Thursday, February 18, 2016


Political Mayhem Thursday: IPLawGuy makes the case for Kasich!

After the success of last week's post by the Waco Farmer, I asked IPLawGuy to follow up with his own thoughts. I was especially intrigued by his support for John Kasich, who I think is one of the more appealing Republicans.  For those who don't know, the DC-based IPLawGuy knows a thing or two about politics. Among other things, he worked for six years on Capitol Hill for John McCain, and you learn a thing or two doing that. 

On March 1, I will vote for John Kasich in the Virginia Republican Primary.  I’ve already donated money to his campaign and next week I will volunteer some time as well.   As careful readers of The Razor know, I am a Republican, so this is not some sort clever protest “crossing of the aisles” to make a statement.   My allegiance to the GOP has been sorely tested over the years as too many of its elected officials and candidates have focused on issues or advocated ideas that I either do not think are important or that I fear are just plain wrong.

Fortunately, John Kasich focuses his campaign on economic growth, reining in the Federal Deficit and a strong, but not adventuresome, foreign policy.  He advocates investment in both “bricks and mortar” and cyber infrastructure.  As a member of Congress he served on the House Armed Services Committee for 18 years.  He’s not a foreign policy idealist or neophyte. He knows we can neither be the policeman for the world nor a nation of ostriches that close our eyes to Russian aggression, Islamic terrorism and Chinese expansionism.

Moreover, Kasich has a track record both as a Governor of a diverse state and as an influential member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served as Chair of the Budget Committee.  As Governor of Ohio he has spurred job growth, brought the unemployment rate down to its lowest level in well over a decade and built up the state’s constitutionally mandated “rainy day” savings fund. 

Kasich’s campaign is not based on far-fetched and impossible to execute ideas like “closing the border” to all Mexicans and Muslims, or handing out free college education to any and all, but rather on achievable and reasonable policy changes.

Razorites will also recall that I believe executive experience is an essential quality for a President.  In general, successful Presidents have had executive experience as Governors (FDR, Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt) or in the case of Eisenhower, as a General.  A President must lead with ideas and inspiration and must delegate to those who will make the ideas happen.  Being President means working with Congress.  What too many Presidential candidates, of both parties, don’t make clear is that the President does not MAKE laws.  The President executes laws.  Congress makes the laws.  And in many cases the laws that Congress makes are not ones the President necessarily likes.  Someone who served in Congress (for more than 4 years!!!  See Cruz, Ted and Obama, Barack) and held a Committee Chair will have a much clearer understanding of how to deal with the lawmakers.

A positive approach is also key.   Again, we think of our successful Presidents as positive, happy people.  Not as irritated scolds.  (see, Carter, Jimmy)  Temperament matters.  A Lot.  Kasich has that in spades. He’s a happy, positive guy.

And unlike so many “conservatives” who make much of their Christian ideals, Kasich puts his beliefs into action.  He pushed for and signed into law an Earned Income Tax Credit for Oho and has worked to increase treatment as opposed to incarceration for those suffering from the crippling disease of addiction.  Most notably, unlike some conservative Governors, Kasich took the Obamacare Medicaid money.  He has said that he would work to repeal Obamacare, but for now it’s the law of the land. Not taking the money would be irresponsible and more importantly, heartless and cruel.

This is a guy who cares about ideas and about people.

John Kasich is the best candidate for President of either party.  Please go to his website www.johnkasich.comand make a donation.  If you live in a state with an upcoming Republican primary, I urge you to vote for him as well.

I wanted my initial post to be positive. I like advocating for ideas and people, not against others.

But this being politics there are many other angles. First of all, Kasich's competition. He outclasses them on many levels.
Trump - No real understanding of how government actually works. Bullying members of Congress, let alone foreign leaders will NOT work. And his nasty personality and ego are truly troubling.
Carson - Ditto on the lack of understanding. And the exact opposite of Trump on leadership. He has even LESS executive experience than a member of Congress.
Cruz - dissembling, craven and foolish. He actually thought his idiotic government shutdown in 2013 would get the Democrats and Obama to give up on Obamacare. That's even dumber than thinking you can win an argument with your wife! And here's an arch conservative who has spent his career sucking on the public teat. NO private sector experience.
Rubio - likable. But also NO private sector experience. NO executive experience. Even Obama had jobs that were not political. Empty suit with a nice smile.
Bush - sigh. This was supposed to be the smart brother. His failure to have an answer to the criticism of his brother's actions in Iraq should have signalled to everyone that he just does not have the savvy for the job.
Sanders - I get it. We're pissed. We're scared. But this guy has NO CLUE on foreign policy issues and how he thinks he'll pay for his ideas, esp. with Congress involved is beyond me. And he's 74 years old.
Clinton - dishonest, corrupt, and NO IDEAS. she is hated by so many people I just don't see how she can lead.
And here's the craziest part -- my little essay sounds reasonable to the typical educated, reasonable, generally informed person who is used to dealing with people with whom he or she does not always agree.

