Tuesday, October 03, 2017

John Kasich Wouldn't Have To Deny He's About To Become An Independent, If He Wasn't Considering It


Did you watch Ohio Governor John Kasich on State of the Union with Jake Tapper Sunday? There's a short clip above you should watch. He was railing against the Trump-Bannon wing-- "if the party can't be fixed, Jake, then I’m not going to be able to support the party. Period. That’s the end of it. I mean, I’m worried about our country and my kids’ future. I am worried about it. But have I given up? Of course not." Tapper interrupts his ad for Brian Sandoval by asking him if "giving up on the party" means he's talking about "possibly becoming an independent." Kasich almost slips. At the 1:15 point on the video, he responds, "No, not at this p..." but backing off and going back to his "we need to fix it" mantra. "If the Republican Party is going to be anti-immigration, if it’s not going to be worried about debt, if it’s going to be anti-trade, this is not where our party can be."

Well, Republican voters spoke last November and that is where they are. Every poll shows that while a large and growing majority of the country-- including most independent and unaffiliated voters-- rejects Trump's ugly right-wing populism, Republican voters stand firmly with him. Kasich can continue fighting-- "that's why I'm on these shows," he said plaintively-- but it isn't doing much good, at least not yet. His party it spiraling into a civil war and the rest of the country is increasingly turning against the Republican Party and their leaders. The 2018 midterms are shaping up into an apocalypse for the GOP already. The Republicans are out of synch with the vast majority of American voters on just about everything. That new PPP poll, for example:
Trump may be doing poorly with the overall electorate but he's still in pretty firm control of the Republican Party. By a 34 point margin, 61/27, GOP voters say they'd rather have Trump be their candidate for President in 2020 than anyone else. His margins against specific potential Republican challengers are even more emphatic. He leads Mike Pence by 38 points at 59/21, John Kasich by 50 points at 68/18, and Ted Cruz by 53 points at 68/15. His leadership style might not be doing much to help him win over Americans in the middle but it's helping him keep a strong hold on his party base.

Steve Krieg is no John Kasich (although he voted for him in the Republican primary last year). He's a member of the Plattsburgh, NY School Board and last week he announced that he's running for Congress as a Democrat against Elise Stefanik, a vaguely mainstream conservative in upstate New York. She's already got a primary challenger, a Libertarian challenger and at least half a dozen Democrats vying for the party nomination. Krieg, however, was always a Republican and he switched parties and is now claiming to be a Democrat. Which is great; I love new members of the party coming over from the Dark Side. But... is this someone who voted for George W. Bush twice? Who opposed Obama twice? Who voted for Señor Trumpanzee less than a year ago? And now he thinks because he switched parties he's entitled to become the highest-ranking Democrat in NY-21, a huge sprawling North Country district that stretches from Lake Champlain up where New York, Vermont and Canada all meet, south to the outskirts of Saratoga Springs and west to pasted Watertown to Lake Ontario. It's the biggest district in the state and Obama won it both times with 52%. Last year the PVI was "even" and Trump beat Hillary 53.9% to 40.0%. The PVI is now a much redder R+4.

Stefanik has been a complete Ryan rubber stamp, which makes sense, since she was a Ryan staffer before being elected to Congress in 2014. This evening all the candidates except Stefanik will take part in a forum at the Williams High School Auditorium in Canton, including Russ Finley, the Republican challenging her, and these 7 Democrats: Don Boyajian of Cambridge, Tedra Cobb of Canton, Ronald Kim of Queensbury, Emily Martz of Saranac Lake, Patrick Nelson of Stillwater (the Berniecat in the race), Katie Wilson of Keene and, of course, new Democratic "convert" Steve Krieg of Plattsburgh. I guess we'll find out which Republican ideas he's clinging to and which Democratic ideas he's embraced. Think he's a Medicare-for-All backer? His website has no positions page and no clues about where he stands on anything at all (which is similar to most of the candidates other than Nelson, who is very upfront about advocating progressive positions across the board). When I did speak with him, he told me he's put his positions on his Facebook page instead of his website. A couple of months ago Krieg did post a very un-Democratic message on Stefanik's Facebook page: "I intend to kick your stingy, money-grubbing, sniveling coward of a butt out of congress. Don't worry, sweetie, you're a little girl. You can always run home to Mommy and Daddy." Welcome to the party... I guess.

A little update-- after writing the above, I spoke with Krieg on the phone for about an hour.. He switched parties in April-- it will become "official" in December-- because he had been growing more and more frustrated with the Republican Party and then Trump, for whom he did not vote, was the last straw. In fact, he decided to run against Stefanik because she doesn't stand up to Trump and because she doesn't engage in policy conversations with her constituents. When I asked him if there's anything that attracted him to the Democratic Party, he said it was the two parties' relative positions on climate change. He's an optometrist who believes the private sector does things better than the public sector except when it comes to healthcare. He said he liked Bernie's single-payer approach but felt it would have to be implemented incrementally over time because otherwise it "would piss a lot of people off."

He's also "pro-life," not pro-choice and, although he isn't judgmental about a woman stuck in "a trap" pushing her towards an abortion, he would vote against the use of federal funds for abortions. And, since I talked to him less than 24 hours after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, I asked him about semi-automatic weapons. His positions sounded like they came straight out of a canned NRA narrative of flawed "logic," utterly fake "facts" and crackpot theories. He said he will always come down on the side of workers over corporations but was unable to back a $15 minimum wage in the long, windy conversation. Personally, I think he should spend a couple of years being a Democrat and interacting with Democrats politically in Plattsburgh before running for Congress. After our q and a session, he accused me of "possibly" working for one of his opponents to find out what he will say at the candidates' forum tonight.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Kasich's rhetoric (his deeds, not so much) has been so divergent from the neo Nazi repugnican party for years. That he hasn't left the party yet proves he's just another asshole.
2) At least he's not, evidently, considering becoming a democrap... his rhetoric and deeds fit well with the nearly neo Nazi fascist democrap party of Pelosi and scummer. But if those two see a useful role (read: benefits to fund raising) for the pos, they'll try to buy him.

Otherwise, this is wasted space.

At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't support that lying POS Kasich. I haven't forgotten all of his hostile actions taken against the Average Joe just trying to get along.

Having said that, I worry about Kasich's public pose of the rational human being. A lot of people frustrated with today's politics will fall for the image he's presenting without bothering to look under the sheet he's wearing. If anyone is to be successful peeling off the disaffected of both parties into creating a third "centrist" party, it will be him.


Post a Comment

<< Home