Statewide Madness In Kansas

In a blog post more than a month ago, I waved goodbye to my old home state, Kansas, after GOP primary voters decided to,

officially become the property of Koch-sponsored fanaticism.

Voters did that by tossing out relatively—and I do mean relatively—moderate Republicans in favor of right-wing zealots.

Those zealots now dominate the state completely.

Well, since I wrote that piece what has happened? Let me see:

♦ Kansas Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder took his love truncheon for a short dip in the Sea of Galilee.

♦ The all-Republican Kansas Objections Board finally bowed to reality and admitted, sort of, that Barack Obama belongs on the Kansas ballot in November. The board had previously dithered on the issue, with members saying they needed more information from Hawaii and indicating they were pissed that Obama did not take their delusional deliberations seriously enough to send a representative to their ridiculous meeting.

♦ Orly Taitz, that crazy-mad woman who commands much Tea Party respect over her insistence that Mr. Obama is a Kenyan by birth, has managed to convince a silly Kansas judge to give her yet another hearing on whether the decision by the all-Republican Kansas Objections Board should be overturned.

♦If that ain’t enough Kansas craziness for ya, in today’s Joplin Globe we had a story on the draconian Kansas voter ID law that began:

There were 251 votes statewide in Kansas in the Aug. 6 primary that weren’t counted because the voters didn’t present the proper photo identification under the new voter ID law.

The father of that voter ID law, and a man well known to right-wing extremists everywhere, is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who called the new law an “outstanding success“—no, even better, he added that it was an “extraordinary success.” At least I think extraordinary is better than outstanding.

In any case, he really liked it, despite the fact that it disenfranchised 251 Kansans who went to the trouble of going to the polls.

Kobach, of course, doesn’t see it as disenfranchisement, but merely that folks who were challenged simply didn’t bother to come back with the proper papers:

Most of them had a photo ID and decided it wasn’t worth the effort. They weren’t disenfranchised.

Hmm. That’s amazing, if you really think about it. And you should really think about it.

But the most amazing comment Kobach made is found in this excerpt from Roger McKinney’s story in the Globe:

An American Civil Liberties Union analysis of a report produced by Kobach’s office related to alleged voter fraud incidents between 1997 and 2010, finding no cases of voter impersonation fraud, which the voter ID law is designed to prevent.

Kobach disputes that, saying there was one report during that 13-year period.

If this weren’t so serious, Kobach’s response would be side-splittingly funny. He disputed the ACLU’s contention of zero cases in 13 years by citing, uh, ONE! Uno! Or, well, in his case, maybe: Eins!

That is the goings-on in my birth state, a place I once called home, a place that has its priorities straight, by God. I know that because on Friday night, two teeny-weeny southeast Kansas high school football teams, Frontenac (302 kids) and St. Mary’s Colgan (231 kids in grades 7-12), played each other.

The game was broadcast statewide—state-bleeping-wide—on cable TV.



  1. Treeske

     /  September 22, 2012



  2. What’s The Matter With Kansas?


  3. Harry E. Bennett

     /  September 22, 2012

    I left Kansas for good in 2010 after living there for 50 years. I lived the majority of the time in Marion County Kansas on a small organic farm that was the center of my universe for 32 years. I tried for years to fight off landfills, establish bike paths, stop “tarsands pipelines” and advocate for a vital local economy. I came to the sad realization that I will not live long enough to see the tides turn in Kansas. As the rural community degraded and lost population around us, the leadership of Kansas became more rightwing and disconnected from the people they were elected to serve. I have three daughters that obtained fine educations from KU and KU Medical Center, they have all fled Kansas with no intention of ever returning. So now I live in Madison, Wisconsin and enjoy bike paths and a population with the backbone to at least stand up to the “Koch” driven agenda.


    • Harry,

      Someone asked, “What’s the matter with Kansas?” You just answered that question.

      Besides the few family members I have left in Kansas, I sometimes think the only good thing remaining there is KU and KU basketball! Rock Chock!

      I’ve heard, by the way, that Madison is a very nice place to live, but too darn cold for me.



  4. I too am a DP from Kansas, having come of age on its sparsley-populated central plains. Just the nuttiness of their creationist education bloc was enough to deter my ever wanting to return and your latest news, Duane, just it for me. What are those people smoking over there?


  5. Yellow Dog

     /  September 23, 2012

    They don’t sound a whole lot different than Missouri. I’m stuck here or I assure you I’d bail and go somewhere civilized and never come back. The politicians alone are so embarrassing I just cannot stand it. LOOK — I mean just LOOK at Billy Long…..OMG get me outa here.


    • Look at Billy Long…for another two years!

      I know what you mean about Missouri. But I will say there is a difference between southeast Kansas (where I came from) and Joplin, although there are places around here that are just like my old home town. What is happening here, though, slowly but surely, is that we are becoming Kansas-like, in terms of the governing class.

      Someday it will truly be intolerable for me, I’m afraid.


  6. Patricia Minute

     /  September 23, 2012

    My daughter and son-in-law live in Kansas and pay for private school education to avoid the creationism controversy. She and her husband have a LARGE Obama sign on their front line. Four years ago, their sign was stolen twice. This year they posted a disclaimer that they would spend as much money as they had to for the Obama campaign so steal the sign and they just send Obama more money for a new one.


    • Ah! That is brilliant idea.

      The controversy over creationism is one of the most embarrassing aspects of what has happened to the state. It is beyond words, in terms of explaining it to people with a non-right-wing brain.


  7. You might like living in Oregon. It blue politically, green on the environment and also due to abundant rain. You better not need a lot of sunny days in the winter though.


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