But that's NOT who votes in Republican primaries!! Or Democratic ones. Or maybe they vote, but they don't turn out for rallies, they don't volunteer time or money. The people who do are dogmatic, committed and UNCOMPROMISING. It's a problem. And until the generally reasonable people start to participate and try to take the process back from the extremes, the candidates will have to spout off extreme positions. Especially in the primaries.
While I would generally disagree on policy matters with the IPLawGuy, I fully accept his analysis of the R candidate field and his support of Kasich. He is the one R candidate that I believe could successfully serve in the office, even though I have some disagreements with Kasich over policy matters. One of Kasich's advantages is that he comes from a state that is not solidly R or D, but one in which working with people of different policy orientations is a necessity if one is to serve well the public one is elected by and for.

On the other hand, I disagree with his analysis of the D side of the field.
Au contraire - reasonable people do vote in the primaries. Kasich's fortune would be different if FOX News hadn't convinced every old republican that he can't win. As an Independent I favor him on the R side of the ticket and although I generally cast my vote for a D I am torn this time. I get to choose in the primary here in NC.

As a woman I should be putting my chips on Hillary but I just don't feel it. I think the R hate her more than President Obama. Although I respect her resilience, enough already. The e-mail BS put me over the edge.
Bernie's idealism is enchanting but not based in reality. Free college???

And honestly, none of them have a better plan for healthcare on either side. This is the issue I find most important. Repealing the Affordable Care Act does nothing to solve the problem. Here in NC we do not have exchanges. BCBS of NC is getting ready to pull out - losing money and raising rates above an average persons ability to pay. Nothing affordable about insurance.

We may need to move to New Zealand to get away from all this nonsense.
So, what is it with Jeb Bush that just did not work? I suspect he is going to pull out if he comes in 5th in SC, and he should. I guess he just never really had a message-- other than being the "Smart Brother."

Really, though, there is something about him people just do not like.
Well said, IPLG. Well argued. I like Kasich, and I have for twenty years. I was an early and avid booster of his. Out of the original list of 25 candidates for 2016, Kasich made (and still makes) my Top Five in terms of best qualified and, even more important, up to the task of the most important and one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Having said that, Kasich has not inspired me this cycle. And he increasingly appears to me NOT to be the man for the times. I hate to say it. And I hate to make a momentous decision like this based on my ability to connect with him emotionally. But....

What happened to Jeb Bush? I had him (and still have him) as the absolute number-one-best-candidate to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Unfortunately, he turned out to be one of the very worst candidates (in terms of persuading voters) of 2016. I agree with you, Mark. He has set the stage for departure after SC. Give him credit, though. He did the one thing I was most hoping he would do. He blew a hole in Trump on the way out. That was a very patriotic thing to do (kudos to W as well). Jeb Bush is a good man. Jeb Bush is good American. I believe he will leave the race with a clear conscience that he did his duty.

Do you think Trump was wounded by it though, with voters? It sure looks like he will win Nevada and SC... and at that point the train is rolling pretty fast.

However, I do see Cruz winning a lot of the March 1 contests, and that may make it a two-person race. And, an incredibly ugly one.
Also, what do you say I get my Dad to weigh in on Bernie Sanders next week?
The tragedy of JEB! is worth another post. But it all comes down to likeability. The old "who would you rather have a beer with" test? Jeb comes off as intense, kind of like the assistant principal at your middle school. I always thought that George W Bush's goofy faux country boy accent and laid back approach was designed to make him seem less preppy, less buttoned down. Unlike his uber-WASPy father.

I don't think Jeb has blown a hole in Trump at all. The kind of people attracted to Trump have ZERO interest in what someone like Jeb Bush has to say about their guy. If anything, Jeb's criticisms just validate their support for "an outsider."

He had a huge millstone around his neck due to "Bush Fatigue." That would have been a huge detriment in a general election and it would have made governing difficult as well. Hillary Clinton faces the same problem.

Bernie -- what, you think me or WFarmer are gonna say "No" to your Dad? Especially when we know he's reading this?

I have been saying for years that the wealth gap in this country is a HUGE (or YUGE, if you will) problem. Although Bush 41 turned out to be a much better economic steward than give credit for at the time, the legislation he advocated and the very Democrat dominated Congress passed reducing tax rates on Capital Gains was an awful mistake.

