Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Article that hopped up Establishment Kansas

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Article that hopped up Establishment Kansas

It's not going away, and every Kansan I talk to on a regular basis saw it. (And just so we're clear, the vast majority of my friends, relatives and acquaintances are normal, middle class Kansans -- not the political ruling class, their donors or volunteers.)

I write, or course, about the New York Times story about Sen. Pat Roberts. The Times reported that Roberts, a nine-hundred-billion-term U.S. Senator and/or Congressman, doesn't live in Kansas. He owns a home in Dodge City, but rents it out. He lists the home of donors as his voting address. The Times found at least one guy, a 77-year-old retiree from Roberts' "hometown," who said he's seen Roberts exactly twice in town.

The Roberts campaign was quick to dismiss the story, but I don't believe it's going away that easily. I don't care how many establishment-type-y activists and 30-somethings who owe their careers to Roberts suggest otherwise: Roberts may have a home in Kansas. He may visit every so often, but he doesn't live here, and he hasn't since before I was in elementary school.

It's a problem. 

I felt uneasy about Roberts' candidacy when he announced it last year at the Kansas GOP Convention. This country now has a permanent ruling class. We send people of (halfway) integrity to Washington, D.C., and they never leave.

In church, I've heard pastors speak about how Christians should be in the world but not of it. It is a delicate and difficult balance that requires Jesus' assistance. Christians literally cannot walk through this world without becoming of it without Jesus' help. 

Yet, somehow we're all supposed to believe that Congressmen can go to Washington, and stay for four decades without becoming of it. Consider all of the evil and temptations we mere normal folk suffer in our daily, middle class, regular lives. Now take that temptation and that evil times a bazillion. That's how much evil and sin and awful is in Washington, D.C. 

Pardon me for delving into theology, but I don't think Pat Roberts or anyone else is morally strong enough to weather Washington, D.C. for that many decades without having a whole lot of the filth and scum all over them. 

Now I'm not calling Sen. Roberts a bad person. I'm not saying he can't do the job. But am I questioning whether he should do the job? In the words of Sarah Palin, you betcha.

I'm not particularly crazy about my choices in this race. Milton Wolf obviously has an ego the size of Texas. He rarely bothered to vote in elections prior to 1996, according to some of Roberts' campaign literature. But he's had a real career for the last 40 years -- and by real career, I mean a job in which his pay wasn't taken from the pockets of Americans everywhere at virtually gunpoint. 

At this point, that's worth a whole, whole lot to me.  Washington, D.C. politician isn't a job. It's a cess pool of ego. 

For what it's worth, I don't doubt the Dodge City retiree quoted in the NYT. I am a political activist and regular campaign volunteer, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen Roberts. 

From where I stand, it appears that Roberts comes to Kansas when it's absolutely necessary and to raise campaign funds. 

A Roberts spokesperson said he's visited 72 of 105 Kansas counties in 2013, but refused to say how many he'd visited in years when, as the Washington Examiner put it, "he was less concerned about his immediate re-election prospects?"

For reference, the Examiner article was written by a fairly conservative writer, Bryon York. (The Times article was written by a liberal hack. Sorry for the redundant description.)

For contrast, Sen. Jerry Moran says he visited every single Kansas county in 2013. So Moran visited 100 percent of Kansas counties compared to Roberts' 68 percent. 

I know that every Republican of any title is going bat crazy over this primary. Wolf has virtually no money, limited name recognition and no voting record. Roberts is going to win, but I can't help wishing he would never have run again in the first place.

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