Skip to main content

A few years ago, talking to friends about the political environment in Kansas the conversation always boiled down to Thomas Frank's book "What's the Matter With Kansas" and Joe Winston and Laura Cohen's follow up film based on his book.

Kansas, it seemed was a punching bag.   Full of crazies, right-wing conpiracy theories and inhospitable to people on the left.   I read the book, watched the documentary and thought to myself: I can sit back and poke some fun at my own state, sure.. but part of "What's the Matter With Kansas" is that too many of my friends (and myself) had bought into the idea: Kansas itself is the problem, and our hope of 'fixing' Kansas wasn't real.  

What's the Matter With Kansas was as much my problem if I decided to not work to change it as it was any of the right-wing stereotypes Frank portrays.  Maybe moreso because I knew that there were people in Kansas who thought like I did - who wanted a different kind of Kansas.   But did we all stay quiet because we simply had avoided connecting with each other?

I've spent a few weeks following up on that question, away from Kos for the most part, trying to figure out: What Really Happened to Kansas?  Can Kansas be changed?  

Below the fold, I'll try to go through some of the journey with you.

I started out on May 17, as Kansas celebrated the 60th anniversary of Brown V Board:

That morning, I had been a member of a panel held by AFT Public Employees Union & the Kansas NEA Chamber to discuss the impact of Brown V Board and the state of Kansas Schools.  

I had been looking for a way to highlight what was right with Kansas - that there were people in Kansas who hadn't given up the message and who put themselves on the line for their cause.

Heather Ousley set that example for many Kansans last year when she made city and state news by confronting the issues of education and refusing to go away.  Warning on this video: it's a tear jerker by the end.
.

http://cjonline.com/...

Five people completed a 60-mile hike from Johnson County to the Capitol on Monday to deliver personal sentiment about importance of improved spending by Kansas government on public schools.

Heather Ousley, supporting the advocacy organization Game On For Kansas Schools, completed the trek for the second consecutive year with the aid of blister pads, donated coffee and Advil.

"I did this for my kids. I did this for everybody's kids," she said upon arriving at the Capitol. "This, for me, was a big leap of hope because my kids have their entire education ahead of them. I really feel like we need to do something now."

Heather walked the walk because she found something in Kansas she believed in.   Education was important to her family and her community.   She recognized that her causes went beyond her city, her school - they stretched to the opportunities of children all across the state.  And when people wouldn't listen, Heather gave them something to follow, a visual example that was harder to dismiss.

Heather, like many parents, found themselves drawn to the capital that first week of April, as the Kansas Senate and House rushed through legislation without real debate.  (Refer to this:  http://www.dailykos.com/... )

Brown V Board, though was about more than simply education - it was about the understanding that groups should be treated as equals - with equal opportunities for all.   I was proud that morning to be seated next to Lucinda Noches Talbert, a grand daughter of one of the original plaintiffs in the Brown V Board ruling.   We spoke that morning about opportunity and hope for Kansas, what the future would be.   Today, she works to help children get food and nutrition through services in Kansas City - because they are her cause.  

By the time Rev. Eckles spoke in Topeka, I had wondered about my plan to travel the state, hunt out party leadership and sit down for discussions.

The Kansas portrayed by Thomas Frank and others hit home - radical conservative ideas running loose while society simply voted them in.    Missing in that analysis though was that there were so many who were working for things I believed in.

That Monday, I began my journey by heading South to Miami County from my home, and for the next set of days I toured the Eastern half of our state.

That isn't to say there weren't some hiccups along the way:

Nothing quite like sliding off a dirt road and into a ditch.   I met with candidates, leadership and elected officials.  Attended rallies for Republicans and Democrats.   Sunburned my head (TWICE damnit), and gathered as much film and interviews as I could handle.    I realized early on that What is the Matter with Kansas isn't the right question to ask.  Maybe the question to ask is: what happened to Kansas?  What are the results of the policies, the impact on the people, and how do we take the motivation we have and direct it in the right way.

By the end of the second day of my tour, I realized that there were a lot more Kansans who thought as I did - but they, like myself, had given up on the idea of succeeding.

In Fort Scott Kansas, I was told:  "It just doesn't seem to matter."   Fort Scott had a democratic house member, but when I asked if there were any real efforts to mount a major campaign the response was similar:  "I don't know if we can win".  

