Monday, February 26, 2018

A Dear John letter

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the polls, along come John Kasich and John Hickenlooper to tell us the two-party system is fucked.  If I didn't know better, I would say we have another case of false equivalence being established before the upcoming midterms.  Kasich along with other ranking Republicans know they are in deep trouble unless they can find some way to drag the Democratic Party down with them, so John enlists a Democratic governor to reinforce his message.

I have no idea why Hickenlooper is playing along with Kasich, unless they really do plan to make a run at the White House together in 2020 as Independents, similar to Gary Johnson and Bill Weld in 2016, although they were both disgruntled former Republican governors.  It isn't in the Colorado governor's interests otherwise, as right now the Democratic Party is looking pretty good.

It is the Republican Party that is reeling at the moment, having suffered an inordinate number of special elections defeats this past year, which has Republican operatives anxious to turn the tide.  The next big test is coming up in March with a special election in Pennsylvania that pits young Democrat Conor Lamb against GOP stalwart Rick Saccone for Tim Murphy's vacant seat. 

Scott Walker has refused to hold special elections for two vacant legislative seats in Wisconsin, afraid of the potential outcomes.  He's being sued by the Democratic Party.

Glenn Beck made an emotional appeal on Brian Stelter's Reliable Sources yesterday, and Brian played right along with Glenn on his "healing message."  This is exactly how Hillary lost the election in 2016.  Each time some damning new story emerged about Donald Trump, Republicans were quick to say Hillary was just as bad and the mainstream media allowed conservative surrogates to switch the narrative almost every time.

Not surprising, Kasich comes out now in what appears to be a last ditch effort to save this traditional Republican seat in Western Pennsylvania by claiming the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans.

Well, I call Bullshit!  Kasich is a phony.  He is your typical milquetoast Republican who tries to play both sides of the political divide for his own gain.  It worked in Ohio where he won two terms as governor.  It worked in Colorado too where Hickenlooper is nearing the end of his second term.  Where are two self-described moderates to go after their state political careers are over, other than to Washington.

Kasich says he has the plan to beat all plans to save health care.  Mind you, this is the guy who begrudgingly went along with Obamacare in Ohio and is now calling for a "slow rollback" in Medicaid expansion after having accepted the package deal back in 2013, much to his Republican Party's chagrin.  He is hoping to make this the issue that gets him back into the political mix.  Hickenlooper is a virtual nobody outside Colorado, and is seeking wider national recognition.

The media is anxious for a story, and so falls all over this "middle way" approach the two governors are pushing.  There is no middle way until the Republicans show they are serious about entering bipartisan talks with the Democrats, who extended their hands time and again between 2008 and 2014 only to be rebuffed each and every time.  Republican senators Graham, Grassley and Susan Collins were all invited to take part in talks on a health care plan, but in the end they all pulled out of discussions, afraid to buck the GOP hard line.  The Democrats only managed to get one cross-over Republican, Arlen Specter, who became the infamous 60th vote on "Obamacare."  This was after innumerable compromises on the Affordable Health Care Act.

But, it will take more than just an acceptance of health care reform to reverse the tide.  The recent shooting at Parkland exposed the GOP once again, only this time the students took action, resulting in a major shift of opinion on gun control.  The Wisconsin GOP-controlled legislature tried to steal some of the thunder from a Democratic gun control measure by pushing one their own, but they went in the wrong direction, steamrolling a bill that would call for more guns in schools.

Things really blew up in Marco Rubio's face when he took part in a CNN-sponsored forum on gun control in Tampa, which saw angry parents and teachers tee off on the senator when he expressed a more cautious approach in the wake of the devastating mass shooting.  Nevertheless, Rubio was lauded by the media for participating in the event.

This just shows how desperate the Republicans have become to shore up any support they can get in states that look like they will turn blue in November.  Time will tell if the media lets them get away with this grandstanding.

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