The headline is hyperbole for sure, but that is how Democrats and the 527 media in this state will portray this "vindication" of Jon Husted by the Supreme Court in the residency issue. As I have said before, I totally expected that Husted would get off on the technicality that he is within the letter of the law but I remain unconvinced that Husted isn't violating the spirit of the law.
Once again, let me explain why this is not a cause for celebration for my Republican friends in Columbus...
Husted doesn't live in the district that he represents. That much has been made clear to those who actually read and don't have their lips planted to the former Speaker's derriere. He might drop by his Kettering pad every now and then and he can testify that he "intends" to return there when his government service is over, but one has to wonder what that dinner table conversation with his wife and kids is going to be like... "Sorry kids, you gotta be pulled out of the Upper Arlington schools so Daddy can go back home to Kettering." or "Sorry, honey, you are just going to have to give up your lucrative business here in Upper Arlington because I promised that I would go back 'home' to Kettering." Anybody buying that? Really???
None of that really matters anyway because what this debacle reveals is that the Ohio Republican Party isn't ready to lead yet. A whole lot of us were hoping and praying that the ORP would have used the last few years to get its act together -- and they have come a LONG way since the Bennett days -- but they just aren't capable (at least not yet) of taking a principled stand for doing the right thing. Now, I can already hear some of you saying, "Hey Matt! Two out of three ain't bad!" and it isn't, but I really thought we had learned our lesson that Taftian Republicans only caused us more trouble than they were worth.
Only a Taftian would think that it was a resume enhancer to tout replacing one bad tax with an even worse one. Only a Taftian would think representing Kettering while living in Upper Arlington was the right thing to do. Only a Taftian would literally and figuratively embrace the likes of Ted Strickland instead of fighting for us...all for the sake of political expediency and not making waves because it might not be "popular." These things are why we lose.
Is it too much to ask that we hold our Republican candidates to higher standard? Shouldn't our Republican candidates support, defend and abide not just the letter of the law, but the spirit as well? When did it become fashionable in the Republican Party to accept medicrity simply because the guy is a smooth talker and can extract fat wads of campaign cash?
Quite simply, I expect more of my Republican Party and I hope that you do too.