The problem with Kansas for Democrats was pretty obvious.   Apathy and Frustration.   More Democrats told me voting for them was an after thought than told me they were excited to vote.   "We can't win because of (name your excuse)", I heard this frequently, repeatedly in meetings throughout counties in districts where real possibilities existed.  

Republicans, though, weren't excited to vote for their candidates either... more than once in public meetings we had discussions from Republicans who worried that their government was bought, "Who would loan $500k of their own money to run for Lt. Gov.?  There has to be payoffs".   I just nodded my head.  "Still, I guess I'll pinch my nose and vote for them... maybe."

The level of disaffection with Kansas was at the highest with youth.   Young voters at community colleges and universities expressed immediate concern with Kansas - and addressed social issues left and right.   Their concern: the state party doesn't speak to me.

With this in mind, I headed off to Wichita, to spend a day discussing with several who were trying to take on the big issues in the state and see if they could make a change.

I met with Equality Kansas first.

A lobbying group on behalf of LGBT issues within Kansas.   We discussed the impact of legislation and how we change the races.   That morning, I would need me meet with several before I took a unique way back home in order to cut through other counties that were in my list.

I headed out to meet with Women 4 Kansas, a group that is dedicating itself to beat Brownback this fall.

The turnout was solid and they discussed serious issues, focused on tax policies and the impact on the economy.   Who really benefited from Brownback's policies?   They asked.   We held a roundtable discussion (which we recorded) to discuss the key issues in Kansas.

The trip to Wichita had brought up many issues and a lot of questions.  I had met with several mayors, city workers and councilmen in the last few days, but I still wondered about the realities of overturning a state like Kansas.

Touring the state though, what I really came to understand is that in every area of the state there are true progressives who starve to hear someone who agrees with them.   I had die hard conservatives in western Kansas express to me their frustration with attacks on Wind Power, farmers near the Colorado border who expressed interest in trying to farm.. alternative crops.. and students in Universities all over the state who wondered about the big issues.

I had met with students shortly before controversy broke out in Western Kansas, not too far from where I was, as Saline County voted to refuse support for IUD devices, equating birth control with murder.

http://www.kwch.com/...

When confronted about these issues, the commissioner fired back:

They sourced behavior from Price including this comment from last week's meeting. "That's the kind of stupid things people like you want to bring out. Just take them and go somewhere else with them. I don't want to hear it," said Price.

Some people in Saline County think Price does not want to hear much of anything from citizens. "Your decisions are not met with favor by the people. You need to make more time when you make your decisions," said one person at last week's meeting.

"You're talking about nitty gritty baby things," responded Price. "You're talking about me not saying God on this issue. You got after me because I said God. We salute the flag and say in God we trust and you didn't like that. That is not the issue. If that's your issue, you need to go leave America and go where they don't have God."

FYI:  I will be in attendance in Salina on Tuesday when this comes back up for a vote, and we'll have video and a story then.

Students, especially the liberal students took time to talk to me at several universities about what an embarrassment this was.    When I pressed further about this issue though:

"Does this make you want to get out and vote this fall?"

The comeback from a Fort Hays State University Student hit me:

"I haven't seen any democrat running say anything about it.  Most of them are just as bad as the (R)s here.."

And there it was.

In off the record meetings, multiple democrats - elected and candidates - had told me that they were advised to 'not touch' any social issues.   The risk factor, the party had told them was too high.  Issues of choice and women's rights had been stripped out of the party platform, and the state party had decided that confronting social issues would only 'rev up' the conservatives who would turn out to vote.

What I was discovering, though was that the failure to say anything about these issues was becoming the largest drag on the party in the state.   Democrat after Democrat, especially young democrats - felt as though the failure of their party to talk to their issues meant that the state Democratic party didn't support them.

So, in a meeting in Western Kansas I told several interested Democrats something simple:  June 2 is filing day in Kansas.   File.   Run.   Numerous counties in this state have no one running.   I'm looking at you, Saline County.   NO ONE RUNNING.

The question I was asked was:  Why Run?   Why run if I'll lose in the fall?   Why run if the party won't back me?  

Kansas, as I told them, gives them a place if they just decide to run.   Party Platforms are voted on by those who win primaries... they are voted on by Democrats who commit.   Even if you won't win in the fall, if you want to make a major change in your party, run now.   Get in the race.  Help change your state party platform.   Help change your state into what you want it to be.

