Since he bowed out of the race on May 4th after losing 49 GOP state primary contests and winning just one, Ohio, Gov. John Kasich and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump have been slap fighting mostly over tone, experience and temperament, not policies and programs.
Ohio’s lame duck governor, whose own petulance is well known and described by national reporters as “off-putting,” has correctly observed that nobody listens to him anymore, that is, with the exception of the Columbus Dispatch and the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspapers who keep faithful to Kasich by keeping his name and associated relevance afloat in the far off galaxy of potential 2020 Republicans presidential candidates.
Campaigning in Ohio recently, Trump sort of danced on Kasich’s grave with disparaging comments aimed at the state’s CEO-style governor whose economic record leaves much to be desired after 43 straight months of underperforming the national job creation average. John Kasich lamented in 2010 that he was handed a broken state, but responsible reporting shows that, in fact, he was handed a state roaring to recovery. Ohio’s recovery stalled under his watch, as he confessed on national TV, even though his pet project, JobsOhio, a private and virtually secret group has billions from the sale of state liquor profits to dole out to create jobs.
Months ago, when Plunderbund asked the governor of Ohio during the Great Recession what condition the state was in when he left office, Ted Strickland said without equivocation that he gave Kasich a recovering economy.Anyone who cares to check out Bureau of Labor Statistics charts will see that employment was rising during Strickland’s last year, an inconvenient fact for Camp Kasich and reporters who follow his every word to admit, since it debunks the former Lehman Brothers banker’s sweet but false narrative that Ohio-was-broken until he arrived to fix it.
Donald Trump didn’t butter John Kasich up like some have and continue to do, instead he called the nation’s 17th state rusty and rotting, promising to make Ohio great again in manufacturing. It’s no secret that nine-term Congressman John Kasich voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which one-time independent presidential candidate back in 1996, Ross Perot of Texas, said would produce a “sucking sound” if passed. And so it did, as any student of labor knows.
Kasich got clobbered throughout the brutal and bloody GOP primary season, and his ego hasn’t forgotten it. Showing his distemper for the Donald, Gov. Kasich refused to set foot inside the convention hall in Cleveland, where Republicans held their 2016 nominating convention that made Trump the party”s official nominee, after he finishing first in 38 state contests. Before and after Trump’s ascension to GOP alpha male, John Kasich showed his pique by refusing to say a positive word about the Donald. So any thought of endorsing the Donald is heresy, especially since Kasich set the bar at whether his wife and daughters can do it. Until Trump does a complete makeover, Ohio’s 64-year old and 69th governor will stay cemented in the Kasich lane of disaffected leaders whose time in the spotlight is effectively over now, even before it ends officially after his second term closes in two years.
While John Kasich engages in a political exchange of Angry Birds with Team Trump, he’s declared he can never vote for Hillary Clinton, the choice of Democrats. As Kasich moves further into a corner of no return of his own making, more and more thoughtful Republicans are jumping ship to board the U.S.S. Hillary Clinton as it pulls out of port and into deep waters made more navigable with help from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who pushed Team Clinton and the Democratic platform to embrace progressive planks that when compared to the Republican platform are stark and revolutionary.
The challenge for reporters is not to cover the social media slap fight between Trump and Kasich over tone and temperament, as fun as that might be, since both have questionable tones and temperaments. The challenge should be to ferret out Mr. Kasich on whether he objects as strongly to some party platform planks as he does to Trump as party leader?
To help Ohio media with that challenge, Plunderbund offers a piece by Steven Rosenfeld called “50 Shockingly Extreme Right-Wing Proposals in the 2016 Republican Party Platform.” In it Rosenfeld asks what Donald Trump or a Republican Congress and GOP-appointed Supreme Court would do to America?
Would Gov. John Kasich, whose managed to sell the idea that he’s a moderate Republican, take issue with any of these 50 planks with the same fervor he’s used to take up arms against the Big Orange Machine and its leader, Donald Trump?
Here are Rosenfeld’s 50 excerpts from the 2016 GOP platform, that both John Kasich and Donald Trump would probably support. So is John Kasich really different than Donald Trump? If not, is John Kasich any better on policy and programs than Donald Trump?
1. Tax cuts for the rich;
2. Deregulate the banks;
3. Stop consumer protection;
4. Start repealing environmental laws;
5. Start shrinking unions and union labor;
6. Privatize federal railway service;
7. No change in federal minimum wage;
8. Cut government salaries and benefits;
9. Appoint anti-choice Supreme Court justices;
10. Appoint anti-LGBT and anti-Obamacare justices;
11. Legalize anti-LGBT discrimination;
12. Make Christianity a national religion;
13. Loosen campaign finance loopholes and dark money;
14. Loosen gun controls nationwide;
15. Pass an anti-choice constitutional amendment;
16. End federal funding for Planned Parenthood;
17. Allow states to shut down abortion Clinics;
18. Oppose stem cell scientific research;
19. Oppose executive branch policy making;
20. Oppose efforts to end the electoral college;
21. Require citizenship documents to register to vote;
22. Ignore undocumented immigrants when drawing congressional districts;
23. No labeling of GMO ingredients in food products;
24. Add work requirements to welfare and cut food stamps;
25. Open America’s shores to more oil and gas drilling;
26. Build the Keystone XL Pipeline;
27. Expand fracking and burying nuclear waste;
28. No tax on carbon products;
29. Ignore global climate change agreements;
30. Privatize Medicare, the health plan for seniors;
31. Turn Medicaid, the poor’s health plan, over to states;
32. No increasing Social Security benefits by taxing the rich;
33. Repeal Obamacare;
34. Give internet service providers monopoly control;
35. Make English the official U.S. language;
36. No amnesty for undocumented immigrants;
37. Build a border wall to keep immigrants out;
38. Require government verification of citizenship of all workers;
39. Penalize cities that give sanctuary to migrants;
40. Puerto Rico should be a state but not Washington DC;
41. Support traditional marriage but no other families;
42. Privatize government services in the name of fighting poverty;
43. Require bible study in public schools;
44. Replace traditional public schools with privatized options;
45. Replace sex education with abstinence-only approaches;
46. Privatize student loans instead of lowering interest rates;
47. Restore the death penalty;
48. Dramatically increase Pentagon budget;
49. Cancel Iran nuclear treaty and expand nuclear arsenal;
50. Reaffirm support for Israel and slam sanctions movement;