Our local, Lee Enterprises owned, newspaper the Quad City Times this morning endorsed Bernie Sanders and John Kasich as their choice for the Democratic and Republican candidates for President. It’s not a great paper and I only read it because of the local coverage, but I think the choices are interesting. Here’s how they explain them:
“Americans are tired of the hollow rhetoric. They’re tired of two parties that, in a lot of ways, mirror each other. Any Democrat looking for a clear choice in the general election should caucus Monday for Bernie Sanders…If the Democratic Party is to move forward, it must abandon its compromised policy and differentiate itself come November. Only Sanders can accomplish that goal.”
“John Kasich is the poster-child for all thinking Republicans left behind by a party over-run by an irrational, seething fringe. The Ohio governor is the antithesis of the shrill, bigoted screaming heads dominating the Republican Party field. He should carry the GOP standard heading into November’s presidential election, if re-injecting reason into GOP rhetoric is of any concern.”
While I prefer Secretary Clinton over Senator Sanders as a Democrat, I certainly understand the appeal of Sanders’ consistent record, clear voice for income equality, and the need for a clear choice. I am also mindful of how many young people have been drawn into the process (as happened with Barack Obama) and how disappointed — perhaps even disillusioned — many of them will be if he does not win the nomination. I still think Hillary is the best prepared person in history to be President, but I absolutely get Bernie’s appeal.
I really hope the Times’ endorsement of John Kasic can move the needle a bit for him. Iowa has a long and laudable history of a kind of “progressive Republicanism” which has all but vanished in today’s GOP. Kasich is no Jim Leech or Maggie Tinsman (fine Iowa Republican legislators in Washington and Des Moines, respectively, in the recent past) but as the Times’ article points out, he is in many ways, “…a model Republican.He’s a thoughtful, pragmatic workhorse, who’s disinterested in mounting divisive social battles that reduce people to political fodder…(and is)…one of the few Republicans in the race who honestly believes in big-tent conservatism.”
Well, we’ll see. Tomorrow the first real “votes” in the nation will be cast here in the Iowa caucuses. Can’t wait to participate…and to see the results!