You might be surprised at what you can accomplish.

In 2012, a little known candidate in the suburbs of Kansas City spent less then $2,000 and picked up 47% of the vote - nearly unseating the man who would help propose 'Turn Gay Away' legislation.

Today, I drove myself back to Kansas City.   Sun Burned and tired.

Time running back and forth to the western part of the state and driving through areas had taught me something about Kansas.   There isn't anything 'The Matter' with Kansas that is unfixable.   There isn't an issue in Kansas that can't be addressed with work and effort.   There are people in this state who hunger for change.

The question we have is: are we prepared to help them find it?   Can change come to them in 2 years?   In 2 election cycles?

There are some stories that unfortunately I won't discuss here (I absolutely will at NN'14, with photos/video), but what I know now is this:   What is the Matter with Kansas is more about people like me - like Democrats all over the state feeling as though we can't fight back and that it isn't worth the effort.   Democrats who run from the issues that motivate the young.

I have no idea how 2014 will turn out, but I'm all in now - I can't say how many people I've handed out my cell phone # too.. but it's quite a few.

I know there are a few here on Kos who have contacted me about people who want to file and run in a district.  If you are still thinking about it.. let me know.  There are a lot of us ready and willing to help.

I'm taking tonight to rest, before we start working on cuts of video to take to LA with us tomorrow.

I look forward to seeing some LA Kossacks if nothing else to let them know not to give up on those in the midwest.  :)

Add-On
Please note: Plenty of Videos and cuts that will later be in the documentary we are doing 'What Happened to Kansas?' can be found on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/...

I think after we do a meeting in LA, we should have a first trailer up to launch a mini-kickstarter.

8:23 PM PT: This is one of the round tables held with grassroots group 'Women 4 Kansas' (pictures above) taken in Wichita.

Originally posted to Kansas & Missouri Kossacks on Thu May 29, 2014 at 05:16 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (116+ / 0-)

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Thu May 29, 2014 at 05:16:09 PM PDT

  •  Gives power to the words, (28+ / 0-)

    "You never know until you try." And, of course, even then you may only know the start, a small part, but as we keep trying, perhaps we will also empower the words, "Together we can do anything."

  •  Love Kansas teachers (26+ / 0-)

    I work with them often, and they are devoted, well-trained and perceptive. It's amazing how they are "abused" by their legislature.

    There are wonderful people in Kansas, who want to be known as the "heart" of the nation, not heartless.

    And now, their idiot legislature and governor have left them broke, without a credit rating and headed into a rabbit hole. Let's support them.

  •  Wonderful diary. Great focus and drive. (15+ / 0-)

    Ask your neighbors why collective bargaining is such a bad thing tm. It's probably because they're listening to the propaganda of the right. But, I'm sure the very fact that you were there to say the things you did was a seed planted. Not all seeds grow, you know, so you have to go do it again and again for a really good garden. But, like a single seed, the longest journey is started by a single step. Well done. May you ever germinate on these pages.

  •  Very heartening to see this about Kansas. (12+ / 0-)

    Thanks so much for posting.

    Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings. —Nelson Mandela

    by kaliope on Thu May 29, 2014 at 07:34:51 PM PDT

  •  I'm impressed (17+ / 0-)

    by this writing and your work but also your dedication- I live in a isolated rural part of Texas and I know how easy it is to just say "to hell with it".
    You've inspired me- thank you.

    I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

    by old mule on Thu May 29, 2014 at 07:57:49 PM PDT

  •  Great diary. And thank you for your optimism. Y... (11+ / 0-)

    Great diary. And thank you for your optimism. You are absolutely correct - we need to keep trying and to keep pushing our ideals. The 2 biggest barriers that I often see is 1)Koch money that can spend as far as the eye can see for their nutbag conservatives, and 2)National Dems, i.e. DNC, DSCC, DCCC,and other 501c groups throwing solid financial support for any candidate. Populism can conquer both problems, but it'd an incessant uphill climb.

  •  Oh, you did it (22+ / 0-)

    You got me to sign up for D Kos. I couldn't just lurk any more.

    First comment here: I love Kansas. Smartest and kindest corporate coworkers I've ever had, and it's beautiful here too. (That hissing sound you here is my neighbors telling me I shouldn't be spilling the beans.) It's conservative here, but not everywhere, not everyone, and most of the conservatives are pretty kind and even listen if you make an effort.

