A few days ago, coming off of being down and out for a bit, I wrote an article taking John Kasich behind the woodshed. In the article, I referred to him as a condescending little prick, for his cavalier and pandering attitude in the way that he told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC that there was nothing that she, or anybody else could do about Washington being broken, so just worry about local things instead.
I still stand by all of that. But, in thinking over the weekend, there was another darker, more devious and sinister scenario that popped up like a warning flag for me. And if it’s true, it tends to show that the Republicans are worried enough, whether it’s just Kasich himself, or writ large, to try to take one of their more pedestrian election tactics mainstream, and into the den of the lion to boot.
Everybody knows that the Republicans can’t win elections on ideas. That’s been true for quite a while now. And as a result, in order to win elections, they have to resort to underhanded tactics. And one of their favorite tactics is, and has been for quite some time now, voter suppression. Traditionally that depended on basic mechanics, like restrictive voter ID laws, decreased early voting, fewer polling places, and making getting acceptable ID for voting more difficult. But the Russians debuted a new wrinkle in 2016, when they used digital media to spread blatant propaganda designed only to turn specific groups of Democratic voters off from bothering to show up to vote.
And that’s exactly the same kind of con that John Kasich just tried to pull last week. And rather than taking it to FOX News, where he’d only be reaching a friendly audience, and one that the GOP desperately wants to show up in massive numbers if the GOP is going to save the House in November, instead he’s taking his message of voter suppression and propaganda right into the belly of the beast.
Think about it for a minute. The Democrats have overperformed in every special election since Trump took office, by spectacular margins. In many states, Democratic turnout for the primaries is outpacing Republican turnout, something that is almost unthinkable. Clearly voter intensity, activism, and enthusiasm is riding on the Democratic bus, and the GOP has that deer-in-the-headlights look in their eyes.
It’s simple, remind all of these uppity, ignorant voters of just how futile this whole exercise is. “You guys are listening to a bunch of non politicians telling you how you personally can change things? Wadda they know? They’re not politicians, they don’t know anything about how Washington or government works! Take it from me, I’m a Governor, and I used to be in the House. Washington is so totally fucked up, it makes a Chinese fire drill look like a military parade. There’s nothing that you, or you, or you, or even you over there in the corner can do about it, so let’s just forget the whole damn thing, OK?”
As all advertisers know, the best message is subliminal, you don’t even know that you’re absorbing it. And John Kasich is the perfect “Manchurian candidate,” in the past he has gotten respectable treatment on both MSNBC and CNN, mainly because he doesn’t tend to come off as a total GOP douche. Which makes him a perfect vessel for this message, because he just kind of tries to slide it in under the radar, and without sounding like a complete tool. But I had a lot of comments to my article from people who saw the segment, and had the same take that I did about his attitude. But, if all of us caught that part, what about people who don’t watch politics as closely as we do, think maybe they’ll remember the comments instead of the context, and start to wonder if it’s all worthwhile?
I said last week that John Kasich is a condescending little prick, and he is. But he’s also a sneaky, conniving little GOP bastard, and we’d best not forget it, and call bullshit when we smell it.