The Razor has featured articles about "wealth creation" and the fallacy of the notion that cutting taxes on the rich will spur job growth through investment. I agree. Cutting taxes on the wealthy is not the economic stimulus that some claim.

But "taxing the rich" as Bernie advocates won't solve the wealth gap problem, nor will it raise anywhere near the amount of money needed to address the current budget deficit or to pay for Bernie's new programs.

I wish I had an answer, but public shame and outrage may be the only solution. Which is the best reason to support Bernie. But I sure do not see how he can govern or accomplish much of anything given the likely composition of Congress.

Bernie's a dreamer, Hillary says, on free public college. But we used to almost do it. Break up the big banks? Now the guy who ran the TARP says it's a good idea. Make fun of Bernie all you want, but he's got some good ideas. The website where I am the, um, senior writer endorsed Bernie; here's a link:

And here's a little snippet on the two issues above:

Update (2/16): Bernie Sanders is in favor of breaking up the big banks. So is the President of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve District. Neel Kashkari said in a recent speech:

“But given the enormous costs that would be associated with another financial crisis and the lack of certainty about whether these new tools would be effective in dealing with one, I believe we must seriously consider bolder, transformational options. Some other Federal Reserve policymakers have noted the potential benefits to considering more transformational measures. I believe we must begin this work now and give serious consideration to a range of options, including the following:

Breaking up large banks into smaller, less connected, less important entities.
Turning large banks into public utilities by forcing them to hold so much capital that they virtually can’t fail (with regulation akin to that of a nuclear power plant).
Taxing leverage throughout the financial system to reduce systemic risks wherever they lie.”
Update – to the update above (2/17): You can read this article in the Strib about the remarks of Neel Kashkari in the speech to the Brookings Institution.

Bernie Sanders favors free public college tuition. I am personally a product of land grant universities, two of them, and when I attended them, tuition was nearly free. Other countries do it, but Hillary Clinton says that Bernie Sanders is a dreamer. I submit that Bernie is a thinker, one who understands that selling young adults into debt peonage is harmful, not only to them, but to the nation as a whole; they can’t afford homes; they can’t afford kids, and they can’t even afford health care.

Update (2/16): American students are flocking to Germany for an affordable college education.

N.B. There are several links in the quote, but you'll have to go to the website to see them.
Mark, people dislike Jeb because he isn't even the dauphine. But he's still part of a dynasty, and people are tired of that. I think that's part of Hillary's problem, too. Well, that, and not having learned anything since 2008.
I don't believe Jeb's heart was ever in it. He ran out of family loyalty. He is a good man and a good father and husband.

He was not our favorite Governor. He cut taxes in FL for the rich. We don't have an income tax in FL but we had intangible taxes and those went bye, bye during his time in office. Replaced by, drum roll..... the lottery and ever increasing taxes on tourists who keep the State of Florida afloat. Rent a car in Florida and 50% of your bill goes to taxes. Ludicrous.
*Dauphin. Sorry.
I am 100-percent looking forward to John Osler's case for Bernie next Thursday.
So .... who will speak for Hillary? I read PJ O'Rourke's hilarious piece wherein he pretends to time travel back to 1968 to sabotage Hillary, Bernie and the Donald. He referred to Hillary as 'LBJ in a Pants Suit.' I like it!
I think Kasich is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He IS reasonable, compared to the other R candidates. But he's still way to conservative, socially, for me.

If I were an R, I would absolutely support Kasich over all of the others. IPLawGuy and I have been friends for 35 years, and I trust both is opinions and his judgment... Kasich is the best of the R's.

But from where I stand, on the left side of the aisle, if he were to win the nomination he would not get my vote in the general election.
I appreciate your analysis, IPLG. It's almost tempting (to me as a D). But one major deal-breaker for me is health insurance. I'm now working on my own--no longer for an employer who gives health insurance as a benefit--and I may need Obamacare soon, flawed as it is.

Every Republican candidate, including Kasich the last I heard, says he'll repeal the Affordable Care Act. While a President Kasich might actually do something to replace it, I can't rely on that, nor can lots of people much worse off than I am who already have Obamacare.

As for Hillary: If nothing else, she would keep things running for the next four years; she would not likely attempt something that would never get passed, like Bernie's free college (God love him). She understands everything in the realm of the job description, and she would not dismantle health care. She wouldn't set back women's reproductive rights as most of the Rs would (God help us!).
Kasich has wrecked public education in his state, signed into law several abortion restrictions that he knows have already been overthrown by the courts, and entered enthusiastically into attempts to restrict the rights of lgbt individuals. His policies can be summed up as "if you are a right wing fundamentalist 'Christian' great. If not, your rights don't count. I find him to be as extremist as the rest of the R's.


Wrong Again. DEFINITELY no hole blown in Trump.
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