, I suspected that it likely does not accurately reflect the feelings of the most committed tea party members, many of whom are devout libertarians.

After all, Ryan voted for the PATRIOT Act, which civil libertarians abhor. He also voted for Medicare Part D, a costly prescription drug benefit pushed by the Bush administration. More recently, he voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, popularly referred to as the “bank bailout,” which struck at the very heart of the principle of the free market.

Furthermore, Ryan has not gone to great lengths to attach himself to the tea party brand. He -- like the six other Wisconsin Republicans in Congress -- is not a member of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus.

Jake Speed, the head of the La Crosse Tea Party, thinks very little of Ryan.

“I’m not a big fan because of the fact that he voted for stimulus, he voted for bailouts, he doesn’t want to balance the budget for 28 years,” says the 53-year-old small business owner, who identifies himself with what he calls the “liberty-minded” faction of the tea party movement, as opposed to those who are more accepting of foreign intervention and some curbs on civil liberties.

Patricia Kohlman, head of the Manitowoc County TEA Movement, calls Ryan an “OK” candidate. Like Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent, Kohlman would have preferred Allen West, a bombastic Florida congressman who, among other things, has alleged that “78 to 81 Democrats” in Congress are communists.

“(Ryan) has been out there (in Washington) too long. Who knows what (establishment Republicans) have talked him into?” she worries.

Ryan, she says, went along with many flawed Bush administration policies, including the creation of Medicare Part D.

Tim Dake, of the Milwaukee-area GrandSons of Liberty, calls the PATRIOT Act, which Ryan voted for on multiple occasions, “the worst infringement of civil liberties in 100 years.”

He also believes Ryan is -- like Bush -- too soft on illegal immigration.

However, Dake says he believes most tea partyers he knows will “hold their nose” and vote for the Republican ticket as part of what he calls “an incremental approach” to remaking government in the tea party’s image.

“He’s got the fiscal responsibility down -- maybe (support for the) free market as well,” he says.

The division within the tea party movement became much clearer when talking to Jim Murphy, a Green Bay activist.

“It’s wonderful,” he says, describing Ryan’s selection. “I think you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who doesn’t think it’s wonderful.”

When I pointed out the criticism of Ryan made by Speed, the La Crosse tea partyer, Murphy dismissed Speed as a “Democrat in disguise” and the La Crosse Tea Party as a “fake tea party group.”

Murphy claims activists like Speed have infiltrated the tea party in order to cause disruption and even co-opt the organization, in the same way he says legendary left-wing organizer Saul Alinsky gained control over conservative organizations, including churches, as part of his battle for a popular uprising.

Unsurprisingly, Speed calls Murphy’s allegations hogwash.

“These people are a bunch of clowns,” he says, dismissing Murphy as a member of the “establishment wing of the Republican Party.”

Matt Batzel, executive director of the Wisconsin chapter of American Majority, a national group that trains conservative activists to run for office, says opinion on Ryan is predictably diverse.

“The tea party movement is a very large movement -- you have a lot of libertarians, social conservatives, fiscal conservatives,” he says. “I think a lot of people would want something more aggressive than Ryan, but I think most folks realize he is a good spokesman for reforming major entitlement programs.”

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(46) Comments

  1. TheJudoon
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    TheJudoon - August 18, 2012 1:17 pm
    And thank you for reassuring me with that list that there will be no tea party-ers in Heaven. Takes a load off my mind.
  2. TheJudoon
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    TheJudoon - August 18, 2012 12:43 pm
    Only thing this teaches me is that you're a nutter.
    Concentrate on your own path to heaven. Others will worry about their own.
    Enjoy the lovely day.
  3. libsrlooney
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    libsrlooney - August 18, 2012 11:49 am
    One more for JURDOON and his BUDDIES.

    1 Coriinthians 6:9


    "Do you not know know the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God."


