John Kasich wants me to know that he grew up in humble surroundings that seeded his deep concern for ordinary, hard-working folks. He seldom fails to mention in his TV ads that his father was a mailman for 29 years. His reelection campaign is spending millions of soft-earned contributions from the highest rollers that pay for these ads. He’s just a regular guy, they tell us – or as National Review defined him, “a blue-collar kid from a little town near Pittsburgh called McKees Rocks. (Historians tell us Alexander McKee was a colonial British Indian agent who was loyal to royalty during the revolution. That explains everything.)
C’mon, guv. There are countless small-town kids who were too short on ambition to be governor. There were many, too, who grew up with silver spoons that went on to be the head of state. As one who was nurtured in the culture of a small coal-mining town not that far from Kasich’s home, I would have been an awful governor. So what’s the point?
Acknowledging Kasich’s blue-collarship, it’s worth knowing he also was the one who vigorously supported the voter-rejected bill that would have restricted unions, which sort of made him the white-collar kid that he really is. The cascade of dough that has found its way into his campaign suggests his croupiers outshine anyone you’d find in Vegas.
In 1998 as chairman of the House Budget Committee, then-Congressman Kasich concocted a Federal budget plan that mercilessly slashed money from welfare, anti-crime and environmental programs, a proposal that was even resisted by some Republicans but lauded by his colleague, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who as a presidential candidate called for the firing of all school janitors. On the other hand Republican Rep. Michael Castle of Delaware said Kaisch had “overreached in both policy and political viability”.
So this is what blue collar kids do when they get to Congress?
Dave Hess, retired Capitol Hill reporter for Knight-Ridder newspapers, wrote more recently that Kasich’s slogan of “a new way and new day” was the “typical Republican euphemism that adorns all of the party’s proposals and policies…to ensure a steady flow of election year lucre by preserving the wealth of the wealthy…”
I do want to thank the governor on for one small matter. As one forever interested in the meaning of the written word, I can now add a new synonym to the definition of “blue collar kid”.