Former Republican Congressman and Ohio Gov. John Kasich did the Democratic Party no favor by speaking at the organization’s national convention Monday. If anything, he damaged the chances of Democrats electing presumptive nominee Joe Biden to replace President Donald Trump.
If Kasich had a record of success during his last eight years in public office, his “defection” could help Democrats and hurt Republicans. If anything, he stands out as a Republican who failed Ohio by embracing too many Democratic policies.
As governor, Kasich supported and signed into law Medicaid expansion. He befriended then-Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and the two tried and failed to concoct another government health care plan that made no sense.
After Ohio’s legislative Republicans fought for and passed a heartbeat bill, a law forbidding abortion after a preborn baby develops a detectable heartbeat, Kasich vetoed it. To be fair, he has signed into law an assortment of regulations restricting abortion-on-demand.
Just like Hickenlooper and throngs of other Democrats, Kasich supports subsidies for electric vehicles and “renewables.” He supported Ohio’s renewable energy mandates. He worries about global warming so much he supported substantially raising the state’s severance tax on oil and gas and federal grazing fees on cattle operations.
Kasich is far enough on the right that left-wing politicians, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, expressed outrage when the DNC announced him as a convention speaker. He’s far enough on the left to have the Republican base calling him a RINO — a Republican in Name Only. He’s like a man without a party believing he can make everyone love him.
“Kasich has finally found a convention he can in good conscience attend,” says a Sunday headline in the Columbus Dispatch of Ohio.
Americans of all political persuasions should respect a politician who thinks for himself and refuses to strictly toe a party’s line. Kasich’s problem isn’t his conflicting ideologies. It is the condition of Ohio after eight years of his odd, confusing leadership.
“Are Ohioans better off now than they were eight years ago?” asked the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial board, which twice endorsed Kasich, when the governor left office in 2019. “The data suggest that a number in the state might answer no.”
The Plain Dealer applauded Kasich for his environmental record, namely his efforts to protect Lake Erie from environmental harm. They praised him for consistently opposing Trump and for expanding Medicaid.
“He has failed to position Ohio to pull out of its long-term economic mire grounded in an undereducated workforce, an aging population, a less-than-dynamic economy and a continuing decline in good-paying, middle-class jobs,” the editorial board explained.
Maybe that’s because Kasich spent so much of the state’s resources giving away health care, imposing environmental mandates, and fretting about climate change. He has no problem speaking at the Democratic convention because he supports much of the party’s economic and environmental platform. The results of those policies speak for themselves in Ohio.
“Medicaid expansion is a godsend to hard-pressed Ohioans,” the Plain Dealer wrote. “But…data suggest that the middle class, Ohio’s backbone, is, at best, treading water.”
As Americans watch the Democratic convention, which began Monday, liberal politicians will pitch the style of economic and environmental policies Kasich imposed on Ohio as a Republican. Middle-class voters in the suburbs, the people who will decide this election, should look to Ohio.
Eight years of Kasich gave the state free health care for the poor, electric cars, energy taxes and environmental mandates. It came at a cost of middle-class taxpayers — people trying to breathe as they tread deep water.
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