    The job for which I moved here allows little time, but I do support Davis and Docking with a bit of cash. Brownback and his minions must be crushed until they're looking up muttering "wow the colors," then maybe we can have nice things like schools again.

    tmservo433, you're the highlight of my DKos browsing. Your perspective gives us hope. Please keep it up!

  •  Good diary as usual tm. I always appreciate you... (11+ / 0-)

    Good diary as usual tm. I always appreciate your perspective on politics in Kansas and your efforts to effect change in this state.

    As to the point of this diary (or one of its points), a big, big problem is the utter and absolute incompetence of the state Democratic Party. I don't know if this is the result of being crushed so frequently thus draining any talent from Party leadership or if the state Party has simply accepted losing as de rigueur and unavoidable so best not to expend too much energy on bothersome elections.

    Let me give you an example: when the bald faced lie from Brownback's administration about the tax cuts/revenue projections was exposed for all to see by the $90M shortfall (which was top of the fold news all over the state) where in the hell was Paul Davis and other Dem brass hammering this blatant falsehood? They were nowhere to be seen! And this is the team people are expecting to beat Brownback and the Koch millions in the fall? A group of people who couldn't be bothered to seize a winning issue handed them on a golden platter? A liberal friend of mine called the state Dem Party to ask where the hell they were on this and the reply he got was "we're trying to get the word out on this." W.T.F. No, you don't "try," you effing DO--call the Eagle, call the Star, call Wichita and Topeka channels, and you get Davis' ass on all of those platforms. How is Davis supposed to run a state if he can't competently manage his own campaign?

    If you can't tell, I have been beyond disappointed in the Dems' efforts so far. They are the real "nowhere men"--either hiding in fear or thinking that if they keep their heads down and mouths shut people will just magically vote for them in November. That is fantastical thinking, and borderline criminal in a state that is ripe for the picking, at least at the governorship level. Unfortunately, while Davis seemed to be making some noise in the earlier polling, I believe Brownstain has started to put some distance between the two. And that's a crying shame because I think a majority of Kansans clearly dislike the governor, but our decrepit and useless party leadership is squandering this great opportunity.

    •  In the notes here.. (15+ / 0-)

      Look, I've now met with county chairs and the like all over the state.  And I have to say, a lot of them are hard working people who want the right thing.

      On the other side, too many of them are not interested and being a democrat is about on the same level as being a member of the rotary club or the local bridge players group.

      At a certain level, there will have to be a takeover of the party.   I won't go into those details here, in the open, but it is one of the topics I'm bringing to NetRoots because several of us have been working together to completely change the party in this state.  (you can PM me, I'd explain there).

      I think there is a lot of work ahead, but you'd be surprised at the kind of progress I think we can make on issues that would just baffle people.

      Give it two cycles - I mean this seriously - and there will be some serious change in the way this party is run in KS.   (And yes, I'm bold enough to throw my chips down and say that I have the people who will work to do that, pretty much head on)

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Thu May 29, 2014 at 09:52:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  politics in Kansas (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433, travelerxxx, kd4dean

      That is why so many people in this state don't see the Democratic party as holding out any hope for real change. I for one am in that group, (disclaimer inserted here I am aligned with the Green party), who are tired of the political cowardice of what is supposed to be a viable progressive political party.

      Previous populist and progressives movements that started in Kansas, and grew to influence the nations dialog and policies, didn't do so by not being confrontational or by acquiescence to political correctness.

      As an aside having recently returned to my beloved Kansas after a 5 year exile to Texas I have renewed hope for Kansas. I always considered Sam Brownback to be mentally slow and extremely disingenuous and the epitome of a clueless politician. After being exposed to the likes of Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Louis Gohmert I realize that there is perhaps hope for my state.

      The Democratic party in Kansas (and other states) need to stop acting like campaigning is akin to an argument over a bridge game at the country club and start treating it more like a knife fight in a phone booth. If you aren't in it to win, and make a difference, then stop wasting time and money. On their current inept tack the Democrats are making themselves irrelevant to a large untapped electorate. There are progressive parties ready to step in and fill the political vacuum they are leaving.

  •  Kansas might work out similar to Georgia. (8+ / 0-)

    You don't have the large core of Black voters to build on. It might be harder to put together a Moral Mondays operation; harder, not impossible.

