The Race so Far
When Jeb Bush leaped into the race last December, Bush and his handlers thought that his name, money, and organization alone would clear the field and his name would have the same magic as it did for his brother. However, his magic seems to have run dry. Larry Sabato, who is known as the most quoted political science professor, for one, thought that as soon as he jumped in, the entire party would flock to his cause, but both Sabato and Bush’s handlers seem to be coming from a line of thought where money, name, and organization alone can win elections. The mistake that both made was they underestimated the amount of Bush fatigue that has and every time he has a chance, Jeb reminds the party of why they have Bush fatigue on everything from Common Core (which is NCLB 2.0 with respects to Bush fatigue), to amnesty, and he is even saying that he won’t sign the no-new-taxes pledge. Why does it matter? His father, Former President George H.W. Bush said he wouldn’t raise taxes, but he broke his word on his pledge. In other words, Jeb is reminding conservatives what they hated about his father and brother and when, according to a poll that Sabato linked on his Crystal Ball Blog showed that 78% have an opinion, with a -11 favorability of him. When you are a Bush (a political dynasty member) and you post ratings like that) with less than a year to go until the Iowa Caucuses, you are in trouble. It is obvious that Jeb was not the messiah that the establishment wanted and he is now damaged goods. They want a fallback option.
Enter John Kasich
Based on the likes of George Will’s (who is Chris Matthew’s idea of a consistent conservative) column last Wednesday called “Kasich waits in the wings,” it is clear that not only that John Kasich is the establishment’s fallback candidate. Want proof? He embraces Bush-style compassionate conservationism with a fury, saying that “without the money from [the Medicaid Expansion], [we] could not find funding for the three cohorts about which [we]constantly speak — “the mentally ill, the drug addicted and the working poor.” (note, the words are from George Will’s article, the edits are mine). John Kasich is essentially the second coming of George W. Bush, in philosophy that the sufferings of others inspired me to be a big government Republican. That is compassionate conservationism and you can expect government to keep growing under a Kasich presidency.
His defenders are going to say stuff like he’s the most conservative governor Ohio ever had, he fought unions (unsuccessfully), and he won by 30 points. Let me touch on that last part. He won by a huge margin because he had a weak opponent in Ed Fitzgerald who self-imploded over infidelity allegations, driving over a decade without a valid license, and lackluster fundraising. All those makes any “witches” on our side look pretty insignificant in comparison, huh? Also, turnout in Ohio was extremely low that year-35% (perhaps the lowest on record). While normally I would not opt to use the Democrats’ “no mandate arguments” here, I will because when you have a moderate incumbent Republican and scandal-tainted Democrat challenger, what do you think that is going to do to turnout? If you want further proof the election was a low-turnout governor election, here’s proof: Kasich’s support dropped in 23 counties as opposed to 2010 when Kasich beat incumbent governor Ted Strickland 49%-46%.
John Kasich Is Obama In Conservative’s Clothing
As a final note, John Kasich is not conservative. When he didn’t get his way on Medicaid Expansion with the State Legislature, he went to the Ohio’s State Controlling Board. Normally, that sounds like something our president would do, but surely not a “conservative” governor. That alone should disqualify him from consideration. No amount of tax cut spin will make you conservative. Even liberal Democrats cut certain taxes from time to time (while raising others).
Also, take a look back at George Will’s quoting of Kasich’s comments. In those comments, Kasich is essentially saying that critics of his end-around the state legislature don’t care about the poor and the unfortunate (like how Jeb Bush calls illegal immigration an “act of love”). That is big-government “conservatism” all over it. Had Kasich or another Republican had passed Medicaid expansion with a cooperative legislature and twisted a few arms, I might have been willing to consider him if it was him vs. Jeb Bush (as plenty of Republican governors twisted arms to support medicaid expansion, like Jan Brewer of Arizona), but the fact that he and his defenders like George Will will not only defend his choice to expand Medicaid as helping the sick and poor and say that those who oppose his Obama-like end-around the legislative process don’t care about the poor little people show Kasich’s true colors. After his disdain for the Ohio Legislature, I cannot, and will not support John Kasich in the primary when there are better candidates like Scott Walker who won far 3 times in 4 years despite the labor left throwing everything at them and the left still coming up short in a high-turnout election in Wisconsin.
p.s. If you are upset about the supposed “evolution” of Scott Walker’s views on immigration, you’ll be just as upset, or even more about Kasich’s views on the same subject. The difference is that, according to The Columbus Dispatch, he took a more conservative view on the same subject in the past. In 2010, he took a liberal view when running for Governor to reinvent himself as a moderate. Now, is Kasich going to evolve again, and if so, how?