The Plain Dealer’s endorsement of Mike DeWine for another term as Ohio Attorney General surely must contain some thread of logic somewhere.

It can’t simply be the scattershot, disjointed mess it appears to be, can it?

After over an hour-and-a-half interviewing the candidates together, the Dealer’s big takeaway is the shocking—SHOCKING!—revelation that Pepper and DeWine don’t exactly get along.


The “crescendo” of the meeting that I have to assume included at least a little substantial policy discussion, apparently, nevertheless was a snarling Mike DeWine smacking a table in frustration.

This anecdote the Dealer follows with a strange and clunky segue in which the editorial board blushes that DeWine has brought “passion and energy” to the job despite their apparent expectations that he’d coast like Jeff Spicoli, or something.

And what did this passion and energy entail, oh Dealer? From what they cite, little more than him pretty much performing the basic duties of any state attorney general. Oh, and he’s anti-rape. So there’s that, in case any of you out there were overly concerned about accidentally re-electing a pro-rape attorney general

But wait, the Dealer cautions, Mike DeWine’s “activism” has also led him astray.

By way of example, the Dealer points to DeWine’s activism (?) in refusing to release the Beavercreek Walmart surveillance footage showing the shooting death by police of John Crawford, in direct violation of Ohio Sunshine Laws.

Or DeWine’s activism (?) in awarding hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts to companies owned by his campaign donors.

Where I will give validity to the claim of DeWine’s “activism” is when he goes around the country filing amicus briefs opposing equal marriage rights and asserting the priority of a company’s religious rights over individual women’s healthcare rights. The Dealer at least acknowledges this, couching it, however, in accusations from Pepper.

These pet projects of DeWine’s make the Dealer’s claim that his “flaws and blind spots” are outweighed by his “advocacy on behalf of all Ohioans” out-loud laughable.

This is an absurd claim and would almost be offensive if it weren’t so damn funny. In four years Mike DeWine has made it screamingly clear that he is advocating very specifically on behalf of a fringe element of the Republican Party, not all Ohioans.

Being an Ohioan to whom Mike DeWine would deny equal protection under the law, I can assure you, Plain Dealer, he is not advocating on behalf of all Ohioans.

And I think that many Ohio women whose decisions on personal healthcare, under the advocacy of Mike DeWine, are being given a backseat to their bosses’ religious priorities, might agree.

This editorial from the Plain Dealer is not a rationale for an endorsement; it’s an endorsement in search of a rationale. And it fails in spectacular fashion.

David DeWitt is a journalist and universal minister based out of Athens, Ohio. He can be found on Twitter @TheRevDeWitt.