Start with this fact and hold onto it: In head-to-head match-ups with HRC, the only GOP candidate to consistently beat her is Ohio governor, John Kasich.
Knowing this, how does one explain the rush of former Republican candidates and other notables to endorse Ted Cruz, who just as regularly loses to HRC in the aforementioned match-ups? Why turn your back on a guy with a real chance of winning in favor of a guy who is just as likely to lose the general election? Go figure!!!
Alright; the only way to make any sense out of this is to remember who is “driving the GOP bus”: It’s the Tea Party and grassroots activists who know Cruz is one of their own whereas Kasich comes across as much too moderate. After all, as Ohio’s governor, he did support the Medicaid expansion of Obamacare, and has spoken in more conciliatory tones when it comes to how to treat people of color and the undocumented. Those sorts of positions just aren’t palatable to the people who demand ideological purity from their candidates at every level.
All this said, look at what has transpired here of late: Primadonald and Cruz have gotten into it big-time with insults, Instagrams, Tweets, unflattering photoshopped pictures of their respective wives and the sort of back-and-forth you would expect to find in an elementary school cafeteria food-fight. By all rights, this should turn GOP voters completely off and send them running to Kasich who continues to assume the role of the only adult in the room. Well, it hasn’t happened other than on the governor’s home turf where he won his state’s primary. Will the upcoming primary results finally reveal a stampede towards Kasich and away from Primadonald and Cruz? That’s an interesting possibility, but not one to count on given that it’s those grass roots activists who tend to be the most numerous and reliable voters in GOP primaries. They just don’t like and trust him.
But, suppose it did happen and Kasich picks up a collection of wins and rolls into the Republican convention with a powerful head of steam. What do we know about this potential front-runner? First, the only reason that John Kasich comes across as a real moderate is because we are forced to compare him to Cruz and Primadonald. In terms of his history in government, the Buckeye governor is the kind of conservative you might love if we were back in the 1980’s, a time when compromise and getting things done weren’t consider your being “squishy” or a Republican in name only (RINO). As a House member, he helped create balanced budgets (1), and has done the same thing in Ohio, though there are some of his constituents who aren’t at all thrilled with the means he has used to do that (2). The recovery of the auto industry, with numerous parts suppliers in Ohio, gave a huge boost to his record as a job-creator. Contrariwise, he is a union-buster which spells trouble for middle class workers who hope to use collective bargaining as a vehicle to attain better wages. Simply put, Kasich is the proverbial mixed bag. If he does become the GOP nominee, voters in the general election will have to sort out all his pluses and minuses.
Finally, there is this: It is no longer arguable that Republicans are a fragmented, badly splintered group. The candidacy of Primadonald has brought out some of worst racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and nativists among its members. How can a body, so lacking in unity, come together? The Bible tells us that there has been one Resurrection. Sane, responsible Republicans need to pray for another, so that the party to which they have pledged their loyalty rises from its near-death present status and finally starts to behave in ways that will make it a responsible, contributing member of our body politic.
- Creating those balanced budgets was made a lot easier by the revenue surpluses that arouse out of the dot-com generated, super-hot economy of the Bill Clinton years. When you have enough money to pay for everything, what’s the problem?
- Cuts in public education and services have not been welcomed.