Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe)

Friday, June 24, 2022

Celebrate Pro-Life Friends, but Don't Get Too Comfortable

Take a bow, my pro-life friends. It is the culmination of 50 years of honorable, patient battle by pro-life warriors. You earned this win, and you did it with grace and integrity. 

You followed the rules. 

For more than 50 years, you worked to elect pro-life lawmakers and pro-life judges – in the places where judges are elected. You annually marched – peacefully – in Washington, DC, praying and hoping for an end to Roe v. Wade. Through blizzards and rain, through Democratic and Republican administrations, you marched from the Capitol to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, attracting hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates each year. 

More than 63 million babies died by abortionists’ hands over those 50 years, and yet, you remained patient and steadfast.

You didn’t demand the abolition of cultural or constitutional norms. Though the opposition used vile and cruel attacks, you persevered.

Viscous and unfair attacks on pro-life judicial nominees didn’t wear you down. You offered encouragement and support to then-U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas as the Left pounced. Instead of growing weary, you redoubled your efforts to elect Republicans to the U.S. Senate and to the White House. And when abortion extremists on the Left launched disgusting attacks against another Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, you calmly defend him.

The way you battle matters.

But for the Left, the ends always justify the means. That’s why former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a now-deceased Democrat from Nevada, nuked the filibuster in 2013. He was frustrated Republicans used the long-standing Senate tradition to block some of then-President Barack Obama’s nominees.

At the time, Sen. Mitch McConnell issued a warning.

“You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think,” then Minority Leader McConnell said.

Sooner is now.

Thanks to your efforts, McConnell regained the Majority a few years later. And as forewarned, he used a Democratic tactic and eliminated the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. And now Roe is no more.

Reid didn’t live long enough to see the end results of his bluster. But pro-life advocates recognize we have Reid to thank for this win.

Pro-lifers, you are about to enjoy the bounty of fighting with honor and dignity in the face of overwhelming odds. Celebrate this victory. And remember how you earned it – by fighting fair, by following the rules until the other side broke them.

The fight over abortion now heads from the courtroom to state legislatures where it’s always belonged. New battle lines are being drawn, and Kansas will be the site of an early skirmish when voters consider the Value Them Both amendment. 

Once again, you will need to don the breastplate of righteousness and take up the shield of faith by knocking on doors, passing out literature, and encouraging your friends and neighbors to vote ‘yes’ on the amendment in August.

The Left plans to double down in its destruction of cultural norms, even though that hasn’t worked out well for them so far. Instead of vowing to elect more pro-abortion lawmakers and judges, they (likely) leaked a U.S. Supreme Court’s draft ruling. They posted the home addresses of Supreme Court Justices and protested in front of their homes. They defaced churches and disrupted Catholic services, and they’re threatening to pack the court.

They haven’t yet learned the lesson so apparent to long-time watchers of this cultural debate. The rules count.

This is one win in an ongoing war, but it is a big one. 

Celebrate, pro-life friends, but don’t get too comfortable. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A pundit calls Trump voters stupid. How fresh.

Kevin D. Williamson, a National Review writer turned failed Atlantic pundit, is brilliant. He shoves reality right into the thinking Republican’s gut. Sometimes, it hurts. And sometimes, he beats you with his snobbery, like in his latest screed.

He rants (and disappoints):

You Trumpish Republicans sneered that Joe Biden was too corrupt and too senescent to win a presidential campaign, that he was one part mafioso and one part turnip.

That turnip kicked your dumb asses from Delaware to D.C.

So you rioted. Real smart move, Cletus.

Williamson wastes hundreds of adjectives calling Trump Republicans “stupid,” as if that’s not something Trump supporters heard day in and day out since the moment Trump descended the golden escalator. Williamson proved he can use a thesaurus, but he used it to lob insults. So that’s … productive. 

Kevin D. Williamson in a dunce hat
Kevin D. Williamson is smarter than you.
And he wants you to know it.

The vast majority of Trump supporters didn’t riot. The vast majority of Trump voters weren’t in DC on Jan. 6. They were working. They were grocery shopping. They were attending Bible studies and youth basketball games. They were helping their kids finish up homework, provided to them over endless Zoom classes. They were matching the socks and folding laundry. And they actively avoided watching the news on Jan. 6, hoping to escape the neverending clown show that is our national discourse. 

They aren’t “Cletus,” though most of them probably don’t spend hours a day navel gazing about etymology like Williamson does. They don’t have time to noodle on the origin of the word “umbrage.” They’re too busy trying to raise their children and eek out a living. 

And they are ignored and abused by a political system that offers them nothing. At worst, they’d prefer to be left alone by politicians and policy wonks who started wonking the day they graduated from college and never worked an hourly job in their lives. At best, they’d like policies that spur economic growth -- the kind that leads to upward pressure on wages -- and policies that give their own children a fighting chance for a bright future.

Their kids go to a public school where less than half of the student body tests at grade level in reading and math. At worst, their kids are trapped in those schools AND those schools have been closed for nearly a year because of COVID. One county over -- even one subdivision over-- the wealthier kids are tucked safely in private schools where they’re testing above grade level and learning in-person.

Your so-called Cletuses recognize their children will not be able to compete. So they hope beyond hope that good-paying jobs will be available to their kids whether they are taught to read at grade level by 10th grade or not. They used to rely on union jobs and manufacturing. But those jobs are quickly disappearing. American manufacturers are shipping those jobs overseas, thanks in part to Beltway elites and their bloated tax and regulations proposal. In one of his first actions as President, Biden killed the Keystone Pipeline and with it, an estimated 11,000 jobs.

