The conservative Republican base will not tolerate reversals on core issues.
The Ohio conservative Republican base is showing unprecedented anger and frustration, usually reserved for Democrats, with their own party leaders. Unlike in the past, these conservatives are more than prepared to dish out consequences, especially to those they feel have betrayed them.
Unfortunately, Governor John Kasich and Senator Rob Portman are on the top of that list.
In 2010, Governor John Kasich ran on a platform as a conservative who aspired for smaller government and was against Obamacare. For conservatives, who were furious at President Obama’s attack on their liberty with his takeover of their healthcare, his message was just what they wanted to hear. Gov. Kasich garnered their full support and energy to help elect him in a very close and tough campaign against Ted Strickland. In Portage County alone, a mid-size county in northeast Ohio, a single weekend brought out a record 350 conservatives who went door to door, motivated by their desire to stop Obamacare’s attack on their liberty.
Kasich won the Governorship by a 49.04% to 47.04% margin. Conservative Republicans were excited not only to have a new Governor, but to wrestle back control of the Statehouse. Kasich’s first two-year budget worked to erase big deficits and left many conservatives satisfied with his first major act as governor.
But when Kasich’s 2013 two-year state budget came out, conservatives were shocked. With Republican majorities in both chambers of the Statehouse, Governor Kasich did a one-eighty and embraced Obamacare with his proposal to expand Medicaid. He proposed an expansion of the sales tax on many new items not previously taxed, and he proposed not to decrease Ohio’s overall spending, but instead to increase Ohio’s overall spending 300% of the rate of inflation.
Governor Kasich in 2013 proposed doing the very things that he, as Candidate Kasich in 2010, looked conservatives in the eye and told them he was against.
Another Ohioan–Senator Rob Portman–has similarly departed from his 2010 campaign promises. Portman ran as pro-traditional marriage and garnered the support of many conservatives who were concerned about the onslaught of attacks by the homosexual community on their right to disagree with the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender) agenda. Many conservatives spent hours going door to door to help elect Senator Portman and to stop these attacks. Portman won his US Senate seat by a 57.3% to 39% margin. Conservatives felt they had an ally in the fight to defend them against the homosexual domination agenda.
But on March 14, 2013, timed just before the Supreme Court’s hearings for the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the California Marriage Protection Amendment, Senator Portman became the first Republican senator to come out in favor of the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Like Governor Kasich, Senator Portman in 2013 came out in support of the very things that he, as Candidate Portman in 2010, looked conservatives in the eye and said he would protect them from.
When a liberal politician looks a liberal in the eye and asks for his support based on his positions on core issues and then does the opposite, liberals respond with “no big deal, we all do it.” When a conservative politician looks a conservative in the eye and asks for his support based on his position on core issues and then does the opposite, conservatives say “we stand for what we believe in and will not accept you misleading us. There will be consequences for your behavior.”
The conservative Republican base is putting the Ohio Republican Party leaders on notice. Their betrayal of core conservative principles will no longer be swept under the rug. They will be met with consequences, with their own Republican base working to remove them from office.
Richard Youngblood is a conservative activist from Northeast Ohio.
All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.