Can I call you Paul? I thought maybe we could have a little heart to heart about some things that seem painfully obvious to me. You’ve been a politician awhile so I guess most of us assumed you’d have already picked up on this, but I guess a little
gerrymandering* partisan redistricting makes a guy a bit complacent, huh? Don’t think I haven’t noticed the way Rock County was carved up or the way you conveniently kept certain parts of Milwaukee County.
So let’s just call a spade, a spade. You live in a “safe” district that has very rarely required you stand up to any sort of scrutiny. While I thought John Heckenlively had a wonderful campaign sign (“Stop Ryan”), he was woefully underfunded and he lacked a certain polish to stand up to your highly coiffed facade (hint: it’s not pronounced fakade). Rob Zerban‘s the first challenger to your seat that looks like he’s got a shot which alone must seem a bit unsettling.
Those of us in the First District have noticed that you seem a little uncomfortable the last couple of years with the lack of fan base to come along and cheerlead you. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen things around you become quite so animated.
You got a little testy on your last lecture circuit (aka town hall meetings). This one was in Milton.
Lake Geneva, April 2011
Kenosha, April 2011
These folks couldn’t get you to sit down to talk with them back in August of 2011. No arrests this time, although it was close.
Instead of a public town hall meeting you opted for the Rotary Club luncheon route in August 2011. I guess you didn’t like the reception you received in April? You made jokes, especially about the senior citizen they took down to the ground. Would you like to take a gander at what happened next? More people were arrested.
And then recently there was this:
You claimed she wasn’t from Iowa because she wasn’t civilized and quiet enough for you by which I assume you mean she didn’t accept your teaching. That seems to be a common tactic amongst Wisconsin’s Republicans – when in doubt deny that the people protesting you are citizens of the state (and then there was that whole palm tree incident) – a line Scott Walker brandies about with relative abandon.
The thing of it is, that woman was from Iowa, just like most of the folks protesting in Wisconsin are from Wisconsin.
Mostly, though, you seem a bit confused as to why you’re getting heckled. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s not because those people aren’t from around here and it’s not because they don’t know how to listen respectfully.
It’s because when you’re supposed to be listening, you’re talking. You limit access to such a degree that people have to find alternate ways of making their voices heard. The more you try to ignore it the louder and more bold folks will be until they feel like they’re being heard.
But mostly it’s the incessant talking. You’re kind of a know-it-all, Paul, and that’s pretty much the last thing we want in a politician.
Just thought you might want to know.
I Don’t Know What Mitt Romney Was Thinking
*I’ve decided to change this wording slightly because as Blue Cheddar pointed out, there are far worse districts. I think the assumption that Janesville will reliably vote for Paul Ryan because it’s his hometown is interesting and I’ll be interested if his hometown boy advantage will still be in play this November.
I fuzzily remember there being an article in the Gazette, maybe around April or May of 2011 that quoted one of his supporters as being surprised at the sort of things he had been saying as of late which could sort of indicate a bit of love lost for Ryan in Janesville (or maybe that more folks are paying attention). If I can ever track it down I’ll link it up later.