DeWine loses 24 of 88 Ohio counties. Plus, Vance flip-flops his way to victory. And, Roe reactions.
By Gary Abernathy
DeWine is fortunate that opponents split the vote
It’s pretty astounding that incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine actually lost 24 of Ohio’s 88 counties in Tuesday’s Republican primary, according to unofficial results with about 99 percent reporting.
What’s just as interesting is that while former congressman Jim Renacci came in second to DeWine statewide, it was actually farmer Joe Blystone who won 22 of the 24 counties DeWine lost, with Renacci winning two.
DeWine’s victory came with the support of fewer than half of Republican voters. For those looking to oust DeWine over his heavy-handedness regarding covid 19 lockdowns and restrictions, identifying one candidate and sufficiently supporting him or her would have done the trick. More than one candidate dividing the anti-DeWine vote was a complete waste of time an money. And yet, that’s what they did.
In November, DeWine will probably coast. Former Dayton mayor Nan Whaley is a smart, aggressive candidate, but DeWine is popular within her party, and she needs to tone down the far-left side of her politics to have a chance.
J.D. Vance panders his way to victory with Trump’s help
It was not particularly surprising that J.D. Vance won Tuesday’s Republican senate primary after the endorsement from former President Donald Trump. What’s disappointing is that other candidates who have a more legitimate claim to Trump’s support were left hanging by the ex-president in favor of someone who is clearly paying lip service to whatever platform is necessary to win.
It’s not just that Vance made a few off-hand, negative comments about Trump in 2016. It’s that he obviously felt passionately that Trump was unfit to be president. It was something to which he had clearly given a lot of thought.
Consider this from columnist Matt Lewis of the Daily Beast:
When I interviewed J.D. Vance about his book Hillbilly Elegy five years ago, he conceded that his politics and his background made him a natural Trump supporter. But “the reason, ultimately, that I am not,” he said, “is because I think that [Trump] is the most-raw expression of a massive finger pointed at other people.” It’s unclear if the massive finger was the middle one, but Trump, Vance said, gives the white working class “an excuse to not look inward [and] to not ask tough questions about themselves and their communities.”
When you compare sentiments like those to Vance’s senate campaign rhetoric, it’s not just a matter of slightly moving in one direction or another. It’s completely abandoning what you said you believed in at your core.
Consider Vance’s comments in this 2016 Chicago Tribune interview:
My view is that Trump is projecting a very complex problem on a simple villain. Without some recognition that some of these problems in our community are not the fault of other people they're not going to be solved by a Mexican border wall or better trade deals with China without some recognition along those lines, I don't believe these problems are ever truly going to get better.
Instead Trump, in giving people an excuse to focus on something other than themselves and other than the real nature of the community's struggles that they're facing, is ultimately a destructive force. Whether he wins or not, people are going to wake up and realize these problems are still there.
Read again Vance 2016: “…some of these problems in our community are not the fault of other people… they’re not going to be solved by a Mexican border wall… Trump … is ultimately a destructive force.”
Now consider Vance 2022: "The media calls us racist for wanting to build Trump’s wall. They censor us, but it doesn’t change the truth. Joe Biden’s open border is killing Ohioans with more illegal drugs and more Democrat voters pouring into this country."
That doesn’t sound like someone who has just shifted his opinion a little. It sounds like someone who has completely abandoned his principles. It’s Jekyll and Hyde, two entirely different people sharing the same body.
Nevertheless, about 32 percent of Ohio Republican voters gave him their support on Tuesday, enough for a victory in a primary without ranked choice voting, an idea of which I’m starting to grow fond.
Rep. Tim Ryan will be an opponent no one can take lightly (he’s in the Sherrod Brown mold), but this is probably a big Republican year.
The bottom line is that no matter how you parse it, Tuesday was another win for Trump, as I point out in my new Washington Post piece.
Pending Roe decision good news for future generations
The leaked draft Supreme Court abortion decision is causing the kind of uproar everyone should expect, both sincerely emotional and manufactured politically. As always, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer’s comments were off the rail. Why talk of “codifying” the right to abortion federal law? The court will throw out an unconstitutional federal law as quickly as it overturns Roe v. Wade.
I’m seeing headlines referring to the court’s alleged decision being a “dark day” with all sorts of apocalyptical outcomes. Few in the media seem to consider it a bright day for the children yet to be born, since about 63 million have been victims of abortion since 1973.
What’s particularly hilarious are stories suggesting that senators like Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Joe Manchin, who voted for various Republican nominees, have some explaining to do, or are “on the defensive.” For what? Aren’t judges supposed to be independent? Are they required to make promises about how they’ll vote?
Our whole system of running judicial nominees through this carnival-style atmosphere before confirming them is ridiculous. If they’re nominated by the president and haven’t been in trouble for ethical or legal issues, they should pretty much be confirmed. It’s really that simple. Winning the presidency wins the right to make nominations, and the Senate’s “advice and consent” role should be minimal at best.
I don’t pretend that abortion isn’t a more difficult issue than people on both sides want to admit. But as someone on the side of the pro-life argument, it really comes down to the fact that unborn children are not organs like livers, kidneys or spleens. They are separate and distinct human beings. Yes, they are dependent on another person to live, but that’s the case for long after they’re born, too.
What’s really bad is the fact that someone within the court leaked this. Probably the start of a very bad precedent, and almost certainly leaked by someone aligned with a justice in the minority opinion who’s upset about it. It’s the James Comey approach — if you don’t like what’s happening and want to get a reaction, leak something to get the result you want.
Rather than being a case of the court taking a hard right turn, it could well be a case of the law finally catching up to the prenatal science, which has advanced by leaps and bounds since 1973, as I pointed out in this column last September.
Enjoyed being on ‘Beyond the Beltway’ with Bruce DuMont
It was a pleasure appearing on the nationally syndicated “Beyond the Beltway” show with the legendary Bruce DuMont and Ohio statehouse reporter Karen Kasler on Sunday night to preview the Ohio primary.
Just when you think you’ve seen some bizarre stuff…
Finally, by far the most disturbing video of the week.
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