Thursday, August 05, 2004

New Kansas Dems Strategy? Do-nothingism!

Democrats in Kansas have (since FDR, anyway) an odd bunch. More conservative than the national party, much of the time there has been little to distinguish them from moderate Republicans. As Frank talks about in What's the Matter with Kansas?, there is so little difference between them, most people just vote GOP. Why vote for fake Republicans when you can vote for the real thing? Every now and then, the state elects a Democrat governor - usually on the strength of turnout in Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita, Lawrence, or because the GOP screws up and nominates a serious right-wing zealot (as they did two years ago, which led to Kathleen Sebelius winning, when moderate Carla Stovall mysteriously dropped out of the GOP primary race). There have been Dems in the House, usually representing the Topeka/Lawrence/KC area (now just Lawrence/KC - the old district included Topeka) or Wichita. But there hasn't been a Democratic Senator since the New Deal. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback are just as secure now as Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum were back in the 80s. Sometimes, the Dems don't even bother to run anyone in the general election - what would the point be? Not that Roberts and Brownback are good, mind you. Brownback in particular leaves me with a bad taste in the mouth - I just don't like him. Never have.

So, this year, instead of nominate the guy who was actually campaigning for the nomination to go against Brownback, Kansas Dems have apparently nominated a guy who didn't even bother to campaign! Yes - either one would be a longshot...but, come on Kansas! There are Democrats there - wouldn't you rather have a guy who wants to run against Brownback? This guy doesn't intend to campaign in the general election, either. Come on, people! Stand up! Quit lying down and letting the GOP walk all over you. This is just ridiculous.

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