Vail Daily column: Kasich not the sane choice
If John Kasich seems like the sane Republican choice for president, then it is only because he looks moderate by comparison. With his folksy delivery he plays Mr. Rogers to his two competitors — Scary Spice and Angry Spice. Kasich must have received a visit from a personality stylist to craft this new persona. According to Politico.com a more apt description of Kasich is “ … unapologetically brusque, insensitive and mean.” This is in sharp contrast to the carefully orchestrated nice-guy image he has displayed on the campaign trail. Which invites the question: Who is the real John Kasich?
Kasich is a career politician. He served in the Ohio state House before serving 18 years in the U. S. House of Representatives. Unlike Hillary Clinton, Kasich was not merely giving speeches to investment bankers, he was one. After leaving Congress in 2000, he worked briefly for Fox News before joining Lehman Brothers as a managing director until their bankruptcy in 2008. Kasich worked for one of the banks responsible for nearly going Thelma and Louise with the U.S. economy. Then he ran for governor of Ohio.
On the issues Kasich is far to the right. According to The Guardian, he has signed 16 anti-abortion measures as governor. Thanks in part to a Catch-22 law signed by Kasich, half of the abortion providers in the state have closed. According to Politifact, Kasich signed a law that requires abortion providers to “have a transfer agreement with a local hospital” in the event of an emergency. However, the law also prohibits public hospitals “from entering into transfer agreements with abortion providers.” Kasich supports defunding Planned Parenthood.
Like most Republicans, Kasich serves the fossil-fuel industry. Kasich signed legislation in 2011 to open up Ohio state lands to fracking. Conveniently, after Democrats called for an investigation into the plan by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to promote fracking on public lands the governor’s office abandoned the scheme. Kasich supports the Keystone XL pipeline. Furthermore, he does not believe the Environmental Protection Agency should regulate emissions, insisting instead that it should be left up to the states and industry, as if it were possible to contain air within the boundaries of individual states. While he does believe in climate change, unusual for a Republican, Kasich is unwilling to admit that humans contribute to it, which is kind of key to mitigating the problem.
His attempt to emasculate unions such as his colleague in Wisconsin, Scott Walker, failed. According to Politico.com, Kasich signed a bill in 2011 that stripped firefighters, police and teachers of most of their collective bargaining power. The voters of Ohio fought back and reversed the law through a referendum later that same year.
According to thestreet.com, if Kasich is elected president, “spending on transportation, education and health care would all be cut … the only budget increases he has endorsed so far would be to build up the military.” Kasich has also promised to “project force decisively.” He told Gloria Borger on CNN that dealing with the Islamic State group problem will require boots on the ground.
Kasich currently has fewer delegates than Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the race. He has won only one state — Ohio. Both his competitors have won multiple primaries and received millions more votes than he has. Currently, GOP convention rules stipulate a candidate must have a majority of delegates from a minimum of eight states in order to be eligible for the GOP nomination. However, the rules committee has not voted on the rules for the upcoming convention and that rule could be thrown out. Kasich is banking on that because in national polling he is the only GOP candidate predicted to prevail over Hillary Clinton in November.
Kasich tried to sound reasonable when he told Anderson Cooper on CNN’s town hall, “I don’t know how many rounds it’s going to take, but if I’m the only one who can win in the fall, why would you pick somebody else?” GOP voters had a chance to pick him during the primaries and chose not to. Gosh, why bother having primaries at all? The fact that Kasich is blithely unconcerned that his selection as the GOP nominee would be farcically undemocratic is the main reason he is not the sane choice.
Claire Noble can be found online at clairenoble.org and on Facebook as “Claire Noble Writer.”