Gov. Sam Brownback’s tumbling approval ratings of well below 50 percent, as well as the presence of a viable and popular opponent, state Rep. Paul Davis, R., Lawrence, were cited by the Washington Post writers as reasons for the Sunflower State election to be one to watch for a potential change in control. We agree. Believe it or not, Brownback and his extremist policies are too extreme for even a GOP stronghold like Kansas.
Moderate Republican Joe Scarborough, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said the party’s focus should shift back to those pragmatic core principles all Americans support rather than on those issues fostering battles, according to an interview in Saturday’s Parade magazine, which runs in The Herald’s Weekender edition.
The Sunflower State’s Democratic Party agrees with Scarborough’s sentiment — though obviously not his choice of political affiliation — and thinks Kansas voters want to get back on track and plan to accomplish unity by electing a moderate-centrist to the governor’s mansion, rather than an ideologue.
Considering Kansas’ gubernatorial election as an open race is an advantageous starting point because Kansas voters deserve choices that are driven by what we agree is good for the state, rather than extreme issues that distract from a politician’s actual performance in office.
Kansans’ support of sensible, common-sense solutions for challenges facing the state is reflected in their choice of those who held the governor’s seat during the past 60 years, which showed a Democratic candidate holding office for 54 percent of the time rather than a Republican. Kansans ignored the candidate’s party in favor of the individuals and their own issues-oriented stances rather than being resigned to keep up Kansas’ reputation as GOP state. The Republican Party in Kansas has a long history of imploding from its own infighting — typically when those in the extreme fringe of the party go to war with those moderates who don’t share their hard-line conservative views.
Franklin County’s Republican Central Committee is no different, with those in the extreme conservative spectrum running the local group to the exclusion — and sometimes ridicule and shunning — of those within the party who don’t fall in line with far-right party dogma. That schism weakens the party, as well as poisons its performance, because it no longer represents the broader interests of all voters with the same “R” on their party affiliation.
The sense of being jettisoned by your own party because she wasn’t “Republican enough” prompted former state Sen. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, to swap parties so she could challenge crazy-conservative incumbent Kris Kobach in the coming Secretary of State election.
— Jeanny Sharp, editor and publisher