It’s routine for politicians to do the two step. For Republicans, take a step to the right in the primary, and a step to the center in the general. John Kasich seems to be doing a three step. A step to moderation at this stage of the contest, to be followed by a step to the right when the field is winnowed down, and then the third step to the center in the general.
Actually, his strategy will be determined by who his principal competition will be, once the field has narrowed. If Jeb! is still around he may want to stay more in the middle. If Jeb! is gone he may emerge as the de facto “establishment” candidate, freeing him to move to the right. If it comes down to Kasich vs. Cruz and Rubio he’ll want to stress his conservative credentials. It seems to me that he’s maintaining his flexibility, which he needs to do in a volatile race.
He took a shot at Bush II the other day, complaining about the $5 trillion he pissed away, in an oblique shot at Jeb! I thought it was $3 trillion, but he knows better than I do. It’s a great line of attack, because in taking on Bush II he’s not only going after Jeb!, but, by implication the Republican Congressional leadership which actually spent all the money. Republicans are angry at Congress for its fecklessness, and unwillingness to stand for conservative principles. Kasich will win points for criticizing those in his own party for reckless spending. Now may not be the best time. This is a long campaign.
At some point he will have to do foreign policy. This will be a speech I will listen to very carefully. I’m an anti-war Republican, and that’s what I want to hear. Keith Faber told me that Kasich thinks nation building is a crock, and that he even had misgivings about the first Gulf War. So we will see.
I think the American people are anti-war, and that’s what they want to hear. Who are we going to fight, the Chinese? Are you crazy? The Russians? For what? For Europe? The Europeans have a long history of internecine warfare. If they want to keep at it, so be it. It’s their call. It’s not our job to defend them. We don’t need anybody to help us to defend our own shores. We can do that on our own. So let the Europeans solve their own problems. Same with South Korea and Japan. It’s your problem. I’m all for going into the Middle East, killing as many terrorists as we can, and then getting the hell out. It’s called a police action.
The Donald is now an official Republican. This is very good news. The man is capable of anything, including a third party run. Now that that’s off the table he can be treated like any other candidate. He took a shot at kindly Dr. Carson for not employing many people as a brain surgeon. What a guy.
One of these Republicans, on the way to Simi Valley, needs to go to Rep. David Valadao’s district in the Central Valley and endorse his water bill. The environmental left is vulnerable on this one. They waste so much water on the stupid delta smelt that they look like idiots. It’s a damn bait fish, and is thriving in reservoirs not part of the Delta. This district is very heavily Chicano, and they elect Republicans to Congress. Everybody wants to appeal to Hispanics. Valadao, a Portuguese-American, has figured it out.
Maybe somebody should listen to him.