    Brownback is the single slimiest governor in the country. Easy target. Punting Medicaid Expansion down to the legislature has him belly-twisting his way through another executive decision.

    Similar to GA's Deal and his snow storm snafu.

    Thing is, you need to do some homework. Find the party/voting splits for Kansas by sex, race, age, and most critically by income.

    If you can set up a research operation, more the better. Recruit, rather than calling for volunteers. (Be careful to filter out RW infiltrators. Not an easy task. You're always going to see their ratfuckers, dirty tricksters, whatever. Anti-abortion fanatics and Leadership Institute road gangs make the worst of it.)

    Georgia Dems and MM are working counterattacks with significant effect. Pulling in ex-Tea Party White veterans has been a solid feature of their Medicaid Expansion protests. That's exactly the demographic you want -- what the GOPers think they own as "The Base."

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Fri May 30, 2014 at 04:44:08 AM PDT

  •  I think Franks did a lousy job (8+ / 0-)

    exploring the political history of Kansas. He simply does not provide much detail of the populist movement in Kansas in the 1870s through 1890s. Kansas at that time was one of the most politically progressive states in the Union. Lawrence Goodwyn, in his monumental histories of the populist movement, explicitly stated that Kansas was an exemplar of how the populists organized politically, and developed a social consciousness that allowed them to break free of the constraints of establishment doctrines and thinking.

    A good place to start uncovering this long forgotten history is by looking at the life of Henry Vincent, who founded a major populist newspaper in Winfield entitled The American Nonconformist and Kansas Industrial Liberator. Here is a 12-page biography of Vincent.

    As Goodwyn wrote: "Amidst a national political system in which the mass constituencies of both major parties were fashioned out of the sectional loyalties of the Civil War the cooperative movement [populism's beginning was as farmers' cooperatives] became the recruiting vehicle through which huge numbers of farmers in the South and West learned to think about a new kind of democratic possibility in America." (The Populist Moment, page 66).

    Another Kansas populist who can serve as an entry point for exploring this lost political history, is "Sockless Jerry" Simpson. The Wikipedia bio does not mention it, but Simpson was a paid lecturer for the Farmers Alliances in Kansas. He went on to serve three terms as a US Congressman in the 1890s as one of dozens of Congressmen who were neither Democrats or Republicans, but identified as Populists, or The People's Party.

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Fri May 30, 2014 at 05:26:02 AM PDT

    •  Women For Kansas is a modern day (8+ / 0-)

      Amazon's Army.. which is a pretty proud momen tof Knasas History.

      Growing up in Girard, Kansas (home of Eugene V Debs, socialist leader, and the home of the town that first printed 'The Jungle' by Upton Sinclair) Kansas history is very different sometimes then  how we remember it ;)

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Fri May 30, 2014 at 05:43:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So-so job on history, but not on why KS went GOP. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433, kd4dean

      While any book about present-day Kansas politics would have to deal with its past, Mr. Franks book is not a book about Kansas' populist history. You provide good links for those wishing to dig deeper into the history of American Populism, as Kansas was center stage.

      ---

      In a way, the Kansan of today is as radical as his grandparents and great-grandparents. The Tea Party - while controlled from the Wichita Koch offices - has stirred the old populist genes of Kansas. Yes, the TPers are mis-directed and refuse to see the man behind the curtain, but I see the old populist fire burning within them.

      The Tea Party pretty much runs the state and the consequences of that are now becoming manifest. Kansas appears to be ready to "reap the whirlwind." Unemployment is horrible and getting worse, the state credit rating is taking a beating, tax receipts are an absolute disaster, and a once-excellent public education system is in the process of being completely destroyed.

      Other states are about to head down that dark alley in which Kansas finds itself - notably Texas - but it is the Kansan who is going to have the first Day of Reckoning. They will soon awake to discover that their state has become an economic jerkwater; their public schools discredited by teaching extremist religious nonsense rather than science, leaving graduates unable to compete in the 21st century; their public pension system shattered; their state courts handing down decisions based on some wild-eyed preacher's view of Leviticus.

      While the damage will have to be done (and it is being done, make no mistake), I believe Kansas will figure it out. Whether it happens in my lifetime will remain to be seen, but when they do finally open their eyes, I believe there will be hell to pay. They are the granddaughters and grandsons of the fire-breathing Populists. It's in their blood.

