The right in Ohio is up in arms over a HuffPo piece that takes liberties with a quote from John Kasich during a panel they hosted on jobs and solutions to the unemployment crisis.  They didn’t report it inaccurately, mind you.  They just didn’t give you all of the Governor’s words, thereby seemingly changing the meaning of what he said.

Does this sound familiar?

Kasich’s full remarks:

You know where entrepreneurship in my opinion has to go? Into the inner city.  We have to convince African Americans that they can start and own businesses. And I was just laughing the other day reading that great article about Jay-Z, who’s got a tiny little ownership of the Newark Nets and he’s running the whole gosh darn thing now.

People like that, who have shown that they can come form the streets and have a tough beginning and then be able to become great entrepreneurs — we’ve got to get it into our schools in the inner-cities, we’ve got to show kids that, boy, you can be what you want to be. And Arianna, I think it’s critical, because if you take a look at the people who’ve been left out of prosperity around our country. It’s terrible. And we’re having set-aside programs in my state and I tell my staff, I said look, if you don’t give African Americans particularly an opportunity to share in the economic pie, we’re just nuts.

It creates more division, it creates more poverty, more anger.

You don’t have to take anything out of context here to criticize these remarks.  They are from a severely out of touch lifelong politician who hasn’t the slightest clue what struggles African Americans in his own state have.  Hell, leaders of his own party have so much as admitted that they are trying to keep blacks from voting in this election.  How about we fix access to the polls first Governor before trying to turn urban kids into Hova.  Without a voice in the political process, these poor urban groups will only get more angry and more impoverished.

Kasich laments those who are being left out of the prosperity around our country while completely ignoring the fact that his own Republican Party is responsible for carving up the wealth in such a way as to leave them out.  The cognitive dissonance would leave you reeling if you had any intellectual honesty whatsoever.

You simply can’t square these things.  The evidence that Republican tax cuts for the rich (you know, the “job creators” who are richer than ever but for some reason can’t create any jobs) have exacerbated the problems of income inequality is overwhelming.

For John Kasich to sit and talk about the people who have been left out of American prosperity while walking in lock step with the GOP mantra of tax cuts for the rich is the height of hypocrisy.  For him to give a convention speech in which he claims his party wants to “rebuild America” after having personally benefitted from the risky bets of his own firm Lehman Brothers nearly burned it to the ground is – again – almost laughingly hypocritical.

Let’s also remember this is the same governor who stands up any time he gets the chance and falsely touts his closing an $8 billion budget deficit that didn’t really even exist, but conveniently leaves out the fact that under Ohio law every Governor has to present a balanced budget and he essentially robbed local and municipal budgets to do so.  No increase in state taxes, mind you, but plenty of levies at the local level due to Kasich’s massive funding cuts to locals.  He did it all again last night.

John Kasich wants to stand up in front of the faithful and declare Ohio a model for the nation, but we’ve already painted that picture for you last year and it ain’t pretty!

I don’t think HuffPo’s original piece had it that wrong at all.  I also don’t think there was anything particularly wrong with what Kasich said aside from the fact that his policies and his party’s policies don’t live up to the rhetoric.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with holding up a success story to motivate kids.  I do it to my own all the time.  I have a daughter who wants to be the next Hope Solo.  I work hard to give her every opportunity to obtain that goal, but I also know the odds are extremely thin.

About the same odds as that African American kid in that failing school with less funding becoming the next Jay-Z.

Maybe John’s new curriculum will work.  Let’s just start telling kids they can do it and see what happens.  Let’s not fix the funding issues.  Let’s not fix the underlying poverty that makes it nearly impossible for kids to have stability in their lives in order to learn.  Let’s just keep pointing to the Jay-Zs, Kid Rocks, and Eminems of the world – the rap game equivalent to the wealthy 1% – and tell them they can.

I look forward to seeing the other courses John Kasich has designed for inner city schools.  Should be a game changer:

Econ103:  Getting Off the Streets and Into the Boardroom like Jay-Z

Stats205:  Winning Lottery Strategies

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