Political campaigns are never without a fresh supply of jargon, from Yellow Dogs, boll weevils and angry white guys, to gravitas, Nascar dads and a soccer mom from somewhere up north. We need an artificial way to extract one pol from another to keep everybody casually informed of who’s who.
Now, we’re being introduced to the phenomenon of “grown- ups”. It’s a common word that has taken on new meaning in the helter-skelter of the 2016 campaign. As the Plain Dealer chipped in with its endorsement of John Kasich: “Alone among Republicans Kasich acts like a grown-up”. I only agree with the acting part.
It’s his good fortune to be in a room of maniacs. As it’s been said, in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. More about that in a future column.
But with a shattered Republican party, it may be the only household word that will serve as an ad hoc standard in the planet’s frantic search for an Ohio Miracle, which is what Kasich has long promised for years.
Good luck on that. You can’t count on clarity from, say, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, a dam-bursting Kasich fan who speedily expresses himself without punctuation marks. The Ohio governor, after all, outlasted Marco Rubio , once considered a grown-up, who quit with a self-awarded consolation prize that he finished fourth in a field of seventeen.
The TV news class – so-called strategists, bellowers and assortment of insiders – has come at us with Donald Trump’s Castro-like segments of his babbling but has now settled on Kasich as the “grown-up” in an anybody-but-Trump movement. You’d think that after ignoring Trump’s earlier rise for so long they would now have a plausible solution in the GOP’s afterlife. But as the sign says in the antique shop: You break it, you own it.
You will be hearing a lot of talk from the muses of fill-in grown-ups all of the way to the convention. Even Kasich will try to confirm that he’s the miracle-working deity. Some of us, however, would do well to watch the cartoons instead.