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May 05th 2016 print

Michael Warren Davis

Exit the Great Pretender

Ohio's John Kasich lingered in the Republican presidential primaries until all hope was lost, brazenly plotting and scheming to subvert the popular vote by snatching his party's nomination via backroom intrigue and a brokered convention. He's gone now and good riddance

kasichWhat do you know about John Kasich (left), other than he has been one of the minor contenders for the Republican presidential nomination? Quite possibly not much more than that. Anyway, he’s the sitting governor of Ohio, and until just a few hours ago a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. As the last of Donald Trump’s competitors to withdraw from the race, he has essentially handed the nomination to the blowhard New York tycoon.

“Oh, the second-to-last man standing!” you say; “He must have been doing well. Why aren’t I more familiar with him?” Oh no, dear reader. He did miserably the whole way through. He only won a single state – his own. And despite Marco Rubio having withdrawn seven weeks ago, he still has fewer delegates than the Boy Wonder. Which means that, yes: after Cruz dropped out yesterday, he was coming in fourth in a two-man race.

If you hear anything about Kasich in the days to come, someone will inevitably say he’s a very nice man – a grandfatherly figure. That might be so, but as that is no more than the public face of the man, only his grandchildren know for sure. What can most definitely be said is that he is the very epitome of an entitled politician. His original hope was that voters could be attracted with platitudes and posturing in the stump tradition of politicians who purport to be outsiders but are anything but.

Fact is, this was never going to be Kasich’s year. In a primary season dominated by ideological purists, “outsiders” and firebrands, he’s a moderate, a career politician, and, frankly, a sneak and weenie, as this Newsweek profile documents. He spent every debate whining and moaning about the heated arguments that passed between the frontrunners, complaining that the harsh tone of the primary upset his daughters. His supporters said he was statesmanlike; any objective observer would say he suggested a case of mild autism in his limited ability to pick up on social cues and signals — in this case his blindness to the anger that has produced Sanders on one side and two insurrectionists, Trump and Cruz, on the other.

Fair enough. If Kasich had donors willing to pony up the cash and voters, although not enough, to him on the debate stage, that’s fine. He has the right to run for president. But the fact is that he didn’t have many supporters at all. Even when his fellow establishment moderates (Rubio, Bush, Christie) started dropping out, most of those votes went to Trump and Cruz; his numbers hardly budged. It has been mathematically impossible for Kasich to win the nomination since early March, so he had to bank on a contested convention.

Let that sink in. A wildly unpopular establishment moderate with no stomach for the primary fight spent a month openly plotting to subvert the popular vote and steal his party’s nomination.

As I said, Kasich might be a nice man, but he’s the very worst sort of politician. He’s the sort that refuses to accept that voters don’t like him. He’s the sort who is so convinced in his own goodness (he called himself the “Prince of Light and Hope”) that he has been willing to molest the democratic process to achieve power.

Already the pundits are heaping praise on Kasich, hoping and praying that he finds a new niche in national Republican politics. What a farce. Kasich’s hope and intention to subvert the popular vote and emerge from the upcoming convention has been disgraceful. It disgraced both him and the GOP. He was, in fact, less statesmanlike than Trump. The opposite of a statesman isn’t a civilian, or even a blowhard: it’s a bureaucrat. And that’s all Kasich has proven himself to be – a desperate, self-serving bureaucrat. Anything short of slamming the door in his face will only encourage these creeps.

As guidance at the ballot box, that’s a good rule of thumb in any democracy, including Australia’s: When we mark our ballots, we must never feed the rats.

Michael Warren Davis will be covering the US presidential race for Quadrant Online

Comments [4]

  1. en passant says:

    Kasich? I kept seeing the name ‘Turnbull’ flash in front of my eyes as soon as I read “…he’s the very worst sort of politician. He’s the sort that refuses to accept that voters don’t like him. He’s the sort who is so convinced in his own goodness (he called himself the “Prince of Light and Hope”) that he has been willing to molest the democratic process to achieve power.”)
    In our Oz case it has been a case of ‘Enter the Great Pretender’ to show that such a man can achieve his ultimate goal of power without glory or morality.

  2. Lawrie Ayres says:

    Why can’t people accept that Trump has something and says something that large numbers of ordinary men and women like. Those men and women are the ignored majority; ignored by politicians because they make no demands and for the most part are too busy working and simply managing to live day to day. Well here is the news; those same folk have found a non-politician who will be in a position to not only listen to what they have to say but sounds like he will do something about it. Do not forget that the MSM has been supporting all those socialist ideas that Trump will overturn, the global warming scam, unrestricted immigration including the millions of illegals, PC that is killing open debate and a political system that ensures the status quo. What’s not to like about Trump?

    • LBLoveday says:

      Seemingly every day Sheridan in The Australian finds something else to not like about Trump; I only got through about 25% of today’s railing and took a vow to not read his take on o/s affairs anymore.

  3. Homer Sapien says:

    It has been said everybody likes Dr Ben Carson but nobody votes for him (except he is prefered vice president)and it seems nobody writes about him either. After reading some of his books I can see he is not short of novel ideas worth analysing. Can you explain Mr Davis?