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John "I Won't Go Away" Kasich Needs to Go Away

From caving to labor unions, huge tax hikes, opposing fracking, and unilaterally expanding Medicaid, Kasich's a mess.

Hey, remember that time that Ohio Governor John Kasich (aka Judo-Chop John) was like the 10th favorite candidate of Republican Party primary voters in 2016 but stayed in the race until the end – even managing to finish fourth in a three man race? Remember how all that earned him the nickname from National Review, “The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave?”

Now it seems Kasich is quickly approaching the end of his political road as he is prevented by term limits from running again in the Buckeye State. Some suggest that Kasich may try to primary Donald Trump in 2020, and given that he is not short of self-confidence, that could very well be the case. But in all likelihood, Kasich is about done, and so some political observers have taken to evaluating the legacy he is leaving behind.

A quick survey of what they’ve found seems to reveal that despite the unpredictable and undisciplined populism (not conservatism) of President Trump, Republicans sure dodged a bullet with Kasich.

Since adding hundreds of thousands of young, able-bodied citizens to Ohio’s Medicaid rolls, in compliance with Barack Obama’s disastrously conceived and implemented expansion of the program, Ohio’s opioid crisis has worsened. No one shares the blame with Kasich for this as he implemented the expansion unilaterally.

And that’s not the only area where Kasich was an obedient servant to Barack Obama’s Washington directives. He also defended labor union abuses of the rights of workers, who wanted the right not to be compelled into paying mandatory fees. Further:

With Republican supermajorities running Ohio’s legislature for the past seven years, Kasich has focused more on growing government than on reforming it. For multiple budget cycles, Kasich fought for huge tax hikes on e-cigarettes and on energy companies that use fracking in Appalachian Ohio. He proposed a sharp increase in the state’s gross-receipts tax on businesses, opposed legislative efforts to roll back “green energy” mandates, and expanded Medicaid without General Assembly approval after spending the better part of a year trying to bend the legislature to his will.

At the same time, Kasich has argued against right-to-work; failed to implement meaningful changes to project labor agreements and prevailing-wage laws, which drive up public construction costs; opted not to make simplifying one of the nation’s worst municipal tax systems a priority; and enacted only minor tweaks to the state’s defined-benefit public pensions, which could leave taxpayers on the hook for billions in unfunded liabilities.

Kasich also boasts the legacy of having vetoed the pro-life Heartbeat bill and opposing all Congressional efforts to repeal Obamacare. No doubt that Kasich would spin all this as evidence of his ability to “work across the aisle” and bring people together. And the media would undoubtedly agree. But there’s obviously a more accurate way to describe Kasich: an enemy of conservatism.

Kasich is probably one of the only people that could rally up the highest levels of support for Trump among conservatives and those that tend to like his policies and dislike the personal circus that he is. Having an insufferable douche that gives the Democrats everything they want is worse than having an immoral, narcissistic buffoon that has pretty good policy. Even if Kasich's dad was a mailman.


I am open to another candidate in 2020, but it isn't John Kasich.

Rick Snyder of Michigan is the same, only quiet.

He's even more open borders than Grahmnesty or McCain. He had the stupidity to cite the disastrously failed 1986 amnesty as a model for how to do immigration reform during the debates.

I knew John when he was in Congress. He was "different" then, and conservatives were wary of him, but he was fun to talk to at fundraisers, an easy guy to like. His story about his days as a student at OSU were fascinating. He got the OSU President to take a note to Nixon about Kasich's view of Nixon's problem with young voters, and then a call came inviting him to come to the White House to meet with Nixon after he read John's note. Kasich loved to stop in airports and talk to real people. He advised me to let go of my regrets about turning down an appointment in Reagan's White House. He was curious about everything, and in those days, he still had his feet on the ground, albeit a tenuous connection at times. Something happened to him along the political trail, and he drifted off into never-never land. Maybe it was all of those people on the left who hated him when he moved early on to balance the budget. He had the makings of a great legacy if he had stayed the course. Maybe he needs to be loved, and is looking for love in all the wrong places. Maybe he began to believe his own press releases. Maybe it is just rank political opportunism. Maybe he was bitten by a one of those blood sucking creatures in the land of poly-tics. Maybe he'll join that other Flake at a retirement home in Arizona one day, and they'll reassure each other that they could have been contenders, but their party just wasn't worthy of them. Whatever happened to him, it has been sad to watch.