Many of the unskilled labor roles that remain in America are outsourced to international laborers through misguided visa programs that allow companies to import people who are willing to work for less, creating downward pressure on all wages. Meanwhile, Biden is opening the floodgates to illegal immigrants who are likely to become a permanent underclass undercutting American workers and wages decades into the future.

These are real challenges. Trump failed at solving them (and there are fair arguments that he didn’t really try), but he recognized them and gave voice to them. 

Williamson and his over-educated ilk could serve as a lifeline to people who don’t have the time, the educational prowess or the connections to speak for themselves. Instead, Williamson and most of the writers at National Review sneered down their noses at the voiceless. In doing so, they helped usher in the Trump presidency.

The Cletuses needed a voice. They found Trump. Or rather, Trump found them. And he didn’t do it in a vacuum. The Kevin D. Williamsons of the world would be wise to remember the part they played.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Yeah. About that "Republican" the JCRP Just Highlighted

I really, really don't want to write this right now. With less than a month away from the election, it's important for Republicans to appear united. However, as many long-time listeners know, I draw the line at the people pretending to be Republicans at election time but acting and voting just the opposite once elected.

So here we are. Today, the Johnson County Republican Party has chosen to "highlight" so-called Republican Stacy Obringer-Varhall in its weekly e-newsletter. Varhall is running for Johnson County Commission. You know the commission that is completely beholden to whatever Laura Kelly says? The commission that is hell bent on ensuring your kids never set foot in a school building again? The commission that raises taxes every time the sun shines, and doubles the increase every time rain is in the forecast? That commission. Varhall is running for that board.

Varhall is running against Charlotte O'Hara, who has a long history as a Republican -- and not just in name only. She's a former state legislator with a Republican voting record

Varhall, you'll recall, is the Blue Valley School Board member who sent her own kid to Florida for in-school learning so he could play football. She simultaneously voted against allowing kids in the Blue Valley district the same opportunity. It's like Nancy Pelosi and her visit to the hair salon -- only the victims in Varhall's let-them-eat-cake moment weren't adult hairdressers. Varhall's victims are childrenThe hypocrisy is blinding.  

Meanwhile, Varhall is one of a handful of Stand Up Blue Valley's handpicked candidates who remains on the ballot in November. Mercifully, most of their "Republican" candidates were sent packing following Republican primaries in August. Here's a photo of their Zoom meeting bemoaning that their pro-abort candidates lost:

There's Jan Kessinger, who is prominently featured in ads supporting Barbara Bollier for Senate. And there's John Skubal, a Stand Up Blue Valley "Republican" who was scrubbed from office by reasonable Republican Kellie Warren in the August primaries. Skubal is ALSO listed as a "Republican for Bollier." There's Michael Poppa, whose claim to fame is advocating for special treatment for the LGBTQIAZXWMNUYO community. And finally, there's Kerry Gooch, the former executive director for the Kansas Democrats. These are the people Stand Up Blue Valley chooses to "explain" how Republicans have lost their way. (Hint: They're all actually Democrats.) That's like lining up Kris Kobach,  a KFL spokesperson, NRA leadership, and Kelly Arnold to explain how traditional Democrats lost their way.

Johnson County Republican Party, with its recent newsletter, is allowed  Stand Up Blue Valley to set its agenda. I feel like I say this way too often, but it must be said: That is unacceptable.

Rumor has it the current crop of JCRP leadership says they HAD to highlight Varhall because other JCRP leadership highlighted her opponent, O'Hara, in a previous newsletter. 

This baffling decision to cede to the Democrats reflects poorly, not just on the new crop, but also on their biggest supporters. Word on the street is that former Gov. Jeff Colyer specifically asked Fabian Shepard, the current chair, to run for JCRP Chair. And sources tell me that the JCRP leadership asked for permission from Mike Kuckelman -- last seen putting his finger on the scale in Republican primaries and elevating those who figuratively commit fratricide.(Coming soon: About that.) 

It would have been so easy to tell the Mary Birches of the world complaining about Varhall not getting a newsletter-mention something like this: "I will not be held accountable for the actions of others. Further, the county commission race is the only non-partisan race on the November ballot. As a party, we are going to focus on electing Republicans in partisan elections." (Obviously, our county elections should be partisan, but for now, they are not. Until then, feel free to use this feckless excuse to avoid doing anything stupid.) 

I am beyond aggrieved by what JCRP did today. They've legitimized a person who will be the very first on the list for "Republican for Whichever Democrat Is Running for High Office" in 2022. Everyone who pays a lick of attention knows this. Stand Up Blue Valley is probably laughing about the assist the JoCo Republicans just gave to Democratic platform right now.

At some point, the actual Republicans in our party have to refuse to lay down to the Democrats, whether they be honest Democrats who label themselves appropriately, or those in our own party who pretend to be Republicans to get elected. I'm not opposed to compromise, but you'll note: the so-called moderates NEVER do the same for conservatives. And Stand Up Blue Valley will NEVER turn the other cheek for Republicans. Never, ever, ever. 

We don't have to be mean, but we should at least be savvy. Turning the JCRP newsletter into Stand Up Blue Valley propaganda was a no good, very bad, awful decision. Please don't make me say this a second time: Do better.