Ohio Gov. John Kasich got a lot of unearned mileage last year touting himself as the “adult in the room” among the gaggle of 17 Republicans who ran for president and were eventually decimated by New York billionaire Donald John Trump, who last Friday became the 45th President of the United States.
Gov. Kasich has his penultimate State of the State Address coming in a few weeks, and while what he will say is not known yet, it’s not hard for anyone who knows his mindset, and has reviewed his past performances, to fill in the blanks of his remarks that will tout how great he’s been for Ohio, when real facts, not alternative facts, clearly show that not to be the case.
Basic Kasich always shines the light on the Catholic boy from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, who gave up a life of devotion to the Lord for the fast lane where money and politics collide, enriching himself through a political career that made him the term-limited, lame duck leader of Ohio he is today. Unfortunately for Mr. Kasich, the Lord had someone else in mind for president this election cycle, as he and other former and current Republican officeholders learned the hard way last year, as one after another was flattened after Trump fiercely Twittered them to death, using his fierce and effective social media fly swatter to bug zap them.
But now that Trump is the president, the real honors for the adult governor in the country go to California Gov. Jerry Brown. The 78-year old leader whose father Edmund Brown preceded him until defeated by Ronald Reagan, offered comments in a speech Tuesday from Sacramento that showed just how determined he and Golden State leaders are to defend the state’s new moniker as the “Great Exception” to Trump’s new far-right-conservative agenda, and those states and leaders that will kowtow to it.
As for Gov. Kasich, who won plaudits from many, especially Democrats, for not falling in line behind Mr. Trump as even Republicans who opposed him early on did in the final weeks of the election, he’s now of a mind to wait and see what the president does before giving him a thumbs up or down verdict.
At a recent panel discussion in Washington D.C., Mr. Kasich declined to comment on the president’s policies, despite being asked repeatedly to weigh-in on statements Trump has made and executive orders he has signed in his first week on the job. “When I agree with the president, I’m going to say I do, when I don’t agree, I’ll say that I don’t,” Kasich said, the Dayton Daily News reported.
Jerry Brown Defies The White House As Kasich Is Afraid To Do
“When California does well, America does well. And when California hurts, America hurts,” Brown said about his state, the sixth most powerful economy in the world, where one out of every eight Americans lives, 27 percent of whom were born in a foreign land, a number equal to the population of Ohio.
It’s worth noting that California’s economy is much larger than that of Russia, according to World Monetary Fund rankings of the world’s economies offered by the State of California. It’s also worth noting that Russia waded into America’s election this year in ways, possibly including collusion with the Trump campaign, that tipped the scales for Tea Trump.
Gov. Brown sees the future and he doesn’t like what he sees. “While no one knows what the new leaders will actually do, there are signs that are disturbing. We have seen the bald assertion of “alternative facts.” We have heard the blatant attacks on science. Familiar signposts of our democracy –truth, civility, working together – have been obscured or swept aside.”
Even though he acknowledged that “federal law is supreme and that Washington determines immigration policy,” he pointedly said, “…we will defend everybody – every man, woman and child – who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state.”
Brown’s California has embraced the Affordable Care Act more than any other state, and that certainly applies to Ohio, where Gov. Kasich and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor have been naysayers and obstructionists from day one of it being declared constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Gov. Kasich so loves the money from Medicaid expansion that he sounds like a Democratic candidate for governor as he defends keeping it until such time as Republicans have a real plan to show the world.
Brown understands the Affordable Care Act better than Kasich since five million of his state population enjoy its benefits. “But that coverage has come with tens of billions of federal dollars,” he notes, adding, “Were any of that to be taken away, our state budget would be directly affected, possibly devastated. That is why I intend to join with other governors – and with you – to do everything we can to protect the health care of our people.”
Only the hard of thinking could envision Gov. Kasich saying about Ohio what Gov. Brown said about the Golden State on energy and climate change. “Whatever they do in Washington, they can’t change the facts. And these are the facts: the climate is changing, the temperatures are rising and so are the oceans. Natural habitats everywhere are under increasing stress. The world knows this. One hundred and ninety-four countries signed the Paris Agreement to control greenhouse gases. Our own voluntary agreement to accomplish the same goal – the ‘Under Two M.O.U.’ – has 165 signatories, representing a billion people. We cannot fall back and give in to the climate deniers. The science is clear. The danger is real.”
In a direct slap to the White House, which recently broached the idea of “alternate facts” as viable with real fact-checked facts, Gov. Brown Californians will “strive to understand the facts and state them clearly as we argue our points of view.” He even quoted a Dutch jurist who said “even God cannot cause two times two not to make four.” Going further, Gov. Brown said, “When the science is clear or when our own eyes tell us that the seats in this chamber are filled or that the sun is shining, we must say so, not construct some alternate universe of non-facts that we find more pleasing.”
John Kasich, The ‘Look At Me’ Governor
It’s hard to imagine Ohio Gov. Kasich making similar statements at his next SOTS event. As the last candidate to bow out of the presidential race last year, his petulant self rose as it always does to new heights. After some accused him of doing a master class in turning the leader of his party off, he suffered the slings of outrageous fortune by falling out of favor with Trump world. He then suffered the agony of defeat when his hand-picked bulldozer to run the Ohio Republican Party during his tenure got booted to make way for Ohio’s new GOP queen, Jane Timken, an attorney and the wealthy wife of W. J. (Tim) Timken, CEO & President of TimkenSteel.
With very conservative Republicans holding the most seats the GOP has had in decades, Gov. Kasich may find that his budget gets whacked on day one, while bills once kept from him last year for fear they would roil political waters for him given his history as a radical conservative, will be sent to him this biennium, including right-to-work and even harsher abortion bills. The governor may also find that his veto pen goes as limp as his run for the White House, as super-majority Republicans in tune with Trump world override his veto when it suits their needs.
It will be a surprise indeed if John Kasich doesn’t deliver a SOTS address that isn’t imbued with religiosity, as has been his custom in previous addresses. It will also be a surprise if he matches a fraction of the no-nonsense, common-sense agenda Gov. Jerry Brown laid out, that includes what the “Great Exception” state of California will do to protect itself and its people from the coming carnage courtesy of the Trump White House and a Congress held captive by his real power and political stamina.
Mr. Kasich has a running, jeporative commentary about Californian’s as west coast ‘whackadoodles.” The whackadoodles are doing quite well, actually, given their ranking by Arizona’s W.P. Carey School of Business pegging them 8th in the nation in economic growth compared to Kasich’s Ohio at 32nd. And even on the hallowed ground of private development, Ohio drops to 34th compared to California at 14th.
Kasich Backs DeVos For Education Secretary
A recent letter from John Kasich to the U.S. Senate advocating that Betsy Devos, Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of Education, be confirmed, shows he’s how much he’s in the grip of Trump world. As a governor who has overseen billions squandered on for-profit charter schools, and doing precious little to stem the bleeding of taxpayer dollars going to poorly performing for-profits, Gov. Kasich shows again how bankrupt and clueless his mindset on education really is.