John Kasich

Being Establishment Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry for Regime Change in the Name of 'Stability'

Media darling John Kasich wants to take out North Korea, too

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We're ALL John Kasich now! ||| Cinema Scope
Cinema Scope

While campaigning endlessly (and successfully!) in New Hampshire, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the media-christened "moderate" with the spectacularly interventionist foreign policy agenda, began floating the idea of "regime change" in Stalinist North Korea. "What do we do to try to foster that?" he mused on at least one occasion. This on top of Kasich's plans to go "massively" with a land war against ISIS, removing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria against Russia, for starters.

At last night's GOP presidential debate, CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Kasich a sensible follow-up question: "[T]he commander of American forces in South Korea said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would use a weapon of mass destruction if he thought his regime was being threatened. You have said the United States should start examining a strategy of regime change in North Korea. Let's be clear. Are you talking about getting rid of Kim Jong Un?"

Note that Blitzer was calling both for clarity of position, and engagement with the concern that trying to topple the murderous millennial would provoke a nuclear war. Kasich's initial answer was a tautological beaut: "When you talk about regime change, Wolf, it means regime change. That's what it means." Thanks for clearing that up.

Ol' Hand-Paddles then quickly detoured into intercepting ships and aircraft, tightening sanctions, arming NoKo's neighbors, pressuring the Chinese and so forth, before cycling back and insisting now that "regime change" maybe doesn't have a plain English meaning after all:

[W]hen I say regime change, I don't have to talk exactly what that means. Look, I've been involved in national security for a long time; you don't have to spell everything out. But what I'm telling you is you look for any means you can to be able to solve that problem in North Korea, and in the meantime put the pressure on the Chinese….They are the key to being able to settle this situation.

Blitzer pressed on: "Would you risk war for a regime change?"

When opportunity's rockin', don't bother knockin'! ||| The Interview
The Interview

Kasich responded with perhaps the craziest line in a debate full of 'em:

Wolf, again, it would depend exactly what, you know, what was happening; what the situation was. But if there was an opportunity to remove the leader of North Korea and create stability? Because, I'll tell you, you keep kicking the can down the road we're going to face this sooner or later.

But in the meantime, I'm also aware of the fact that there's 10 million people living in Seoul, so you don't just run around making charges. I have put it on the table that I would love to see regime change in North Korea.

Now, perhaps the Chinese can actually accomplish that with this man who is now currently the leader, but the fact is we have to bring everything to bear. We have to be firm, and we've got to unite those people in that part of the world to stand firmly against North Korea, and make sure we have the ballistic missile technology to defend ourselves.

Set aside all the incoherence and self-contradiction here—the Chinese can maybe accomplish regime change in conjunction with North Korea's current leader?—and instead focus on that one bolded line. John Kasich is suggesting, after 15 years of chaos in the wake of U.S.-led regime changes around the globe, that this time when we decapitate the dictatorial government of a lousy country it will finally produce that long-lost unicorn of stability. Sorry, Lindsey Graham, there's your "batshit crazy."

Last night, as in most every GOP debate (except that Chris Christie one), the media declared Marco Rubio the winner. This time it was even true! But an underacknowledged reason why political journalists feel more comfortable with the guy is that he speaks their language: policy fluency, grown-up concerns about long-term fiscal choices, a convincing-for-the-genre rap about the American Dream, and an alleged Seriousness about foreign policy. And make no mistake—what comprises that seriousness is equal parts surfacely impressive knowledge about a variety of global hotspots, and just straight-up, unrestrained hawkishness. It's true of Rubio, it's true of Lindsey Graham, it's true of everyone else who has run for president in the establishment lane. Including the last Rubio-competitor standing there, John Kasich.

Wanna impress your journalist friends? Learn how to pronounce the various exotic factions you intend to either arm or bomb. Exaggerate threats constantly, re-write your own disastrous foreign policy preferences as need be. It's not like they're gonna check! Not as long as you remember to keep reminding them that you're not one of those crazy people, from or popular among the conservative grassroots, who are fed up in a less-than-perfectly-fluent way with America's never-resolving wars.

