When compassion is a political disqualification, what does that tell us?

121005_john_kasich_ap_328John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, came to Georgia this week to test the waters for a presidential candidacy.

And as usually happens when venturing into red-state-territory, Kasich was asked immediately to justify his decision to expand Medicaid in his state, a decision that extended health coverage to more than a half million lower-income Ohio residents, brought billions of dollars of federal money into his state and helped struggling rural hospitals stay afloat.

To many of his critics, all of that matters less than the perception that Kasich had given aid and comfort to their enemy, President Obama. And as usual, Kasich was pretty blunt in responding.

“My (other) choice in that decision was to ignore some of the most vulnerable people in our population,” he told his fellow Republicans. “I’ve been criticized for this decision. Do you think it bothers me? It doesn’t.”

In other settings, Kasich has been even more provocative. As he told Ohio legislators during debate over Medicaid expansion, “when you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small. But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer.’”

Nathan Deal, what’s your answer? David Ralston? Casey Cagle?

If that sounds harsh, it was intended to be. Based on the results of a Harvard University study, expanding Medicaid to another 500,000 Georgians would save a projected 2,700 lives each and every year. The basic quality of life for tens of thousands of other Georgians — freedom from pain, freedom of movement, ability to work — would improve significantly with the better access to health care that insurance would bring.

But no. We live in a state with the nation’s second-highest uninsured rate and its highest rate of maternal death, and count it good enough. In 2009, the Commonwealth Fund rated our state’s health care system 35th in the nation. By 2014, just five years later, we had fallen 10 spots to 45th. Why should we change?

Kasich is by no definition a liberal. He opposes gay marriage, has cut taxes as governor and pushed through measures that cut the number of Ohio abortion providers in half. As a member of Congress, he was one of Newt Gingrich’s top lieutenants. But as a son of the working class, he rails against “this growing notion — particularly among those people who have — that those that do not have are somehow lesser.”

In the Medicaid debate, we’re talking people who, in a household of three, make less than $27,724. At that income level, someone may be working full time making $12 an hour, but that kind of job doesn’t offer health insurance as a benefit, nor are such jobs attainable for them anytime soon. They certainly can’t afford to pay for it on their own. Without access to Medicaid, they have no realistic hope of becoming insured.

Last year, Kasich won re-election by 31 percentage points in a state carried twice by Barack Obama, a state that Republicans have to win in order to take the White House. In his second inaugural, he stressed the importance of empathy and compassion, old-fashioned virtues that “make it possible for us to care enough to begin to reach out to those who have been forgotten, disenfranchised, ignored, or who are suffering.”

Maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect that kind of talk all but disqualifies him here.

And if so, what does that say about Georgia?

Reader Comments 0

817 comments
TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

Captain Oblivious: "If you want to watch an entertaining flick, catch San Andreas. Great special effects and non-stop action. Unfortunately, no liberals were harmed in the making of that movie."

===============

And unfortunately since it's fantasy, no cons were educated, just like when they watch Fox News...lol.

juliainatlanta
juliainatlanta

The GOP is going to have to swap their clown car for a bus.

Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

@juliainatlanta Any one of those rightful Republican candidates would be far better than the return of The Billary Disaster in The Oval Office. Amen, Bill 

JoelEdge
JoelEdge

"what does that say about Georgia?"

I'd say it means we've heard pleas for "compassion" as a ploy for 'more tax and spend' too frequently from people who are only interested in money and power. 

dbm1
dbm1

Religion is slowly destroying America and the world.


To do something by government is to do it by force.

Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

@dbm1 Abandoning religion by kicking God out of the public square and the public screwels IS what led to this once-free nation's demise. Amen, Bill 

dbm1
dbm1

@Bill OrvisWhite @dbm1 

Religion does not need government support to work its evil effect.

Kasich does not seem to have abandoned religion.

Peachs
Peachs

Republican did fine till they mix religion with their politics.  Being stupid is like being gay, you were probably born that way so no points deducted, but hatred in the name of Jesus, is a basic lie and to bring the church into your skim is putting gasoline on your fire.  

gotalife
gotalife

My reps called and asked will you shut up about weed now? I said sure when you end the probation that never works.

Paul42
Paul42

I'll repost it here as I kept reading and found more than one conservative had folded to the topic.

"I can always tell when conservatives recognize they're losing on the issues.


