The virtual Democratic National Convention isn’t exactly getting rave reviews. With the exception of a few upbeat moments (I thought the documentary featuring Jill Biden was quite good), the entire production has been little more than a rage-fest, punctuated by angry tirades and dire warnings, and plagued by technical glitches. The derision directed at the convention is well-deserved. Also well-deserved is the derision directed at former Ohio Gov. John Kasich. In case you missed his cringe-worthy speech at Monday night’s convention, here it is:
Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at the #DemConvention: “We’re being taken down the wrong road by a president who has pitted one against the other.”
— ABC News (@ABC) August 18, 2020
If you’re unable to stomach watching the whole thing (and no one could blame you) I’ve summarized it here:
Kasich shorter: These are not normal times, so I'm voting for the candidate who wants to force nuns to pay for birth control; who thinks we don't have enough abortions; who wants to cut police budgets and raise taxes; and who is beholden to the socialist-loon wing of the party.
— Paula Bolyard (@pbolyard) August 18, 2020
Some conservative he turned out to be. My Facebook feed is full of my fellow Ohioans blasting Kasich, calling him a turncoat and a hypocrite for supporting a candidate with Biden’s increasingly radical policy positions.
Kasich didn’t fare much better on the national front. Former New Jersey governor and presidential candidate Chris Christie put Kasich on blast during an ABC News appearance, telling host George Stephanopoulos that Kasich is a backstabber.
“Do you know how many Republican governors… endorsed John Kasich [for president in 2016]? Zero, and the reason they didn’t endorse him is because he’s a backstabber and he’s an untruthful guy,” said Christie.
“Tonight, Republicans are going to look at that and go, ‘You can have him… Give us a break and get him out of our party. You take him for a while.'”
That’ll leave a mark.
But Christie wasn’t finished. “On top of all that, I’ve worked with John a lot. He’s exhausting. Joe Biden’s going to be getting calls from John Kasich, he’s going to want to change his phone number.”
.@ChrisChristie torches Kasich: "Do you know how many Republican governors….endorsed him? Zero & the reason they didn't endorse him is b/c he's a backstabber & untruthful guy….Biden's going to be getting calls from John Kasich, he's going to want to change his phone number." pic.twitter.com/abHLm24TmH
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 18, 2020
The number one reason Kasich failed to secure the Republican nomination for president in 2016 is that the man is unlikeable. He came across as a sanctimonious scold who thinks he has some sort of Superior Wisdom that makes him the smartest guy in every room. Sure, he was elected to two terms as governor of Ohio, but much of the credit for that goes to the sheer incompetence and malfeasance of the Ohio Democratic Party.
As critical as I’ve been of Gov. Mike DeWine’s overwrought response to the COVID-19 crisis (and I’ve been plenty critical), I shudder to think how much worse it could’ve been had Kasich still been running the show. His incessant hectoring might’ve killed more people than the virus. But I digress.
Yvette Simpson, former Cincinnati city council member and current chief executive for the George Soros-backed Democracy for America, was on that same ABC panel with Chris Christie. She agreed with the former governor’s assessment and declared, “We don’t want him either!”
“I’m from Ohio and I know the damage he did to our state — labor… what he did on choice, what he did to public teachers and public education, what he did with guns and violence, this is not the story we want to be telling,” she added.
“Yes, if you’re a Republican who doesn’t like Donald Trump, vote for [Biden], but we should not be taking precious time on the first night engaging Republicans that are not progressives,” Simpson fumed.
[Aside: Kasich didn’t do squat on “labor.” While he initially backed (and signed) an aggressive and desperately needed public union reform bill, he fell into the fetal position and cried like a girl when the well-funded unions here managed to get the issue on the ballot—where it promptly went down in flames.]
It is a truth universally acknowledged—and every bit sure as the Pride and Prejudice axiom that a man with a fortune needs a wife — that Republicans who have their moment in the Democratic spotlight are discarded faster then they can make a three-minute endorsement speech once they’ve outlived their usefulness. It was no different for Kasich. Not only did Simpson drag him just hours after his speech at the DNC, but Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) also went after him — on Twitter, of course, where the two exchanged words (as we used to say in more dignified times).
It’s great that Kasich has woken up &realized the importance of supporting a Biden-Harris ticket. I hope he gets through to GOP voters.
Yet also, something tells me a Republican who fights against women’s rights doesn’t get to say who is or isn’t representative of the Dem party. https://t.co/38h6JGpbMj
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 17, 2020
AOC’s tweet was in response to a BuzzFeed News article wherein Kasich opined that the flighty congresswoman gets “outsized publicity” and doesn’t represent the Democratic Party. Kasich also suggested that she’s an extremist.
Look, I have no problem with those on the right who can’t find it in their hearts or consciences to support President Trump. I struggle with it too. But it’s an entirely different thing to throw one’s support to a candidate and a party whose views are completely antithetical to everything you’ve professed to believe throughout your entire political career. It’s neither principled nor sensible to support that which you claim to hate.
And newsflash, John Kasich: Those on the left will hate you more than those in your own party. Once you’re no longer useful to them (on Nov. 4), they’ll toss you aside like a package of rancid fish that’s three weeks past its sell-by date.
Because Lucy always pulls the football out from under turncoat Republican blockheads.
Follow me on Twitter @pbolyard