The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, when endorsing Kasich ahead of his thrilling fourth-place, 7.6 percent finish in the Palmetto State, fell for the he's-not-crazy act hook, line and sinker:

He refuses to pander to those upset about our nation's leadership. Rather than turning Americans' concerns into anger, he prefers to be positive. The United States fundamentally is in great shape, he says, although the country has problems. He believes those can be solved with proper leadership that includes listening, educating, and working with both Democrats and Republicans.

He's not angry, he just wants to carry out regime change all over the globe in the name of "stability," silly! This, at long last, is what America's political class considers "moderate."

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44 responses to “Being Establishment Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry for Regime Change in the Name of 'Stability'

  1. OT: Fatso just endorsed Trump. Looks like he’s angling for veep. Kasich weeps bitter tears.

      1. The horror…

        1. What’s Sec. of State, chopped liver?

          1. I don’t see him being interested in that. Also, SoS has much less potential to fuck with your everyday life than does AG.

    1. It took a while, but it looks like the GOP establishment finally figured out how to really damage the guy!

  2. began floating the idea of “regime change” in Stalinist North Korea.

    I believe we are still (technically!) at war with the Norks, as I believe there is a cease-fire in place, but not any kind of peace treaty.

    So, technically, regime change has been our policy for, what, sixty years? And a candidate supporting what has been our policy for sixty years is news?

    1. Mustn’t talk about the war, R C.

    2. Yes, it’s news, and it’s wildly irresponsible and dangerous by one of the five interventionists on stage. Luckily he’s in 4th place right now. 10 million people live in Seoul, 121 miles from Pyongyang. A war there would be a total disaster, risking one of our strongest allies and one of the strongest economies in the world. And that’s even without nukes and a leader crazy enough to use them.

    3. I believe we are still (technically!) at war with the Norks, as I believe there is a cease-fire in place, but not any kind of peace treaty.

      But we have an historic deal.

    4. And a candidate supporting what has been our policy for sixty years is news?

      Maybe. I’d say if he were merely giving lip service to the general idea that isn’t news, but if he’s working up specific plans for carrying it out during his presidency I’d call that news.

      1. Given that he phrased it as “If there was an opportunity . . .”, I’d file this under lip service, and keep my panties nice and clean.

  3. This is purely an intellectual exercise since Kasich has an extremely small chance of becoming president, but I’d like to hear him address the fact that half of South Korea’s population lives within artillery range of North Korea.

  4. Millions of starving people flooding across the Chinese and South Korean borders.That’s the fear.Then there’s the problem of a NK regime using nukes and taking as many with them as possible.Good plan.Just with draw all U.S. troops and let the nations in the region work it out.

    1. I suspect that the South has detailed reintegration plans including immediate humanitarian assistance.

      1. It’ll surely involve StarCraft.

      2. Is this before or after Kim nukes Seoul?

        1. Cute. But the South Koreans do draw a distinction between the people of North Korea and their leaders. Remember that many South Koreans still have relatives up North and stay in touch via letters and (when allowed by the North) visits.

  5. Kasich will be honeydicked soon enough. Those North Koreans are crafty.

    Dennis Reynolds: How do we know they’re North Koreans?

    Frank Reynolds: Because that’s the bad Korea.

    1. I think it’s because North Koreans are 4 inches shorter,and thinner.

    1. Children are the future,that’s why they need to stop them now.

  6. But what I’m telling you is you look for any means you can to be able to solve that problem in North Korea,

    Tell me he sung that to the tune of “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria” and I’ll vote for him.

  7. I am repurposing my comment from the Ed’s post about Libya, for it is germane

    “GILMORE?|2.26.16 @ 1:02PM|#

    Newsflash = Presidential candidates are incoherent about foreign policy. Film @ 11.

    because all voters care about is the foreign policy “attitude” – which is best summarized as ‘i will not embarrass America’. Tough! but thoughtful.

