Monday, September 19, 2016

The GOP Conserva-schism Is In Full Effect

What the attacks in NY and NJ conveniently took out of the news for Trump is the fact that Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich (who ran against Trump and lost miserably in the primaries) has now openly declared war this weekend on his party's own candidate for president.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's war with the national Republican Party exploded into the open Sunday night, when his top adviser thrashed GOP leader Reince Priebus and hinted that the presidential election may be out of reach for Donald Trump. 
The statement, issued on official campaign letterhead, followed remarks by Priebus earlier Sunday suggesting the party might block the Ohio governor from running for president again because he has refused to support Trump.

"Thankfully, there are still leaders in this country who put principles before politics," said John Weaver, Kasich's adviser, adding, "The idea of a greater purpose beyond oneself may be alien to political party bosses like Reince Priebus, but it is at the center of everything Governor Kasich does." 
Weaver derided Priebus as "a Kenosha political operative," referring to Priebus's Wisconsin home, and said the three-term Republican National Committee leader should be thanking Kasich for "an inclusive, conservative vision that can actually win a national election."

"The Governor is traveling the nation supporting down ballot Republicans and preventing a potential national wipeout from occurring on Reince's watch," Weaver said. 
Kasich's statement was a stunning act of open hostility between the national Republican Party and the governor in perhaps the most crucial swing state — and at a sensitive moment in the election. Trump has risen in national polls and inched closer to Hillary Clinton in swing states. He's even passed her in Ohio, perhaps his strongest chance to capture a state that Mitt Romney lost in 2012. 
RNC spokesman Sean Spicer shrugged off the Kasich camp's statement. "We are totally focused on winning back the White House and maintaining our majorities in the House and Senate," Spicer said.

Ohio remains a 100% must-win for Trump as it does for any Republican running for the White House, so for the sitting Republican governor of the state to hint that Trump cannot win is pretty much open combat on the field.  Kasich is pretty sore that he lost a primary to a clown, and I freely grant that Kasich would have been a much tougher opponent for Hillary to take on (although five minutes of press coverage on his balanced budget amendment would have ended his presidential run once America figured out it means massive, across-the-board cuts to Medicare and Social Security on top of everything else).

Still, to see this fight openly happening is amazing, and a reminder to all that the Republican party will not survive this election in its current form.  Pointing fingers seven weeks before election day over whose fault the impending loss is doesn't exactly have me looking for the Trump upset, even if he does win Ohio.

If he doesn't win Ohio, Clinton is your next president.

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