  •  Great diary. Great work. Thanks. (7+ / 0-)

    You can wake someone who is sleeping, but you cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep.

    by gnothis on Fri May 30, 2014 at 06:11:22 AM PDT

  •  Ditto Inorbit. You rock, TM. Carry on. /nt (5+ / 0-)

    Not all people are human; not all humans are people.

    by Jon Sitzman on Fri May 30, 2014 at 06:46:02 AM PDT

  •  Speak up - it makes a difference (6+ / 0-)

    Example:  On a recent train trip to California, I encountered a woman in the lounge car who was set to rag on the government about the terrible service.  Another woman and I tag teamed to explain to her how passenger rail came to be the unwanted step child of public travel in the U.S.  The upshot, it will take years for the U.S. to catch up to the rest of the developed world building high speed rail because the legislators at the behest of lobbyists tried their best to kill passenger rail off altogether.  

    It is vital for Democrats to overcome their squeamishness on the abortion issue.  It may be medically necessary and/or it may be economically necessary.  Government and politicians have no business imposing dogma that endangers the health and welfare of American women and their families.  The controversy over intrauterine devices shows how uninformed public officials and voters are.  

    Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

    by arlene on Fri May 30, 2014 at 06:55:38 AM PDT

    •  If they are losing anyway when they don't (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arlene, travelerxxx, kd4dean

      talk about abortion and other social issues, what do they have to lose by talking about it?  I believe Democrats do best when they talk about what they believe and how that affects their positions on the issues.

      You're right - most people ARE uninformed on the issues and will believe the Republican lies if we let them go unchallenged.  

      My personal problem is how to speak up without sounding so strident that people turn me off.  I've learned a lot from reading DKos about framing but it's still hard for me in the moment.  Something to keep working on.

  •  I still think Pat Roberts is beatable. (6+ / 0-)

    The Topeka Capitol Journal even had Chad Taylor, not Milton Wolf, beating him in a poll!

    Also Margie Wakefield is a strong challenger against a weak incumbent Lynn Jenkins, in my district right here.

    The only reason these races aren't winnable is because the state and national party says they aren't.

    Kansas hasn't elected a Democrat Senator since 1932? So what? How many Democrat governors have we elected (and re-elected) in that time? They're both statewide races. If we can win one we can win the other. Why the hell not? Especially now with Roberts and Brownback in the toilet. If every anti-Brownback voter also votes for Chad Taylor, then we win. Why wouldn't the national party be all for that? A senate seat is a senate seat and when we're fighting to keep the Senate, why not fight for every single seat?

    This makes NO sense to me. What a bunch of losers the Hillary/Kerry/DNC party establishment is.

    edwardlcote.blogspot.com

    by Edward L Cote on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:43:44 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for this - I just donated to Wakefield. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, tmservo433, kd4dean

      Last week I got a call from the DCCC asking for a donation and told them I only donate to individual candidates.  So the money they wanted I instead sent her way based on your recommendation.

      •  on Tuesday (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kd4dean

        I have a real behind the scenes candidate story and yep I will press for donations.  Its a state level race. She ran in 2012, and had about $2500 (two thousand) total campaign funds and received 47% of the vote, being outspent more than 10:1.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Fri May 30, 2014 at 10:27:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "I don't know if we can win". (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, kd4dean

    Now THERE is a bunch of crap!  That's not a reason NOT to try - quite contrary, it's the BEST reason TO try!

    One would think it obvious that if nobody TRIES to force change, no change will occur.  This does not mean that change is certain if you do try, but that things are GUARANTEED to stay as they are (or get worse!) if you don't!

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Fri May 30, 2014 at 10:01:18 AM PDT

  •  What's up with Kansas? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, kd4dean

    I lived in Kansas during the early sixties as a young boy and Kansans were great people. What happened?

    •  Still a lot of great people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kd4dean

      The just got bullied into thinking they couldn't win here, despite the evidence.   What we have to do is work to ge them to believe they have a chance.    That is what matters.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Fri May 30, 2014 at 02:15:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why do some people want to reinvent the..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, travelerxxx, kd4dean

    Wheel ? Public schools began in this country in 1635. It was the first and named Boston Latin school. Since then I would guesstimate at least multi millions of people have been educated in public schools in this country. So why the current rush to judgement to throw public schools under the bus too destroy public school systems? Why the need to privatize schools? It is the job of public schools in this country to educate all people from all ethnicity's, all socioeconomic backgrounds to the best of their ability. No cherry picking the best students or leaving out the learning impaired. Our public schools attempt to teach ALL. I am a product of the public school system of this country and proud of it. I, for one, will never sit idly by and let an elite group of nere do wells and hustlers destroy a system that has provided this nation with millions of educated citizen's just for their personnel  financial benefit.

