Witness his recent speech to the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., as reported by Cleveland.com:
“In my state of Ohio, we find that we can’t commercialize… Why? Because there’s not a culture of innovation. There’s not a culture of risk-taking. There’s not a culture of people getting excited about new ideas. There’s not a culture that says, ‘Damn the status quo, it’s time to move ahead before we die.'”
What the hell does this man see when he looks in the mirror? How can he stand to?
Remember that time when Kasich said, “Damn the status quo, it’s time to move ahead before we die,” and rolled back Ohio’s renewable energy portfolio? That was so forward-thinking and innovative of him. It’s too bad the rest of us have been holding him back, what with our preoccupation wanting to create 21st Century green energy jobs for the future.
Or what about that other time when the Federal Railroad Administration was set to give the Buckeye State $15 million to study and determine specifications for the 3-C (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati) high-speed rail corridor as part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Ohio Hub project? That program would’ve connected 11 major cities and 22 million people with renewed passenger rail service. And then came along John Kasich to show us how opposed to the status quo he is by stopping it dead in its tracks.
Oh yeah, and then there was that time when Ohio finally enacted a decent plan to address its unconstitutional school-funding mess with an evidence-based model that used input from educators and parents across the state to develop a plan that would implement best practices and finally address the poverty achievement gap. Kasich showed how excited he is about new ideas by repealing that the first chance he got.
We could go on, but let’s get back to Kasich’s speech, which only gets more absurd when he launches an attack on university professors.
The problem in the universities, Kasich said, is tenure — “which, by the way, I don’t know if that’s a 17th or 18th Century philosophy, but the rules of tenure in my opinion create the disincentive for people to be risk-takers.”
Right John, we almost forgot that you’re only into 17th or 18th Century philosophies when it comes to rolling back income taxes, opposing unions, government giveaways to corporate monopoly, removing worker protections, disenfranchisement, divestment from local government and public education, and imposing business interests over the health and safety of actual people that would make the Fuller Court blush.
And I’ll let you in on a secret about tenure: it’s exactly designed to allow professor/researchers the freedom to be risk-takers.
Throughout the rest of his speech, J. Dick Kasich goes on to crow about his scandalous privatization of Ohio’s Department of Development, support the use of airplane robots to bomb poor people in the Middle East, fear monger about Iran, and criticize Hillary Clinton for “not taking a firm position” on the Trans-Pacific Partnership before himself going on to take a position with the rigidity of an overcooked spaghetti noodle.
Kasich’s obnoxious speech throwing Ohio under the bus in front of a crowd of D.C. insiders did not go unnoticed by Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper, who had this to say on The Facebooks:
Over the past five years, Gov. Kasich has gutted education funding, raided money from our urban centers, destroyed Ohio’s green energy industry just as it was emerging, attacked university professors, and supported social policies that alienate our younger generations (such as the ban on marriage equality).
Now he goes out of state to complain that Ohio doesn’t have a culture of innovation.
Take a look in the mirror, Governor.
It appears Pepper and I have both been pondering how Kasich can countenance his own countenance, but I suspect that in accordance with the old trope, all the mirrors in his house are broken.
David DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure based out of Athens, Ohio. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He can be found on Twitter @TheRevDeWitt.