    "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." You and I can change but it takes work. But we will never be perfect. Hope this makes you learn something.
  4. libsrlooney
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    libsrlooney - August 18, 2012 11:42 am
    Judoon: Just for you! Kill the AFL-CIO! Happy now little one? And God wants what's Gods. I don't have that choice. My hate is for your ideas, not you.
  5. libsrlooney
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    libsrlooney - August 18, 2012 11:37 am
    Sadly it will if you vote Obama.
  6. libsrlooney
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    libsrlooney - August 18, 2012 11:35 am
    Hear that Madison.com? I was called a "brainwashed sucker!" I take offense and report that person!
  7. Saltyned
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    Saltyned - August 18, 2012 11:09 am
    I will vote one last time as a Democrat for Obama,then" thanks to Citizens United " , I will take my place in line with all the other brainwashed suckers, and whatch the country "I once loved "burn to the ground!
  8. TheJudoon
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    TheJudoon - August 18, 2012 10:29 am
    LOL again.
    Communist is all you got today? Where's all that other hate you usually spew?
    We will miss your "Kill the AFL-CIO!" ranting the most.
    And no -- your biblical quote above does not make up for it.
    As you yourself say, God knows your heart.
  9. Patriot2012
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    Patriot2012 - August 18, 2012 9:43 am
    Spam-master Murphy is deluded and has bought into the neocon agenda. His comments about Jake Speed are way out line. Murphy would have us believe that standing up for the Constitution is an Alinsky-like disruption. How twisted is that?? Murphy does not represent the tea party. He is a detriment and a hindrance to our message.
  10. Patriot2012
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    Patriot2012 - August 18, 2012 9:43 am
    Spam-master Murphy is deluded and has bought into the neocon agenda. His comments about Jake Speed are way out line. Murphy would have us believe that standing up for the Constitution is an Alinsky-like disruption. How twisted is that?? Murphy does not represent the tea party. He is a detriment and a hindrance to our message.
  11. Patriot2012
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    Patriot2012 - August 18, 2012 9:29 am
    Spam-master Murphy is deluded and has been infiltrated by the false right paradigm. His remarks about Jake Speed are way out of line. Murphy is saying that standing up for the Constitution should be construed as an Alinsky-like disruption to the tea party. This is as twisted as it gets.
  12. Patriot2012
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    Patriot2012 - August 18, 2012 9:29 am
    Spam-master Murphy is deluded and has been infiltrated by the false right paradigm. His remarks about Jake Speed are way out of line. Murphy is saying that standing up for the Constitution should be construed as an Alinsky-like disruption to the tea party. This is as twisted as it gets.
  13. libsrlooney
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    libsrlooney - August 18, 2012 9:27 am
    WRONG AGAIN! It's on income tax not on capital gains.
  14. libsrlooney
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    libsrlooney - August 18, 2012 9:25 am
    BTW I will miss your fictitious rants too. For awhile.
  15. libsrlooney
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    libsrlooney - August 18, 2012 9:22 am
    I'll sum my visit this way. Luke 16:15
    "And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abombination in the sight of God.
    Be with God.
  16. libsrlooney
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    libsrlooney - August 18, 2012 9:21 am
    Just like yours COMMUNIST. If I get kicked off I'll be back just to haunt and scare your "slow-witted" Mind. Bye for now. BTW I wonder who the whiner is.
  17. TheJudoon
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    TheJudoon - August 18, 2012 8:16 am
    LOL - Nobody will miss you.
    We've heard quite enough of your ranting.
  18. middleclassmd
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    middleclassmd - August 18, 2012 12:14 am
    You might call working in the public sector having others pay your way but I wouldn't say I'm stuck. Some people chose to work for goals and rewards other than those hedge fund managers get paid. It isn't a crime. So lets hear about you? Ex-pat, does that mean you are a retired worker that no longer lives in the state? How did you make your fortune and why is Romney-Ryan so good for you? Let's hear about your self-made wealth!
  19. middleclassmd
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    middleclassmd - August 18, 2012 12:05 am
    ...wow a bunch of clips of stupid questions asked of our President. You are right, instead of answer the questions in a friendly, lighthearted manner, the President should answer that he wants to talk about his health care plan, tax cuts for the middle class or hunting down Osama bin Laden. The President could have been more like your hard hitting candidate Ryan who very seriously described that his veins run with cheese, brats and 3 brands of beer when he made a speech about his being selected by Romney!
  20. WI_Expat
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    WI_Expat - August 17, 2012 11:57 pm
    FYI, middleclassmd is still stuck in a dead end job expecting others to pay his way.
  21. middleclassmd
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    middleclassmd - August 17, 2012 11:30 pm
    FYI, the tea didn't fair too well in the recent primaries here in our great state, expat. You may have missed it since you are an expat which makes me wonder why you are here...
    I think the Democrats are pleased to have the the flip-flop twins to run against. Now we just need to figure out who is flip and who is flop in the duo... it took under 1 week for the hypocrisy of Ryan to be proven after begin announced which I think beats the retreat candidate Mitt made from Romney-care. I think the truth is they have nothing to run toward so they only can run away from their records.
  22. WI_Expat
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    WI_Expat - August 17, 2012 11:02 pm
    Based on the headline...Ryan it the nightmare to the Progressives.
  23. middleclassmd
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    middleclassmd - August 17, 2012 10:28 pm
    Maybe the tea see Mitt and Paul for who they are, "team flip-flop"!
  24. tomtom
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    tomtom - August 17, 2012 10:25 pm
    Mitt needs some behind the doors crooked vote counting to win. Just might happen.
  25. dynamic14u2
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    dynamic14u2 - August 17, 2012 9:44 pm
    Ryan is a fraud.. He is like a pit bull on a leash of a bad owner.. Uncontrollable and unpredictable.. He has no respect for the office of the President of the US... He is a traitor of sorts..
  26. Gaddie
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    Gaddie - August 17, 2012 5:30 pm
    WE dislike Ryan... read about it here. http://lewrockwell.com/orig13/aitken1.1.1.html
  27. Gaddie
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    Gaddie - August 17, 2012 5:29 pm
    The TeaParty™ is not the GOP... in fact we don't carry water for any 'party'.

