June 18, 2004

Gambling For Your Party 

posted by Scott @ 2:54 PM
Everyone has probably already heard the news that Ryan's divorce files are going to be released and that the GOP has come out and said that any speculation about Ryan pulling out of the race is premature. But let's take a step back and think about the trajectory of this controversy. Right before the primary, rumors of some nasty allegations in his divorce files started to spread. Ryan denied this and promised Republican Party leaders that there was nothing in there to hurt the team. After the primary, with the status of the divorce files stuck in the courts, Ryan tried to close the issue by categorically denying that there was anything damaging in the files. He did this on the March 30th edition of Chicago Tonight (anyone have access to that tape?) as well as elsewhere in the press. Now in the past week with the imminent release of the files, Ryan has backed down a bit saying that "maybe" there is something damaging in the files. A classic non-denial denial.

["Oh excuse me Illinois Republicans, Jack Ryan here, remember a few months ago when I promised you that there wasn't anything damaging in those pesky files? Well, uh, this...this is sort of humorous actually....after all there maybe say out of 100%, maybe 5% of some kinda bad stuff. Sorry about that, it's just 5% though and you know I still have that great smile."]

Basically I interpret all of this as Ryan taking a huge and costly risk for not only his own political future but for the immediate future of his party. As if Illinois Republicans need more to overcome, they may have to replace their candidate with less than 5 months to the election or run with a candidate maimed by some damaging personal foibles. Something tells me that he's not going to get Christmas cards from a few party officials next year.
That is if there is in fact anything damaging in those files. But if I were a gambling man like Jack, I'd say that the news is going to get a little bit more interesting in the next week or so. Even though I don't like the fact that the race could turn ugly soon, I do admit that it'll be fun to watch Republicans gnash their teeth about having personal issues enter politics. I just hope for Ryan's sake that he doesn't smoke cigars or keep them around the house.

And there's more. With inside access to Ryan, Zorn suggests that Ryan has been using his son as a shield against damaging information about he and his wife. If that turns out to be true, not only will whatever is in the files be damaging to his campaign, but this indefensible ploy to use his son for personal gain will absolutely destroy him in the public's eye. Zorn's columns will no doubt make sure of that. And rightly so I might add.

Meanwhile the Obama camp gets to sit by and watch Ryan and the Republican party hang themselves. Good god are they in a comfortable position right now.

And with all the talk about what's rumored to be in the files and with the imminent release of the files, why don't we all reveal what we think is going to come out. I think it'll be a fun exercise to see how exaggerated and/or mistaken rumors can become. Right before the primary, I received an email from one of Ryan's primary competitors that claimed that Ryan forced his wife to have sex with him and to participate in "Eyes Wide Shut" style orgy parties. I heard similar accusations from other sources as well. Is that about what everyone else has been hearing?

If any truth comes of this, Ryan's family values cred is going to go down but I think he'll see a bump in the orgy-friendly/swingers constituency. ArchPundit, any poll numbers on those groups? In any case, something tells me this race is going to get real sexy real soon. [queue 70's porn music]

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