Kansas, We Need to Talk: It’s Not Me, It’s You
Kansas, I’ve lived in you all my life. I think I know you pretty well. I throw some shade, but I want the best for you. I really do. Which is why I’ve called you here today. You’re losing your grip on reality, and I’m worried.
This is an intervention.
It’s been a banner year for horrible and discriminatory laws in the Sunflower State. The Kansas Legislature (the House, specifically) is just an Algonquin round table of loathsome governance. But this madness has metastasized throughout the state government. Like I said, I’m a lifelong Kansan, so you’d think I’d be immune to your behavior. However, you’ve stepped over a line I usually reserve for evolution denial and New World Order conspiracy theories.
You’ve entered birther territory.
According to the Topeka Capitol-Journal:
Three of the state’s top elected Republicans on Thursday determined they lacked sufficient evidence of President Barack Obama’s birth records to decide whether to remove the Democratic nominee from the November ballot in Kansas.
The State Objections Board comprised of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer postponed until Monday action on a complaint filed by a Manhattan resident pending review of a copy of Obama’s birth certificate from Hawaii.
“I don’t think it’s a frivolous objection,” Kobach said. “I do think the factual record could be supplemented.”
What is wrong with you? Are you really threatening to remove Obama’s name from the ballot because you think he’s not a natural born citizen of the United States? Did you miss the part when he released his long-form birth certificate? He’s selling it on a gawd damned mug!
But we have to investigate it! Because Kenya!
Joe Montgomery, who filed the challenge with the all-Republican panel, said Obama should be removed from the Kansas ballot. The president’s father was from Kenya and that raised questions about whether Obama was eligible to run for the nation’s highest office, he said.
“As for Mr. Obama’s citizenship, there are many doubts,” Montgomery said. “Doing the right thing can be hard and unpopular.”
Luckily, one party in this needless drama has come to their senses: Joe Montgomery. Because of the backlash he received, Montgomery withdrew his complaint to the state Objections Board. So all’s well that end’s well, I guess. But none of this mitigates the fact that neither Kobach, Schmidtddf or Colyer had the political courage to stand up to say that this is wrong. What, precisely, were you trying to prove? That you are on the same nonstop train to Bananas Town that Donald Trump in on? You have been selected to represent the best interests of Kansans. Instead you are wasting time and making us look foolish.
The sad thing is, this isn’t even the most irresponsible thing you’ve done this week. You’re also screwing your citizens over so you can throw a hissy fit about Obamacare.
Kansas has 350,000 uninsured people, 53,000 of them children. But that’s not keeping Gov. Sam Brownback from being a real jerk about health care exchanges, the provision in the Affordable Care Act that would make it easier for people to comparison shop for health insurance. (Otherwise known as “letting the free market decide.”) According to HutchNews.com:
The federal law requires each state to operate an exchange by 2014, and plans must be submitted by Nov. 16 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Kansas has not started to set one up because of opposition to the entire law by Brownback and fellow Republicans who dominate the Legislature.
Last year, Brownback returned a $31.5 million federal grant to assist the state with the computer infrastructure for an exchange.
Brownback said if Romney is elected, states are likely to get a blanket waiver from the requirement to have exchanges. Under the law, the federal government could operate its own exchange if a state refused to set one up.
Whaaaaa? What are you doing? Are you lazy? Do you just not want to do any work? Why are you doing this? So, in protest of government overreach you guarantee that the federal government will operate the healthcare exchange? This makes sense to you?
Luckily, this Ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani has not infected every Republican.
But Kansas House Insurance Committee Chairman Clark Shultz, a Lindsborg Republican, said state officials ought to at least discuss what options Kansas has should an exchange be required.
“It seems that we should at least have something in mind on how we go forward if we need to,” Shultz said.
I…I…I just don’t know what to do. It’s like you’ve abandoned all responsibility for the people who live in you, and you’ve abandoned all reason to boot. And that abandonment of reason, that’s the real tragedy. Because you can’t have a productive conversation with an irrational person. Which means cooperation is nearly impossible, because you don’t know what the other side wants. All of this means that governing a diverse population nearly impossible.
What can I say to make you listen? You’re going down a very bad road. You’re affirming a thoroughly debunked birther conspiracy theory! This can’t go on. Please. I want to help you. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step.
I’m not holding my breath.