Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): The Sweet Taste of Victory and Bitter Tears of Defeat

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Sweet Taste of Victory and Bitter Tears of Defeat

Donald Trump is president-elect, which is the exact opposite of what I thought I would be writing today. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who thought we'd be waking up to cheers about shattering the glass ceiling this morning. Instead, Trump won Wisconsin. He won Pennsylvania. Minnesota is still too close to call. 

Up until about 8 p.m., analysts, pollsters, pundits and party folks from both parties intoned that Trump winning would require a small miracle. He didn't have a path. 

Party insiders and the media misread the tea leaves in ways that ought to embarrass. In hindsight, how did anyone miss this so dramatically?

Party officials, insiders, and pundits spend a lot of time in echo chambers, and this is dangerous if your raison d'etre is winning elections. The read on this election should be that the elites have lost touch with regular people, and locally, we came dangerously close to real damage to the conservative movement.

In Kansas, conservatives received a bit of a comeuppance during the August primary, when our numbers were severely damaged. Republicans lost 14 seats in the Kansas House, including Amanda Grosserode, James Todd, and Tony Barton, and some of those really smart. It appears the makeup of the Senate will remain unchanged, though Dems managed to pick up one seat in Wichita.

Congressman Kevin Yoder's race was closer than it should have been. The Libertarian on the ballot earned almost 8 percent of the vote tallied so far. This tight race doesn't bode well for 2018, should Yoder re-up, and Democrats manage to find a halfway decent candidate.

Sadly all of the Supreme Court and District Court judges won retention, and in baffling fashion, Johnson County voters agreed to launder more money through the Johnson County Board of Commissioners via ANOTHER public safety tax. While most of the country voted for a massive move right last night, in red Kansas, the people moved left. 

Now that this strange election is in the rearview mirror, Kansas conservatives need to regroup and figure out how to win on issues again. I don't know what that looks like, but I do know we can't afford to be complacent. My wallet is already shriveling in fear at the massive tax hikes coming soon. Ugh.

Jim Geraghty, of National Review, perfectly explains why Democrats and their allies misread the electorate. He writes:

All of the groups and forces allied with the Left and largely thriving in Obama’s America – Silicon Valley, the media, academia, would have to stop and look hard at the rest of the country and its problems. And they wouldn’t be able to ignore it or sneer at the rest of the country as being uneducated, unwashed, racist, sexist, backward, and destined to wither away. Identity politics turns America’s e pluribus unum into the Balkans. If you want to build a better America, you have to see everybody as part of it, not just the parts that agree with you politically.

Perhaps, Kansas conservatives should learn from Geraghty's message as well.

1 comment:

  1. Voters in our country, Kansas included, did not move massively to "the right". They moved massively more toward the Center. They don't want the elite or the special interests on right or left holding hostage the solutions to common problems and concerns. They do not want their common identity as Americans Balkanized.