    So bash the GOP all you want, they are NOT US.
  28. Gaddie
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    Gaddie - August 17, 2012 5:29 pm
    Wow are you kidding? With such a poor record as Ryan's, he could NEVER qualify for TeaParty™ 2007 credentials.

    Read about his horrific record here: http://lewrockwell.com/orig13/aitken1.1.1.html

  29. TheJudoon
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    TheJudoon - August 17, 2012 4:35 pm
    Then why didn't Ryan support this bill when it came up?
    I think most people wrongly assume the uber-wealthy already pay this FICA tax, but they don't.
    ____________________________________________

    Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill To Lift The Payroll Tax Cap, Ensuring Full Social Security Funding For Nearly 75 Years

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/08/25/304387/bernie-sanders-introduces-bill-to-lift-the-payroll-tax-cap-ensuring-full-social-security-funding-for-nearly-75-years/?mobile=nc
  30. snootyelites
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    snootyelites - August 17, 2012 3:41 pm
    "I think Paul [Ryan], for example, the head of the Budget Committee, has looked at the budget and has made a serious proposal. I’ve read it. I can tell you what’s in it and there’s some ideas in there that I would agree with but there’s some ideas we should have a healthy debate about because I don’t agree with them. The major driver of our long-term liabilities, everybody here knows, is Medicare and Medicaid and our health care spending. Nothing comes close,” said President Obama at the GOP retreat on January 29, 2010.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/17/sebelius-paul-ryans-medicare-reform-plan-a-serious-proposal-video/#ixzz23q1a5XVy
  31. lardheppus
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    lardheppus - August 17, 2012 2:59 pm
    It solidifies Mitt's position with the top !%. Too bad he needs a majority to win.
  32. snootyelites
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    snootyelites - August 17, 2012 2:58 pm
    Continuing with theme Ryan is a Fraud and Romney is a Felon! MSNBC host apologizes!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2189923/Toure-accuses-Romney-n--erisation-Obama.html
  33. dynamic14u2
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    dynamic14u2 - August 17, 2012 2:42 pm
    Ryan is a fraud.. He is like a pit bull on a leash of a bad owner.. Uncontrollable and unpredictable.. He has no respect for the office of the President of the US... He is a traitor of sorts..
  34. srwspoon
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    srwspoon - August 17, 2012 2:04 pm
    dmark,
    WOW, you really are an opinion bigot!! Your level of hate is part of the problem in politics.

    What you think of the "Occupy" movement?
  35. Wis_taxpayer
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    Wis_taxpayer - August 17, 2012 1:58 pm
    Romney and Ryan have nothing left but to lie to the public and seniors. Romney/Ryan will privatize these programs! Ryan's budget takes almost the same amount of "savings" they call "stealing" but Ryan takes that "savings"and gives it to the rich, which will cause seniors to pay more for that lost coverage! Unlike Obama who puts that savings from payments to providers and uses that savings to help seniors.

    Every senior has seen increased benefits under Obama, Lower drug costs, a check to pay to close the doughnut hole, Free preventive cancer screenings. NOT one senior has seen any reduction in benefits in the two years the Affordable Act has been the law. 2014 will usher in more benefits for seniors!

    So, tell a lie and repeat it over and over and over again and hope people believe them. The Republicans have never been the party of the middle class the elderly and the poor, they have always, and will always fight for the rich.

    So their lie isn't working, now they are dragging out their mothers to lie for them! Just sad... can't win on the issues and drag out mama to campaign for you.

