John Kasich is running his campaign for president just like he ran his two campaigns for Governor of Ohio. Lots of sound and fury signifying nothing. But there he was again making off-the-cuff attention-getting remarks about how to beat Democrats, specifically Hillary Rodham Clinton, next year.
Clinton, who leads all Republicans in virtually all polls, is widely expected to carry the fight to Republicans including Gov. Kasich if he should miraculously be the GOP nominee in 2016. Clinton started that fight on Thursday with a direct hit on Republicans, who she named by name, for all their efforts to suppress voting in one way or another. She called for 20 days of early voting in her address to Texas Southern University, a historically black college in Houston. She threw down. “Today Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting. What part of democracy are they afraid of?”
Gov. Kasich accused Mrs. Clinton of “dividing” the nation by engaging in “pure demagoguery” on voting rights when the country is struggling with racial issues, reports said. The nation has been struggling with racial issues since it was founded. That struggle reached it peak in a Civil War that ended 150 years ago, but lingers on to this day. Gov. Kasich, who has visited South Carolina, the state that started the Civil War, several times already, has not dared mention his concern for civil right while there.
Kasich’s Vacuous Vision Rides Again
Gov. Kasich loves to be Pecks Bad Boy when the chance presents itself, saying about the rough road head next year, “We are not going to beat Hillary Clinton on the basis of Benghazi and emails and the Clinton Foundation,” Kasich told a gathering in New Hampshire this week. “You know how you win? You better have a bigger vision as to how Americans feel that America’s going to be better for them. And how they’re going to play a role in it. And how the American dream is not dead,” he said according to published reports.
Even though he left Washington after 18 years as a congressman representing a reliably Republican district that regularly elected him with margins of 60 percent and more, Gov. Kasich is still trying to play his card as a Washington insider, as he reflects on his largely deceptive resume that includes his role as the ranking Republican on the armed services committee in the House of Representatives.
“If you think that somebody can get elected president, and go down to Washington and change that city without understanding how it works, it will not happen,” he said, adding, “It cannot be done with some strict ideology and without understanding how you get other people in the other political party to support your efforts.”
In Ohio, where his gift from god in 2010 was a Republican-controlled legislature, Gov. Kasich hasn’t had to get other people in the other political party to support his efforts because GOP allies have basically given him most of what he’s asked for. Washington politics, as experts like Mr. Kasich should know, is totally different than state-level politics, so it’s a venture in imagination to wonder what Ohio’s CEO-style leader will do to compromise with Democrats to win their vote, when he hasn’t had to do that in Ohio?
In 2010, when he ran and won the big job in Ohio, he promised a “New Day” that has turned out to be a new day of woe and worse for many Ohioans still hurting from job losses. Gov. Kasich’s performance in creating jobs, as readers of Plunderbund know all to well, is sad with 30 straights months of underperforming the national average. Kasich took bows for jobs created by Gov. Ted Strickland, who kept the state out of a far worse depression and negotiated its road to recovery, which subsequently stalled under Kasich’s Administration.
When he ran for reelection last year, Gov. Kasich promised that the second half, his final term in office, would be the best. Cutting billions in funding to local governments, schools and others while boosting state spending to record levels have shown all who care to look that Mr. Kasich’s vision is radically different from the vision others, especially poor and middle class families, have.
But it’s basic Kasich to underemphasize his real desire to be supreme leader. “I’m playing for a bigger game than that,” he told Granite State voters. What’s his bigger game? It’s his “eternal salvation…[that] is what matters to me. I think I’ve got it.”
Kasich’s Vision? Don’t Look
Kasich’s vision for Ohio included agreeing to a gerrymandering plan for legislative districts that represents one of the worst apportionment decisions in the nation.
His vision includes closing abortion clinics, defunding Planned Parenthood, taking workplace rights away from care givers. His vision doesn’t include advocating for or boosting the minimum wage.
His vision doesn’t include restoring tens of thousands of public sector jobs that got whipped out in The Great Recession, and he just slapped caregivers in the face when he rescinded former Gov. Strickland’s executive order giving bargaining rights to them with his own, and using access to Obamacare as his reason.
His vision doesn’t include a fair tax system where his wealthy donor base begins to pay more of its fair share instead of shifting the tax burden to the poor and middle class.
His vision does include reforming Social Security to force workers to work longer to receive benefits Kasich wants to cut. His vision for Medicare includes privatizing it.
His vision for voters, based on the bills he signed into law so far, includes making it tougher for many to vote. He’s made it much more difficult for third party candidates to get on the ballot.
His vision for a national healthcare program is to privatize it. He says Obamacare is flawed, but he’s offered not one word on his vision for a national healthcare system even though he’s spent nearly 40 years in government. Kasich signed-on in 1994 to the Contract For America, which included platforms on many issues but not one word about healthcare.
His vision for workers is to bust their union, if they have one, and prevent others from joining one if they can.
His vision for same-sex marriage is to oppose it.
His vision for legalizing medical marijuana is to oppose it. Forget about recreational use.
His vision for charter schools is to continue to let them siphon off billions in taxpayer dollars even though they have a long history of poor performance.
His vision for future energy is to cater to status quo energy providers. He froze standards Strickland brought interests together to agree to. So much for progress in Ohio. Solar and wind, go fly a kite on a cloudy day.
His vision for the military is to pump more money into it, and send more troops to the Middle East to continue fighting a politically expedient war created by by his one-time buddy, President George W. Bush. He’s failed to weigh-in on it’s origins despite the $3 trillion it is costing us. War is the most expensive form of federal spending. What’s his answer to Peter going to be when he gets grilled on talking out of both sides of his mouth on that one?
His vision for a federal balanced budget amendment, which he was out campaigning for, is both ill-informed and dangerous. See war costs above. The former Fox New political talk show host and Wall Street banker, when asked what he would cut, fails to offer even one program he’d downsize or eliminate, that wouldn’t put him on the sidelines of serious candidates. The governor would spend money on war, and cut social safety net programs to pay for it. His pledge to not raise taxes, especially on the wealthy and deep-pocket corporations, the ones who can afford to pay much more without dooming them to poverty, would also be a vision not worth seeing.
The list of other Kasich visions, based on what he did in Congress and now as governor of Ohio for five years, is too long and not pretty to include in this article.
What we do know about John Kasick’s so-called vision is that it relies on being in love with cutting income tax rates, which everyone knows disproportionately benefits the rich. A voice on the issue that Republicans will immediately disregard because his truth is undeniable, put Kasich’s obsession with cutting taxes as the path to prosperity in proper perspective.
The belief that tax cuts are a universal elixir that cures all economic ills, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said, “is the ultimate zombie idea — one that should have died long ago in the face of the facts, but just keeps shambling along. Nothing that has happened in the past quartercentury has supported tax-cut mania, yet the doctrine’s hold on the Republican Party is stronger than ever.”
So when he says to beat Hillary Clinton the GOP candidate needs a vision, voters need only look at what his past vision has been to see what his future vision will be.