Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Commence Circular Firing Squad Positions

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Commence Circular Firing Squad Positions

I hate to betray the sisterhood, but yes, when two women in power are bickering, there’s a serious rift. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and I suspect there’s about to be some burnt earth in the Kansas Senate.

I won’t bore you with the sketchy details, but here’s the short and dirty: Sen. Susan Wagle, Republican, removed Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, Republican, from her chairmanship of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.

Pilcher-Cook scorned Wagle by insisting on debating a proposal to expand Medicaid in committee. 

For what it’s worth, Wagle appears to want to dress up her support of Medicaid expansion as some sort of grand opportunity to show charity to the poor. (Heaven, save us from people who want to rob others to show their own goodness. Or as C.S. Lewis once put it: a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.)

Basically, the public committee debate would have forced Wagle to admit her support for expanding Medicaid, or basically for Obamacare. And Wagle, had a list of ultimatums for P-C. The list of demands was essentially – don’t make Wagle look bad – which a Kansas Republican supporting Obamacare looks bad (because it is bad, but I digress).

I’ve got to think Wagle is regretting her decision to remove Pilcher-Cook now.  Half of the Senate Republicans penned a letter requesting Wagle reconsider her decision. Twenty-six House Republicans signed a similar letter.

As political watchers know, there’s more to this story than the few bits and pieces we’re being fed. First, I suspect at least one of the Senate signatories to the letter to Wagle is angling to replace Wagle as the Senate leader.  Hence, the bitter battle and the slow leak of information that will stick a dagger in Wagle.

Second, I personally believe Wagle had plans to run for Governor.  Surely those plans are circling the drain right about now, and I can’t say I’m sorry about that.

By the way, here’s the other piece of this about to get super ugly skirmish that I find really, really interesting – Wagle hails from Wichita and Pilcher-Cook from Shawnee. It will be interesting to see how the Senate fault lines divide. It appears to be a division along ideological lines as of now, but I won’t be surprised if the fault lines become more geographic if this isn’t resolved soon. The Wichita folks have a way of supporting their own. At least, that’s how it appears from this end of the state.

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