Ohio Governor John Kasich, who reminded us 32 times his father was a mailman, and whose karate-chop hands were the star of every Republican presidential debate, has taken time out of his schedule to do one of his favorite things: criticize Republicans. In Kasich’s world, bridge-building and consensus politics means playing into the media’s hands by speaking ill of your own party at every opportunity.
This time Kasich appeared with CNN’s Anderson Cooper to suggest that the real solution to solving the American healthcare crisis would be to include more Democrats in the process. Asked his views on the Republican-sponsored American Health Care Act, Kasich chirped:
“I think the situation is, the roadmap is maybe it will pass the House, maybe it won’t. But when it gets to the Senate, we have to involve both parties in the discussion.”
You know, like the early days of the Obama administration when the Democrats inflicted the Orwellian named Affordable Care Act on the American people without a single Republican vote. They were so interested in “involving both parties in the discussion” that they couldn’t even trick Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski into their camp.
Now, to be fair to Karate-Chop Kasich, he did explain why he thought bipartisanship was essential in this type of major legislation, and he’s not wrong in principle:
“Because Anderson, look, if you don’t have both parties working on a major issue, it’s not sustainable. Whether it was Social Security, Medicare, the Budget Act of 1997—where we balanced the budget—welfare reform, if you don’t have both parties buying in, it just becomes a political issue in the next campaign. And when the other party wins, they just go ahead and repeal it. That is no way to run America.”
There’s no question that anything as monumental as reforming the American healthcare system should involve reasonable discussion between both sides of the political aisle. But what Kasich fails to acknowledge since it wouldn’t fit the “healing moderate” persona he is so desperate to convey to the masses, is that eight years of a Community-Organizer-in-Chief has dramatically reshaped the reality of partisanship in Washington.
Remember, it is literally the job of a community organizer to inflame and incite one group against another. Agitation and division was President Obama’s preferred method of operation in accomplishing his startlingly few legislative achievements. He single-handedly killed off the “Blue Dog” Democrats and more moderate voices in his own party, and left behind an embittered and deeply polarized political climate in Washington where bipartisanship and concession is viewed as collusion with the enemy.
Consequently, Democrats today refuse to acknowledge the gaping holes and imminent collapse of the ill-conceived Obamacare, convinced that acknowledging such would render them traitors to the party’s primary obsession of preserving Obama’s legacy. When you’re the Republicans dealing with an opposition party more concerned with what is good for the memory of a failed president than what is good for the American people, cooperation is next to impossible.
Kasich also fails to mention the apparent will of the American electorate. Remember that on the eve of Obamacare, no less than the People’s Republic of Massachusetts actually sent a Republican to Washington in an effort to put the brakes on its passage. When that didn’t work, and as the Obamacare disaster unfolded, the American people have proceeded to replace 13 Senate Democrats and 68 House Democrats with Republicans.
Given that the repeal of Obamacare has been at the heart of a near unanimity of those individual elections, Kasich’s handwringing that a Republican repeal will result in Democrats sweeping to power and putting it back in place seems unlikely if not downright silly.
Call me crazy, but pontificating and posturing Governors so self-absorbed that they stayed in the presidential race even when it was mathematically impossible for them to win the nomination, so vain that they ignored coming in 4th in a 3 man contest simply so they could get face time on national TV, might not be the best place to turn for sound political wisdom.
The Republican Party simply does not have the luxury of waiting for reticent Democrats to come around. For the good of their constituents, and for the good of the country, they’ve been charged to fix things now. They should do so, even if no Democrats are willing to help, and even if it means enduring the scorn from Governor Judo-Chop.