The Ringling Brothers Circus isn’t thrilling fans in the Big Top anymore. But if it was, a political dancing bear would be the kind of old-school act that might make a career politician a household name.
These days, however, Ohio’s term-limited, lame-duck leader can also also be a dancing bear who rants on cue when national media come calling, looking for John Kasich to pelt President Donald Trump with verbal spitballs, as seen on TV early morning this week when he told Trump to “get his act together.” But when asked by NBC morning show anchors to dance harder on Trump, the Buckeye bear lost his rant.
Dancing Bears In Glass Houses
After being clobbered last year by the New York billionaire who isn’t afraid to align himself with Nazi sympathizers, racists and avowed white supremacists, Ohio’s 69th governor who won’t be governor for that much longer, is experiencing deja vu all over again with the release of a national Marist poll showing the Donald again crucifies Ohio’s sanctimonious CEO governor, 64-23 percent.
Polling by Marist shows that six in ten Americans, 62 percent, believe the nation is heading in the wrong direction as just 33 percent saying it is moving in the right direction, with 5 percent unsure.
When Republicans, the party Mr. Kasich still claims membership in, weigh-in, the numbers are different, striking and sad. “Among those who consider themselves to be Republican or identify as independents who lean toward the Republican Party, 47% think President Trump is doing more to unite the GOP than to divide it, 43%,” according to the poll. “For a majority of those who identify as Republicans, 51 percent, consider the president to be a unifying force while 52 percent of those who identify as Republican leaning independents perceive him to be divisive.”
Ohio’s disgruntled dancing bear fell out of favor early on last year with Trump, and hasn’t fared well with the White House since then. He’s in hot water with his own legislature, where Republican leaders are regrouping their troops next week to override many of the governor’s vetoes from his last state budget bill, where his best ideas were declared DOA shortly after he offered them up in his final executive budget.
The quirky and petulant governor talks out of both sides of his mouth, especially on defending expanded Medicaid, an Obamacare policy that’s been so helpful to Ohio despite the governor’s declaration that he would shred like Trump wants to do. Gov. Kasich has become an example of a candidate who marches to the beat of his own drummer, who happens be out of step with most of Americans on most issues.
In Ohio, he’s cordoned himself off from top state party leaders. The Ohio Republican Party pitched Mr. Kasich’s hand-picked leader, Matt Borges, who ran interference for the former Fox News pundit and Lehman Brothers banker. Now that Jane Timken, a Trump loyalist who took control of Ohio GOP operations, John Kasich won’t be walking on red carpet again for some time after Trump toppled Hillary Clinton last year by almost nine points.
The Marist poll is the latest example of why John Kasich, who will be wandering off the political radar screen in the near future, stands little chance of being the Trump slayer. Could the Catholic boy from Mckees Rocks, PA, be a Republican candidate for president in 2020 as he hints he might be? With some gene splicing, pigs could fly, so his return to the political stage is always possible in spite of his chances being slim to known that he’ll be the person everyone wants to rally around in 2020, when they didn’t rally around him last year when he had a second win as governor at his back in Ohio to propel him onto the national stage.
Make The Circus Great Again
Mr. Kasich will find someone to give him money so he can stay in the national conversation, as he appears from time to time on Sunday political talk shows to do his ranting dancing bear routine.
Dancing bears like John Kasich had their place in society, mostly in circus routines, which at one time represented popular entertainment. If Ringling Brothers ever decides to resume its three-ring circus, Ohio’s dancing bear would be an act to make the circus great again.