No matter how you spin them, these have not been the best of times for Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder, although you would not know it by the grinning warrior's self-approval rating. As you may have read, the veteran Repubican pol has taken it upon himself to stonewall Gov. Kasich's (also a Republican) proposal to expand medicaid under Obamacare.
On Sunday, to continue a narrative that has taken hold since Kasich announced his budget, the Plain Dealer's two op-ed political columnists lathered Batchelder's untidy obstruction to the boss in the governor's office.
Wrote Brent Larkin: "Once again , House Speaker Bill Batchelder played Team Kasich for fools. In terms of parceling out blame for what happened, Batchelder deserves a ton of it."
Under the headline "Hypocrisy drives House Republicans' opposition to expansion", columnist Thomas Suddes noted that 88 of the 99 House members have taxpayer supported medical insurance, but "won't let the poor have it, too".
He added: "Whether Batchelder , who could get Ronald Reagan on the phone, remains 100 pct. in Kasich's corner, is slyly bucking him via proxies, or , as Batchelder can, is out-scheming Machiavelli to vex 'wingers, are open questions."
The wingers, of course, are Tea Party-incarcerated House Republicans who will be up for reelection in 2014. We suggest Hannibal Lecter is a better model of The Speaker.