  •  tmservo433 you ROCK... thank you for all you do... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, kd4dean

    from those of use who work in the state but don't live there.

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." *Ansel Adams* ."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."*Will Rogers*

    by Statusquomustgo on Fri May 30, 2014 at 01:05:05 PM PDT

  •  Ignorance is bliss (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, kd4dean

    that realization is what happened to Kansas. People too scared to look the world in the eye and deal with it, resort to mythological constructs to justify burying their heads in the sand.

  •  What is the problem with kansas? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kd4dean

    The question should be 'what is the problem with Democrats"?

    The problem with Democrats under Obama, is that the lost all the zeal of the belief of liberals resuscitated under Howard Dean, which enabled Obama's win but was quickly squashed by Obama on coming into power, dissing Dean and running the current democratic strategy, that I will characterize as "which way the wind blows".

    They ran away so much from enacting any real (see universal single payer healthcare) healthcare reform we ended up with the ACA as is. They have also run so much from the ACA that with the advantage the ACA currently gives them they are still running from it. They run away fro social issues that most of America agrees to them with. Obama and them think the strategy to winning is by being Republican lite. They can suite themselves, but count me out of that group.

  •  tmservo433's diary teaches to the DK community (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, kd4dean

    about political stewardship in a hands-on, exemplary manner.  

    If more progressive Democrats worked their issues in the manner that tmservo433 does, we would be getting a lot more done and would be further down the road towards the goal.....progressive Democrats achieving governance through means that build our movement in every state of the nation.

    •  Thank you so much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LakeSuperior

      I come here to learn from others, I'm always glad to contribute to the common knowledge as I can!

      I wish I could say I'm super humble, but damn I'm on a flight to LA to fundraiser for a documentary on this so I'm not -that- humble. Just pissed off and dedicated. We'll have to see what that gets me.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Fri May 30, 2014 at 08:06:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for your diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433

    I live in WyCo and see glimmers of hope on the horizon for our state.

    Ad astra per aspera (To the stars through difficulties, Kansas state motto)

    by Madge Montgomery on Fri May 30, 2014 at 07:27:27 PM PDT

  •  Love this! As a fellow Kansan I have to say you... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433

    Love this! As a fellow Kansan I have to say you captured my feelings so well. Thank you for posting. You have inspired me to get busy and get to work! Rock-Chalk!

  •  KANSAS (0+ / 0-)

    The Question: Fellow citizens of Brownbeckistan. How  long must we put up with this freak?                                                                               Answer: November 4th, 2014

  •  Instead of trying to revive a moribund Democratic (0+ / 0-)

    party in Kansas, how about spreading the word about the Green Party?  It takes NO corporate money of any kind, and advocates the policies the Democrats are too gutless (or bought off) to espouse, apart from Elizabeth Warren.

  •  KANSAS STARVED unHOUSED HOMELESS since 1970's (0+ / 0-)

    CHRISTIANS from NORTHERN STATES use to visit KANSAS CITY, KANSAS to feed IGNORED, EVICTED RENTERS and FORECLOSED HOMEOWNERS who were unHOUSED HOMELESS STARVING on the STREETS from the 1970's on.

    KANSAS CITY, KANSAS is CRUELY RACIST and LIFE THREATENING in it's  INTIMIDATION of RESIDENTS

    EAT TWO MEALS a WEEK  and you know what unHOUSED HOMELESS are being SUBJECTED TO.

    ANSWER POLITICAL EMAILS and contact with a REQUEST for DAYTIME WALK-IN SHELTERS in KANSAS CITY, KANSAS and FOOD for unHOUSED HOMELESS there.

  •  Green Party (0+ / 0-)

    For those interested in the Green Party, there is going to be a regional gathering in the Kansas City area the weekend of June 13-15 at which there will be an opportunity to recreate the Green Party of Kansas.  Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for President in 2012 will be the keynote speaker.  For information contact  Ben Kjelshus bkjelshus@gmail.com
    816 623 3006

  •  You could change the topic from Kansas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433

    to Texas and the meaning and situation would remain the same. We are having to oppose the "Power people". I'm talking about the bankers and big business. The ones that really have no ideology but rather the power of being associated with those who offer power.

