Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): It wasn't your ovaries, Nancy. It was your last name

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It wasn't your ovaries, Nancy. It was your last name

I’ll just say it: I am NOT a fan of Nancy Kassebaum.

Kassebaum, mainstream media gushes, was the second woman elected to the U.S. Senate by her own right, “not preceded by a husband or appointed to fulfill an unexpired term.”

She was elected to the Senate largely on name recognition. She wasn’t preceded by her husband, but her father, Alf Landon, was a wealthy oilman and former Kansas Governor AND a Republican presidential candidate in 1936.  She didn’t run for the Senate as “Nancy Kassebaum.” She ran as “Nancy Landon Kassebaum.” Her campaign slogan was “A Fresh Face: A Trusted Kansas Name.” So, yeah, she totally ran and found success on her own merit. (And if you buy that story, let me tell you about this ocean front property in Johnson County, available for a song.)

Can we please stop pretending she was elected to the Senate by plucky hard work and a winning attitude? Seriously, just stop it, Wichita Eagle. Yes, the Eagle has an exclusive story about Kansas’ Political Female Has Been of Record. (The male version is Bob Dole.)

She says, correctly, that if she were to run today she wouldn’t make it past a Kansas primary. Of course, she blames social media. Newsflash, Nance: You’re out of touch – not just in Kansas, but out of touch overall. And it ISN’T because of the Facebook and the Internets. It’s because the people of Kansas gave you 18 years in the U.S. Senate – 18 years to improve, to lead, to meet meaningful challenges – and you used that time to explode the debt, creating a federal culture rich in regulation and overspending. Gross.

She supports gun control measures, Medicaid expansion and criticizes Brownback initiatives to lower taxes. And then there’s her monstrous belief that babies don’t have an intrinsic right to life. Of course she wouldn’t make it out of a Kansas primary, and that loss would actually be based on her merit.

We should absolutely seek the counsel and advice of our elders. We should value their experience, but we don’t have to kiss a ring or pretend Nancy Kassebaum has some sort of magical legacy. She’s free to regale us with tales of her wisdom, but we should take much of her tale with a grain of salt. She’s no saint. (Actually, I’d call her a bit of a back stabber.) And for the love of all that is holy, let’s stop pretending she broke some mythical glass ceiling for women. Her daddy broke the ceiling just enough for her to work her way through. 

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