They default to abortion."

gotalife
gotalife

" Jeb Bush will convene next week with a clutch of coalmining barons and reliable Republican party donors who have paid at least $7,500 each to huddle in secret with the presidential hopeful at a golfing and fly-fishing retreat in a hidden-away corner of Virginia.


Bush’s scheduled one-hour speech at the Coal & Investment Leadership Forum will take place at the members-only Olde Farm club in Bristol, Virginia, where the civil war-themed golf tournament is a “cherished tradition.” kos.


They are living in the 19th century to answer Hillary's question.

Captain-Obvious
Captain-Obvious

If you want to watch an entertaining flick, catch San Andreas. Great special effects and non-stop action.

Unfortunately, no liberals were harmed in the making of that movie.


Paul42
Paul42

@Captain-Obvious

I was wondering how it was.  Thanks for the recommendation.

AMC lets you reserve seats ahead of release.  Jurassic World is open.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

“My (other) choice in that decision was to ignore some of the most vulnerable people in our population,” he told his fellow Republicans. 

Was he talkin' intellectually vulnerable or physically vulnerable?

WASHINGTON — "We can put light where there's darkness, and hope where there's despondency in this country. And part of it is working together as a nation to encourage folks to own their own home."---George W. Bush

^^^ That's one of the reasons I voted for GWB, and we know how that turned out.

Compassionate conservatism have proven to be a disaster.


Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@FIGMO2 Yes, it's pretty fair to say that something that never even existed turned out a disaster

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Doggone_GA

Collapsing home prices from subprime mortgage defaults and risky investments on mortgage-backed securities burst the housing bubble in 2008.

The catalyst that set off the Great Recession.

It never existed, Doggone? We're still reeling from it.


Paul42
Paul42

@gotalife

Even my Tea-Party backed Congressman is criticizing Republican leadership for not acting for over 100 days on the presidents request for authorization of force against ISIS.

And Republican wonder why the president's approval rating is at 53%, an 18-month high.

Paul42
Paul42

@gotalife


I thought all the chest-thumping, testosterone-high Republican candidates (except Rand Paul) want to trump the president's actions on ISIS.

Now we get to tell them how they'll do it without Congressional authorization.

LeninTime
LeninTime

So where'd Headroom slip off to? 

Is he having his tinfoil hat refit perhaps? lol

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

"yea, our idiots are wanna bees while yours is"

Cannot resist: you are absolutely correct, they're aspiring above their level of ability

gotalife
gotalife

We are ending failed policies finally.


The President needs to add more executive orders and pardon. Do many at the same time.


He is way behind on those compared to gop Presidents.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

"The actions date to Hastert’s time as a Yorkville, Ill., high school wrestling coach and teacher, the official said."

From the L.A. Times...

gotalife
gotalife

It is time for our pols to come out instead of paying 3.5 million for hush money.


The sc will legalize it so there is no point in remaining in the closet like hastert.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

A non responsive response on how far out the progs would like to go with abortion. No surprise there.

td1234
td1234

@Visual_Cortex First trimester that the progs have pushed to half way out the birth canal. Where in between those two are you OK with?

gotalife
gotalife

@Doom Classical liberal  Progressives are pros and you are cons. You got your pro argument of abortion is legal and settled law and cons attacking the law.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Doom Classical liberal

There was this supreme court decision that made it fairly clear as to "how far out" that goes.

Maybe "the progs" figured you'd heard of it.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@td1234 @Visual_Cortex   First trimester that the progs have pushed to half way out the birth canal.


Not remotely true. When you lie it destroys your argument from the start. 


And most of the abortions after 20 weeks are because the baby wont survive and are made by the mother and doctor. 


Some have ignored that and the baby was born in agonizing pain living only a few days.


Yeah that is the humane thing to do. 

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@HeadleyLamar @td1234 @Visual_Cortex And most of the abortions after 20 weeks are because the baby wont survive and are made by the mother and doctor. 

You have something to actually back that claim up, I suppose?

Penses
Penses

@DownInAlbany 

ROFL. What I love is the idiocy of waiting 20 weeks to "abort" (or kill) an unborn child.

*Cues music* Should I slay or should I sow?

Penses
Penses

@Paul42 

ROFL. I can always tell when a liberal is on - he has no logical argument to make.

idigalot
idigalot

The most "pro-life" conservative woman I know has had 3 abortions. She made strong pro-life affirmations to me well before each abortion. She also has $37,000 in credit card debt while adamantly claiming to be fiscally conservative. That's your typical fiscal and social conservative, I suppose.