    Almost no one has any fucking clue what the US did do / didn’t do in Libya. And fewer care.

    All Dems know is that Hillary did the right thing and the mean GOP keeps bothering her, and all the GOP knows is that “if that pussy Obama weren’t in charge all this shit would be done by now”

    1. Trump can fix it.

  8. Wanna impress your journalist friends? Learn how to pronounce the various exotic factions you intend to either arm or bomb. Exaggerate threats constantly, re-write your own disastrous foreign policy preferences as need be. It’s not like they’re gonna check! Not as long as you remember to keep reminding them that you’re not one of those crazy people, from or popular among the conservative grassroots, who are fed up in a less-than-perfectly-fluent way with America’s never-resolving wars.

    But please, for the love of God, stop doing the white, extreme-native pronunciation of only Spanish names and words. It’s annoying.

  9. “This on top of Kasich’s plans to go “massively” with a land war against ISIS, removing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria against Russia, for starters.”

    Um, pretty sure Assad and Russia are the only things preventing ISIS from marching to the Mediterranean Sean and the border of our uber-ally Israel at the moment. So the plan is to neutralize them as well as replace them in the fight against ISIS? That seems stupid and prone to massive error.

    1. The whole Syrian situation is something I *hope* we find ridiculous in 20 years. We’re supposed to be demanding regime change and ousting Assad, but we’ve essentially sided with him by fighting the single group most likely to topple him. We’re opposed to Russia’s involvement in their support of Assad, but we’re essentially in a defacto coalition with Russian forces by our actions. The whole thing is weapons grade stupid, and this country would vote Obama in for a third term if it legally could.

      1. Somebody once tried to graph the alliances in the ME. It was a fucking mess and not just in Syria but throughout the region; it was simply nonsensical.

    2. I really don’t think of Sean as a Mediterranean name…

      1. It is the Gaelicized version of “John”, so…

      2. There’s been a lot of Syrians named ‘Jean’, respelled phoneticly in Arabic.

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  11. Wow wee man I never thought about it like that before.

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  12. Isn’t that photo marked “Cinema Scope” from LA SCIENCE DES R?VES? Seems like that ought to be in the caption then, if it is.

  13. Why can’t the president of the USA fight in battle?

    Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were chiefs and warriors who fought in battle.

    So John Kasich should do the same.

    I say – John Kasich – lead the charge into North Korea.

    If you don’t you’re a pussy.

    1. My elderly father always jokes of how the leaders should fight, that would be hilarious to see a Kasich vs Kim cage match.

  14. For the past two evenings I have received the SAME Kasich robo-poll.

  15. As an Ohioan I’m embarrassed to admit this clown is considered a serious candidate. Look what this asshole pulled off here in Ohio

    “A Republican consultant and appointee of Gov. Kasich was responsible for hiring the law firm whose challenge pushed two [LPO] candidates off the statewide ballot.

    Terry Casey worked for Kasich’s 2010 campaign and the governor has since appointed him to the $70,000-a-year job chairing the state personnel review board.

    Casey’s role hiring Zeiger, Tigges & Little emerged in a case in which Libertarians are asking federal Judge Michael Watson to restore governor candidate Charlie Earl and attorney general candidate Steven Linnabary to November’s ballot.

    In a new court filing, the [LPO] also says Bradley Smith, hired to oversee the disqualification hearing by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, didn’t disclose he was working for Ohio’s Republican attorney general, Mike DeWine, doing pro bono work at the time.”

    Kasich and his Ohio republican cohorts tried successfully to keep Ohio Libertarian party governor candidate Charlie Earl off the ballot in 2014 and are currently battling the national Libertarian party in the courts to keep Gary Johnson off the ballot. The motive is obvious to keep the Libertarian party from siphoning votes from the republicans and enable Kasich and his cronies to get as many votes as possible with disregard to fairness, this guy is a thug, he is just as ruthless as Trump, a very smooth talker.

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