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20 Jul, 2020 15:18

Centrist Kasich's rumored DNC appearance is last straw for Democrats already pushed to limit by Biden

Centrist Kasich's rumored DNC appearance is last straw for Democrats already pushed to limit by Biden

Ohio Republican ex-governor John Kasich is expected to speak at the Democratic National Convention in support of nominee Joe Biden, presumably hoping to lure disaffected Trump voters – but some Dems have had enough.

Kasich, whose corporate-friendly centrism makes him an ideally noncontroversial figure (at least on the surface) for cross-partisan outreach, was recently approached by the Democratic Party and has agreed to speak at the convention next month, according to a source involved in the matter who spoke to the AP on Monday.

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While Biden's campaign declined to confirm whether it specifically reached out to Kasich, a representative admitted to working with Republicans, claiming Biden had a long history of "being able to work across the aisle," and bringing anti-Trump GOPers into the tent was totally in character.

But Kasich's white-bread image masks a rather more controversial political record, and Democrats – many of whom have already been asked to compromise their principles to back the problematic Biden – aren't necessarily lining up to shake the hand of the failed 2016 presidential candidate turned never-Trumper.

In addition to calling the move "silly and insulting," some suggested having Kasich speak at the convention cemented the Democratic Party's hard shift rightward.

Many cited Kasich's accomplishments while serving as Ohio governor and stated positions on issues (supposedly) central to the Democratic platform – his "extreme homophobia" and crusade to shut down abortion clinics, his poor environmental record, even his economic fumbling were trotted out on social media.

Several pointed to Democrats' pearl-clutching over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' appearance on podcaster Joe Rogan's show, claiming Kasich's "problematic" views made Rogan's look mild.

However, the more opportunistic among the party faithful insisted bipartisan outreach – no matter how noxious – could oust the Bad Orange Man. Hey, if you're already compromising your principles to vote for Biden, what's a little more compromise?

Never-Trump Republicans like Iraq War backer Bill Kristol were over the moon about the arrangement, encouraging their ideological compatriots to climb aboard the bandwagon.

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