Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Laughter through tears

Friday, August 10, 2012

Laughter through tears

It's been two days since the political earthquake that will shake up Topeka. The Republican Primary election is over and for the most part, I'm pleased with who is left standing. But those tears I'm laughing through aren't happy tears.

Most importantly, the moderates as we once knew them are gone -- finito. For now, this is a very good thing. Kansas needs to get its financial house in order, and that was impossible given the make-up of the old Senate. The conservative takeover of the Senate is, of course, the headline story of KS GOP Primary Election 2012.

But a more careful look at the overall results is troubling, because they cede too much power to one man -- Sam Brownback. I'm not bashing the Governor -- he's the most conservative Governor we've had in my lifetime, and for that, I am grateful. But he isn't a god. He's a man filled with same sin and demons as the rest of us.

There were candidates in this election, at least a few in the Senate and a handful in the House, who were conservatives in every possible way, but were not the chosen candidate of Brownback to sit at the right hand of Brownback. These candidates were ideologically similar to Brownback, but driven more by principle and therefore more likely to question Brownback if they disagreed. They provided the "balance" the moderates were screaming about, but it was balance from the right instead of from the left.

Of the winning candidates, I see very, very few who will question Brownback, and that is a problem. We've cut off the head of a very bad snake by eliminating most of the moderates, but we must be ever vigilant that another monster doesn't grow in its place.

Without any serious, principled opposition, I fear that is exactly what will happen. We've already seen how Brownback will drop the knife into the back of anyone who questions him. I'm thinking Charlotte O'Hara; Dick Kelsey; and even Trent Le Doux. These candidates were guilty of publicly questioning Sam Brownback -- nothing more. LeDoux and O'Hara are not moderates, and Kelsey largely toed the party line as well. All three, and a handful of others did not move beyond the primaries.

Good leaders need people who aren't afraid to hold them accountable by questioning them. This makes a good leader even better, and it helps keep the power from going to their heads. This is also a moral issue -- too much power unchecked in the hands of one person is dangerous -- not just for society as a whole, but for the mortal soul of the person in power as well.

For now, conservatives can claim a very big victory, but we can't rest on our laurels, lest we loose another beast. We must remain vigilant and unafraid to question our leaders -- even the one at the very top. 

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