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Could There Be a Not-Insane Governing Majority in Kansas?: Live from the Roasterie CCXXIX: July 30, 2014

Kansas jpg 999×690 pixelsLiberal Republicans started becoming Democrats during the New Deal, and (Maine aside) had essentially all migrated across the aisle by the start of the 1990s. As the Republican Party moved right, moderate Republicans should have followed them. But they did not. As Norm Ornstein said:

Norm Ornstein: U.S. Republican Party: "It's Even Worse than It Looks": "In the Republican Party...

...I do think there is simply a cultural difference. For Republicans, it’s almost more of a religion or a tribal identification than it is for Democrats. That is sometimes really curious to see. Watch Olympia Snow.... I worked with Olympia very closely on the campaign reform staff. She was under enormous pressure from McConnell and others.... Trying to find a common ground... we [had come] up with... Snow-Jeffords amendment--which was a way of keeping corporations and unions out of elections and communications when we are close to elections.... It was the target... of Citizens United. So we get the response to Citizens United... a bill that passes the House... gets to the Senate and all 59 Democrats support it. And not one Republican, including Snowe—this was her most important legislative achievement--would vote for cloture.... It’s almost like you are in a religion. You look at misbehavior on the part of the leaders of that religion, and you are shocked and dismayed, but you are not leaving your religion. And you are still going to go to church: you just can’t give up something that you held in a lifelong way. I think Democrats are just different in that front. They don’t have the same discipline...

In Kansas you are unlikely to find Muhammed. And in Kansas there are certainly no mountains. But if there were--well, if the mountain will not come to Muhammed, Muhammed will go to the mountain:

Aimee Pearson: Why As A Kansas Democrat, I Registered As A Republican: "Maybe what's the matter with Kansas is...

...Democrats need to be the sane Republicans.... I’m from Kansas and I’m a Liberal Republican.... We’ve got a governor who has used this state as his conservative theory playground. He basically gambled big with tax cuts, hoping it would pay off so he could run for the top job in the Nation and well... the gamble didn’t pay off, and our economy is in the toilet. Then you have the House and Senate, who fall all over themselves to see who can put out the most extreme legislation in the land. If there was a Duck Dynasty Award for most extreme legislation, our Representatives would win the top prize....

I had enough. Voting Democrat in every election wasn’t changing anything in Kansas.... My vote never mattered.... I received an outpouring of support encouraging me to change parties from people who were either going to change parties or from people who already had changed parties.... Kansas holds Republican primaries in August. In the last general election in Kansas, 8 of the 40 seats in the Senate didn’t have a Democratic challenger. In the House, in 33 out of the 125 races Republicans ran unopposed. That means the election for those 33 seats was decided in the primaries in August.... I registered as a Republican... the first Republican in my family. My strategy... is... vote moderate over the extremist, then when it comes down to a moderate vs. a Democrat vote for the best candidate.... If I want to help change in this state, it’s going to have to be with moderates, not with Democrats....

When the election results come in and the extremists are voted out, maybe people will finally stop asking, 'What’s the matter with Kansas?'

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