Wednesday, April 14, 2010

GOP's Kevin DeWine: A tidy partisan talk

AS POLITICAL SPEECHES GO these days, Kevin DeWine's talk at the Akron Press Club was a rather tidy affair. The Ohio Republican chairman was in a mood to keep his comments on the safe side of today's outrageous rhetoric from his GOP teammates on Capitol Hill, offering the standard party talking points to the smallish audience in the Martin Center, maybe half of which were Bliss Institute students, the co-sponsor of the uneventful event. Considering the fact that he didn't call President Obama a Nazi or a socialist, who could be put off by his routine partisanship in this election year?

Still, some thoughts:

Like many of his GOP brethren, he resorted simply to criticizing the health care reform law as a $1 trillion initiative. I would bet there are many Americans who hear that astronomical number and shiver. Trouble is, many of these same folks may also believe that the trillion will be spent next month when, in fact, it is spread over ten years, matching the cost of the Iraq war. Indeed, the Bush Administration preferred to keep that cost on a separate budget, out of sight of a nosy taxpayer or two.

He may be dreaming when he says the Tea Partiers and the Republican Party have much in common and he would welcome them into his party. At the moment, it may be more accurate to wonder whether Tea Partiers would ever welcome Republicans into their ranks. Nevertheless, DeWine said nothing that would rankle the TPs.

Insisting that Obama's poll numbers have fallen two years before the mast, he might have been reminded that so did Ronald Reagan's at the same point in the recessional early 1980s. I think Reagan's approval rating was 42 pct. When the economy is sour, so are the voters.

Finally, as he is paid to do, he gingerly defended John Kasich's notion to eliminate the state income tax, which provides 40 pct. of the state revenue, saying Kasich didn't mean that he would do it immediately but instead would look at the entire budgetary limits first. If not immediately, then when? Indeed, Kasich isn't very clear about where he would cut the budget to avoid deficits.

Oh, there was a call for Republicans to return to their core values and support lower taxes and smaller government. He did turn to repeated use - in case you missed it the first time - of the term "skyrocketing taxes". Whatever happened to plain old "taxes" to arouse the voters?

He also predicted a big comeback for Republicans in November. No surprise there. What's a party chairman for?


Anonymous said...

Based on his strong arm tactics, Kevin DeWine may need to be looking for another line of work.

Grumpy Abe said...

Now that you've raised the issue, anything more you want to say about it?

Anonymous said...

The situation with his second cousin Mike DeWine upset a signficant portion of the grassroot Tea Party (Republicans). Also, the Auditor's race between Seth Morgan and Dave Yost has split the party between DeWine and Tea Partiers. Possibly feeling heat, Kevin DeWine has taken a defensive position by "endorsing" State Central Committee candidates that has led to a lawsuit and a hearing before the Ohio Elections Commission. Obviously, the ORP State Central Committee determines the $200,000 salaried chairman. Keeping everyone on board the Kevin DeWine strategy is a good idea for... Kevin DeWine.