    Ryan said he "hasen't run the numbers yet" on Romney's budget? isn't Ryan the numbers guy? isn't that why Romney picked him? Isn't Ryan on the house budget committee?

    Just like Ryan said he never asked for stimulus money, and then two letters from Ryan begging for stimulus money surface, and he back tracks and tries to blame his staff? His name is signed at the bottom of both letters. So is he telling us he signed something he didn't read? LOL

    The Tea party can't wait to come to power, they have taken over most of the Republican party already. I remember the protests during the health care debate. The Tea partiers were shouting "Get Government out of our lives, but don't touch our Medicare"
  36. racedog48
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    racedog48 - August 17, 2012 1:13 pm
    everyday obammy makes it harder to vote for the fool


    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DKjGXKD91Gtk%26feature%3Dyoutu.be&feature=youtu.be&v=KjGXKD91Gtk&gl=US
  37. Roundtable
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    Roundtable - August 17, 2012 12:44 pm
    I saw a news story , I think it was on CBS online yesterday, that stated surveys were done and it was determined most tea party backers were over 40 years old. Maybe they are having second thoughts about Ryan's 'over 55 won't be touched' Medicare plan. It's gonna cost them more too, just like the rest of us.
  38. smallfry
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    smallfry - August 17, 2012 12:10 pm
    "Mr. privatize" ryan at it again! When Bush was trying to privatize SS in 2005, paul ryan was the architect of that plan! Where would we be now with ryan's plan??
  39. patricko
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    patricko - August 17, 2012 11:18 am
    Uh, Dick Durbin is a Democrat.
  40. snootyelites
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    snootyelites - August 17, 2012 11:18 am
    No more than Obama is a dream candidate for Ganja Party of America!
  41. Liberty-Is-Fun
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    Liberty-Is-Fun - August 17, 2012 8:39 am
    LaCrosse Tea Party sounds more Libertarian. They do have another choice other than Romney-Ryan, it's called they Libertarian Party whose Presidential candidate is the former Gov of New Mexico Gary Johnson.
  42. gdp
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    gdp - August 17, 2012 8:16 am
    Whatever Ryan's attitude toward the 'tea party', he should be disturbed that Maine and Massachussetts have moved to decertify Paul's duly elected delegates to the RC. How does he feel about that!? How does Romney feel about that?
  43. midwest1
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    midwest1 - August 17, 2012 7:50 am
    Tea partiers would like Ryan better if he were running for President and could effect his ideology. He's running for Veep (at least in the open) and Romney has to present ideas as his (at least in the open). Until the tea party is sure that Ryan will be running Romney they'll let the radio buffoons be their lips.
  44. bosco
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    bosco - August 17, 2012 7:48 am
    A real and unslanted article from this news organization? Is the editor on vacation? Nice piece, enjoyed it.
  45. TheJudoon
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    TheJudoon - August 17, 2012 7:04 am
    Paul Ryan Insider Trading Thief

    He babbles about Ayn Rand, but when it comes to his actions, Paul Ryan is a thief right out of the John Maynard Keynes school of using government for insider profit gains.

    Ryan sold stock in US banks on the same day he attended a confidential meeting where top level officials disclosed the sector was heading for a deep crisis. He sold stock in troubled banks including Wachovia and Citigroup.

    Not long after the meeting, Wachovia's already troubled share price went into free fall. It plunged 39% on the afternoon of September 26..

    Citigroup's share price also fell soon after the meeting. Most interesting, though, while selling other bank stocks Ryan bought shares that day in Goldman Sachs.

    September 18, 2008 was a Thursday. On the following Tuesday, Warren Buffett announced that the company he controls, Berkshire Hathaway, was making a $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs. The stock soared after the news. Buffett's plan to buy Goldman stock was likely discussed at the meeting on the 18th that Ryan attended.

    Senator Dick Durbin, who also attended the meeting, made some unusual trades of his own at that time. On the 19th. he sold his mutual funds and bought stock in Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.
    http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/08/paul-ryan-insider-trading-thief.html

    Seems somebody had inside information and acted on it for their personal benefit while letting our 401(k)s take the hit.
    Martha Stewart has nothing on these Tea Party-ers.
  46. glenrusswood
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    glenrusswood - August 17, 2012 6:31 am
    Tea partyers,like many White hate groups,along with conservative talk radio.Limbuh,Mckinner,Charlie Sikes ect easily flourish in bad economic times like these,that seem to get worse everyday,Ryan(will see) he needs all the friends he can get
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