“Kasich sucks. Sorry excuse my language. He sucks. He has no backbone. He didn’t stand with the Republican Party. He acted like a little brat. We need strong. We don’t need wussies out there.”,” said Dreama Contner, a 51-year-old mental health worker, The Washington Times [TWT] reported Wednesday, in an article about Kasich’s tenuous political future.

John Kasich, who in two years will be out of office and likely out of mind, especially to the new breed of Trump supporters who won’t forget his opposition to Trump’s candidacy and campaign, will be long remembered for breaking his pledge, made at the first GOP debate in Cleveland a year ago August, to support Trump. The governor has cemented his image as a polarizing figure that appears eager to put his imprint on the party.

Kasich was going to deliver his not new ideas of what form or shape the Republican Party should take in Washington tomorrow, but that event is now cancelled. For the new take-no-prisoners, Breitbart crowd, Kasich is Hillary Clinton lite, since he’ll be viewed as not conservative enough for them, even though he wants to claim the moral high ground in the wake of Trump’s amazing national win yesterday, which included winning Ohio by nearly ten percentage points over Clinton.

“He could be positioning himself for 2020, but it is a dicey prospect because the Trump supporters will remember that he would not support Trump,” Paul Beck, professor emeritus of political science at the Ohio State University told TWT. “So it is a chancy for Kasich I think,” Professor Beck said.

Kasich Biggest Loser In 2016

In a report on the biggest winners and losers in 2016,  Edmund Kozak at PoliZette reports that tops on the losers list is John Kasich. According to Kozak, “Kasich ran his primary campaign against Trump — even after his primary campaign was over. Indeed, Kasich gave a veritable masterclass in being a sore loser, turning his vehement opposition to Trump into a permanent affectation.” Kozak writes that Kasich was counting on a crushing Trump loss, “after which he could play the principled, liberal-friendly Republican and waltz right into the GOP nomination in 2020.” Johnny, from Democratic stronghold McKees Rocks, PA, was atop a list of other losers that included The National Review Editorial Board, Bill Kristol and The Weekly Standard, and President Obama. 

Making headlines by calling Trump’s rhetoric dangerous, then accepting an offer by President Obama to come to the White House to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that Mr. Trump opposes, only further digs Kasich in a deeper hole. Kasich told reporters in Washington weeks ago that free trade was good for the nation, and that he was taking the high road, saying he welcomes “the fact that people will criticize me for putting my country ahead of my party.”

As TWT reported, that was the “last straw for Trump backers came when he refused to follow through with the promise he made in the primary to back the eventual nominee, and instead cast his ballot for Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the party’s 2008 nominee and top target of criticism from conservative activists.” Now long in the tooth, John Kasich could see his political life flash before his eyes, if what some who asked TWT not to publish their names said sticks, that he’s a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” If that’s the case, “this is probably the end of his political career,” the paper wrote.

When you lose, you lose, and you still stand up for your party and back them, one person said, adding, “You don’t make a ruckus and do everything he did.” In an echo of this reporter’s piece on Kasich’s throw-away vote for president, one person in TWT’s article said, “I am just disappointed in the end that he would put his vote out for John McCain when he was not on the ballot.”

The Toledo Blade, a legacy newspaper that has been at odds with Kasich for a while and who hasn’t been afraid to nail him to crosses of his own design, got around to saying what Plunderbund has written time and time again, that Kasich’s dream of being elected president is toast.

In an article called “Kasich’s hopes to be president likely dead,” the Blade’s statehouse bureau chief assembled quotes from informed sources that, collectively, painted Kasich as a big loser, due entirely to his own making of always being a bit out of step with the prevailing winds of his party in order to confuse voters. The headline would be more accurate if “likely’ were removed, since he’s DOA now.

It can only get worse for Kasich, if the still Republican-controlled legislature, boasting new super majorities, overrides him on any issue, big or small, which they can do at will now. Had Kasich showed even a token of contrition to the Donald, especially after he won the nomination, he might have been considered for a cabinet post. But even that possibility has been foreclosed on, as his hide-and-seek campaign that tried to blur the lines so he couldn’t be tagged for what he is, not a moderate but a hard-right governor.

Civic Mindedness

As Ohio media keeps Gov. John Kasich’s dream of running for president in 2020 afloat, the soon to be out of office Kasich seems ignorant to the fundamental transformation of his party, to wit, the GOP’s base of low-information voters lacking in civic education don’t care what party establishment lane career politicos like Kasich have to say anymore.

