Contrary to his soaring campaign rhetoric, John Kasich failed to land his plane at the Republcan debate in Milwaukee. Maybe his Ground Controlled Approach system that he's been trying to perfect in New Hampshire sent him back to Marysville or Lima instead. He didn't even enjoy a celebratory flyover.
Once again, our agitated guv kept bursting into the conversation (eight times) to the point where one of the others could have fairly called for a restraining order. GCA landings notwithstanding, he managed to get few kind words from his political and media critics. Oh, the non-partisan Associated Press did shelter him from further abuse by simply reporting in the last paragraph that he was "also on the stage".
On the other hand, polling guru Nate Silver likened him to Hensley "Bam'Bam" Meulans. It's OK if you don't know that Meulans was a baseball player of sorts who is now the hitting coach of the San Francisco Giants. Few people know the name, but that seems also to be the lot of Kasich's csmpaign. (In Iowa, 0 pct. in the polls)
National Review conservative Jonah Goldberg said Kasich is "done. He came across angry, condescending and uprincipled." It gets worse, but if there are any kids reading this, I'll stop right there.
His problem, as we've noted early in his first term, is his harsh, snappish, rough edges that presents him badly to people beyond the reach of the Columbus Dispatch as a school yard bully. There had been words that he's become the "New Kasich", with Biblical references on his lips and expressed concern for the underclass. Didn't last long because it didn't give his poll numbers a lift. So it was back to "no more Mr. Nice Guy", which we already knew he wasn't anyway.
Even in Ohio, his protective media custody has begun to falter. The Plain Dealer's Henry Gomez began his report with "Maybe John Kasich would have been better off at the kiddie table." And the Columbus Dispatch, his leading chaperone in Ohio, headlined: "Kasich heads back to New Hampshire amid unfavorable reviews."
But a Republican Party that was hospitable to the Tea Party and evangelicals when the latter began to invade it en masse years ago must now contend with the reality so vivified by Kasich's demolition by the hard right that doubts his conservative purity. No longer is the GOP the only party separated from Democrats. It must contend with being in third place, at least what's left of it, behind the fringe that encourages Ben Carson to blatantly lie about so many things and Donald Trump to make history with nonsense about shipping 11 million illegals back to Mexico.
Kasich's empty boast that he knows how to land an airplane (which qualifies him to handle government's course!) seems so trivial in comparison.
That much the Kasich campaign, as frivolous as it has been at times, has shown us with his mauling by the current proprietors of the old Republican Party.