    Its no different than so many want to be a member of the cool gang. I see this in small business of them having to agree with everything thing their bankers says. Once the opposition has control, all is lost until there is a fracture in the power group and the opposition can drive a wedge and gain power.

  •  Thanks for posting this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433

    I should think the KS tax / budget issue would be a big driver for Dems in the fall.  R's have mismanaged the state nearly into bankruptcy.  Maybe not running on "we need more taxes" but "we need a fairer tax system" would drive the point home.

    Best of luck with this.

    'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none go just alike, yet each believes his own. - Alexander Pope

    by liberaldad2 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:45:02 AM PDT

  •  Kansas & Missouri Kossacks (0+ / 0-)

    Key to getting the situation turned around is the comedy of errors from the opposition, they are unoriginal to an extraordinary degree.
    Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, Paul Volker refuted the supply side economics theory from such people as Arthur Laffer with the following:  "Economics is like Sex.  If someone tells you that there is something new and exciting and it has never been done before it is probably because it is dangerous, there is nothing new in Sex or Economics."  
    This is the same Arthur Laffer who was paid a salary of $75,000.00 by Gov. Brownback. Arthur Laffer said after the tax cuts were "passed" by taking up a Kansas Senate uncompleted piece of legislation and quickly passing it in the Kansas House, that it was "Revolutionary."
    Gov. Brownback's revolution is in a death spiral, like all revolutions, with former high-ranking aides collapsing in FBI investigations of Pay-to-Play. The "Players" are grabbing as much money as they can. Several manufactured crises at the same time, are the direct result of the revolution by Gov. Brownback.  The overwhelming drive behind all this is the Love of Power.
    For the best examination of the Love of Power by depiction, so much better than analytical analysis, is a ancient Chinese Novel.  Translated in 1925, known as San Kuo, or Three Kingdoms.
    It covers such things in the bad guy's depiction as making statements that are badly received as "jokes" just like the Right Wing who carries it to making the assertion that "Democrat have no sense of humor", Plagiarism, use of words to mislead such as "frankly," etc. The evil character is Ts'so Ts'ao.  Please see my blog: www.mjpottebaum@wordpress.com for 5 other depictions directly from the Novel. Intended as a 25th anniversary of killing the students in Tien-an-min Square present for the present dictators in China.  I have added in red color some of the same character flaws so well presented in the novel as features in our present day politics from the authoritarian right wing, enjoy!

  •  LGBTETC (0+ / 0-)

    [Comments wanted re this bit I found on the worldwide web!]

             Harvey Milk Stamped "Out" Forever !

         The Obama Cabal is behind universal GAYety with a "forever" postage stamp issued by the US Pederastal Service which idolizes Harvey Milk, a Jewish pederast "attracted to boys aged 15-19," according to WikiAnswers! (Also see Wikipedia.)
         Global gaydom was even predicted by Jesus (see "days of Lot" in Luke 17 and compare with Genesis 19).
         And the Hebrew prophet Zechariah (14th chapter) says that during the same end-time gay "days" ALL nations will come against Israel and fulfill the "days of Noah" at the same time (see Luke 17 again) - a short time of anti-Jewish genocide found in Zechariah 13:8 when two-thirds of all Jews will die.
         In other words, when "gay days" have become universal, all hell will break loose!
         The same "days" will cause worldwide human government to collapse in just a few short years! For the first time ever there won't be enough time for anyone to attend college, have a family, enjoy retirement, etc. It will also be the last time anyone like ObabaBlackSheep will be able to keep pulling the wool over our eyes!
         One final thought. The more we see gays "coming out," the sooner Jesus will be "coming down"!
         For more, Google or Yahoo "God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up," "Jesus Never Mentioned Homosexuality. When gays have birthdays...," "FOR GAYS ONLY: Jesus Predicted...," "USA - from Puritans to Impure-itans!" and "The Background Obama Can't Cover Up."
         (PS:  HOMOgenized Milk has been honored by Gov. Schwarzenaggravator as well as ObabaBlackSheep.)

  •  Not just politics (0+ / 0-)

    My wife and I have traveled to 49 states (all except Iowa) and Kansas is the only one where almost every person we dealt with was rude or cold at best.  And that's just how they treat their customers.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site