Ignoring the seismic shifts in the party that elected Donald Trump,  Kasick had planned to talk today in Washington to share his ideas for moving the Republican Party forward. A Republican familiar with details of Kasich’s trip told the AP that the lame duck leader “will address the GOP’s post-election situation and his ideas for the future.” Now that the event has been cancelled, Gov. Kasich does what he does best, hide from the press least he be asked an uncomfortable question, of which there are scores he should have to answer.

Kasich opposed GOP nominee Donald Trump, declining to endorse or vote for the New York billionaire, and he boycotted the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Of course, we know why the great majority of Republican politicians supported Mr. Trump despite his evident awfulness, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote Monday: “They feared retribution from the party’s base if they didn’t. But that’s not an excuse. On the contrary, it’s reason to trust these people even less. We already know that they lack any moral backbone, that they will do whatever it takes to guarantee their own political survival.”

Krugman, a Noble Prize winner in economics, says, “what this means in practice is that they will remain Trumpists after the election, even if the Orange One himself vanishes from the scene.” He added, “Even if Mr. Trump loses bigly, they’ll know that their personal fortunes will depend on maintaining an essentially Trumpist line. Otherwise they will face serious primary challenges and/or be at risk of losing future elections when base voters stay home.”

Kasich may not want to hear that Trumpism is what the party is all about now, so Krugman’s opinion will go unheeded. “Maybe they’ll find future standard-bearers with better impulse control and fewer personal skeletons in their closets, but the underlying nastiness is now part of Republican DNA,” he said of professional politicos like Kasich who try to blur the lines between his hard-right agenda and what progressive Democrats and commonsense independents know is good policy.

The modern G.O.P. is Mr. Trump’s party, with or without the man himself. To chronicle just how retrograde Ohio is moving under the current crop of Republican Ohio leaders would entail producing a short form Master’s thesis. Plunderbund readers schooled in how bad the great innovator Gov. John Kasich has been, aided by a compliant like-minded House and Senate lawmakers, know it chapter and verse already.

Ohio legacy newspapers like the Columbus Dispatch and Cleveland Plain Dealer could have endorsed the same steady, proven executive in 2010 that they endorsed in 2006 over the GOP alternative, Ken Blackwell, who would have delivered in spades each of the familiar, long-held ideological tenants of smaller government, lower taxes and fewer regulations that Kasich and company have delivered with gusto. These media outlets turned their backs on the steady turtle that was Gov. Ted Strickland and bet instead on the flashy but unproven jackrabbit from Fox TV and Lehman Brothers, whose flim-flam campaign of 2010 promised a turnaround miracle that mesmerized them like children captured by magically appearing shiny bubbles wafting in the wind.

The turtle proved his worth by bearing the brunt of the Great Recession, then setting Ohio on a roaring road to recovery. He gave the jackrabbit a recovering economy and a billion dollars in revenue, both of which Kasich took bows for as if he actually had a hand in achieving them. In 2014, Gov. Kasich then re-ran his 2010 campaign, but statehouse reporters, some of whom were pushed around at will by the aspiring president who told them to stop asking questions he wasn’t going to answer, suffered severe memory loss.

Gov. Kasich is routinely applauded for his opposition to the Donald, but those who know Kasich’s mindset know he’s anti anybody who’s not him. And when it became clear at the start of the Republican primary season last year that Trump had tapped into the worse fears of the party’s base voters, Kasich’s “adult in the room” moderate politician guise wasn’t going to sell. And it didn’t, as Election day results show, producing President-elect Donald Trump. Kasich opted out of supporting his party’s nominated candidate—a position his good political buddy Sen. Rob Portman chose not to do until recently. Kasich was so peeved at not being the chosen leader that he showed his teenage pique by not showing up at his party’s national nominating convention in Cleveland.

Ohio Civics Lessons

For the civic minded among us, reversing Ohio’s retrograde motion is a daunting challenge that will take stamina, along with redistricting maps that level the playing field to make districts more compact and more competitive. Gov. Kasich once said he wants to reform legislative districts. He said it once, but hasn’t mentioned it or done anything about it since. To quote him on why he’s not a Trump supporter, he said his actions speak louder than words.

It will take voter participation laws that will expand rather than contract the voter base, but don’t hold your breath on that happening. It will take legislators and governors who hold out civics as a good quality to deliver on democracy that works for all, not just the wealthy who can buy favors from hungry lawmakers who whine about how bad government is but refuse to quit it once they’ve tasted the forbidden fruits of taxpayer funded pensions and health care, rigged in their favor, but don’t hold your breath on that either.

So now that Ohio went for Trump in a big way, by almost ten percentage points, inquiring minds might wonder how a truly civic minded electorate would perform if the match-up is between a proven, experienced elected official versus one who has none of these qualities yet boasts the lack of civics training merits them the job?