It’s a mixed up world when a hard-right governor like Ohio Gov. John Kasich is cast as a liberal Republican. But that was the portrait painted last Friday in an article in the Concord Monitor by a New Hampshire conservative who says Mr. Kasich, running a second time for president and betting his hopes on doing no worse than third place in the Granite State, isn’t a conservative’s conservative.
It’s common knowledge that John Kasich jumped in front of the surging conservative Tea Party movement in 2010, tactically using its anti-Obama steam to push him to a slim two-percent victory over Ted Strickland, the Democratic governor at the time. Once John Kasich became governor, he had little use for Tea Party interests or principles, jettisoning his limited ties to them like a rising rocket releasing its fuel tank once it’s spent.
Kasich, The Liberal Republican
Ohio Tea Party conservative leaders had many reasons to turn on Gov. Kasich, their biggest being his acceptance of the expansion of Medicaid, which opened the door to a half-million or more Buckeyes who suddenly qualified for the federal-state funded program. John Kasich built his defense to go around the Republican-controlled legislature on the biblical canard of showing compassion, which has worked so far to deflect in-coming political flak from doing damage.
But real conservatives, the kind that turn out to vote in Republican primaries and who are not afraid to call out a poser when they see one, know that John Kasich isn’t fighting for their principles and interests but for his own and those of his friends and allies who have repeatedly milked Ohio taxpayers as media coverage aides and abets his shakedown.
The governor of Ohio talks often about the day of reckoning with St. Peter, what he’ll ask and what your answer should be. A day of reckoning that will come sooner than he knows or wants, and that he should as much, is when real conservatives will be as blunt, candid and straight talking as the governor says he is as they cast him as a liberal Republican.
That’s the message delivered by one New Hampshire conservative Friday in an article that outed Mr. Kasich as poser. Ohio’s term-limited governor got a taste of that day of reckoning from Paul Nagy, of East Andover, NH, who took 63-year old Johnny Kasich to the conservative woodshed.
Conservative Clobbers Kasich
In a piece called “My Turn: Kasich betrays Reagan, Jefferson,” Mr. Nagy didn’t spare the rod to spoil the governor. You be the judge on whether John Kasich will pass muster with the kind of conservatives that Mr. Nagy represents that constitute an important segment of the Republican voter base.
After a summer that saw two major Supreme Court decisions go in favor of the Democratic Party, it’s important that we in the Republican Party nominate a candidate who’s a real conservative – someone who will govern in the tradition of Ronald Reagan.
During his recent swing through New Hampshire, Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared Roe v. Wade “the law of the land,” waving off a town hall attendee’s question about the Supreme Court ruling by saying, “Obviously it’s the law of the land now, and we live with the law of the land.” In light of the recent Planned Parenthood videos that reveal employees callously discussing the harvesting of fetal organs, Kasich’s dismissal of the right to life as a settled issue is something you’d expect to hear from Hillary Clinton.
This is an untenable position for someone seeking to represent the Republican Party in the general election to hold. Kasich’s comments drew a rebuke from Ed Whelan of the conservative National Review, who said, “No, Gov. Kasich, the Constitution (together with federal laws ‘made in Pursuance thereof’ and treaties) is the law of the land. A Supreme Court case that misreads the Constitution is not. Indeed, Roe is an affirmatively unconstitutional ruling that deserves no respect.”
Bear in mind also that Kasich famously questioned the Christian morality of those who oppose Obamacare. Supporting a massive expansion of the federal government is moral yet protecting the life of the unborn is an issue Republicans should give up on? One might be tempted to chalk this up as some harebrained triangulation strategy to appeal to a segment of moderate or liberal voters. But Kasich’s apparent newfound respect for Roe v. Wade has real world consequences for some of the most vulnerable among us.
A bill in the Ohio legislature would ban the abortions of children with Down syndrome. Kasich has as yet refused to support the measure. Despite what Kasich says, Roe v. Wade is by no means the law of the land. Not only is abortion morally wrong, but the next president of the United States could potentially appoint three Supreme Court justices who could overturn this flawed and lethal law. How can we trust him to appoint judges who share conservative values? If Kasich were the nominee, what difference would there be on the issue of abortion between him and Hillary Clinton, or any Democrat for that matter, who also believes Roe v. Wade is “the law of the land?”
Ronald Reagan believed in the primacy of the individual – and most fundamental being the right to life as articulated by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence and protected in the U.S. Constitution until Roe v. Wade.
John Kasich is no Ronald Reagan or Thomas Jefferson.
In the comments section, Mark Dunlap also took a swipe at Ohio’s governor. Roe v. Wade should be overturned, he said, because “it was neither an objective nor accurate interpretation of the Constitution. John Kasich should address THAT, and if he dismisses a discussion of it, then he shouldn’t be nominated for President.”
Kasich probably made Mr. Nagy’s point when he was interviewed this Sunday on “ABC’s This Week. Gov. Kasich commented on the sad moral drama being played out by a Kentucky county clerk who is in a federal prison because she has refused to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Mr. Kasich said it was “absurd” that Kim Davis is cooling her heels in jail, while chastising her to “follow the law.” “Now, I respect the fact that this lady doesn’t agree, but she’s also a government employee … She’s not running a church,” Kasich said on the political talk show. “I wouldn’t force this on a church, but in terms of her responsibility I think she has to comply.” Gov. Kasich said he believes in traditional marriage, but also said, “…the court has ruled.”
Kasich Out Of Step With Conservative Voters
Among Gov. Kasich’s weaknesses in Ohio and the nation, experts says, is that he’s badly out of step with conservative voters on Medicaid expansion and the role of government in general. Conservatives are not happy that Gov. Kasich appears to accept a cradle to grave role for government. Some have pointed out that this is radically out of step with the conservative firebrand positions, like those expressed by Paul Nagy, that established Kasich’s political career. During the recession of the early 80’s, when Ohio’s budget was decimated by massive increases in the unemployment rate, forcing temporary tax hikes from Governor James A. Rhodes, Kasich was a no vote willing to make draconian cuts to government.