Friday, September 19, 2014

Poetry and Politics: The Case of Chad Taylor Reveals Kris Kobach's (Lack of) Character

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach
Kris Kobach’s mishandling of the withdrawal of Democrat Chad Taylor from the US Senate race is beyond the pale, and Senator Pat Roberts’ response to it causes me to question the Senator’s judgment.  I am withdrawing my support from Kris Kobach and quite possibly from Pat Roberts as well.

Kansas law states (I paraphrase) that in order to withdraw from a race, a candidate must do so in writing before a certain deadline, and that the withdrawal letter must include a reason why the candidate is or would be unfit to carry out the duties of the office if elected.  Now, that is a poorly written and possibly unconstitutional law--a candidate should be able to withdraw at any time for any reason or no reason.  A person cannot be forced to work against his will, the incarcerated perhaps excepted. 

However, questionable though the law may be, Mr. Kobach was within his prerogative not to accept Mr. Taylor’s withdrawal letter, as the letter clearly did not include any reference to unfitness to serve.  Mr. Kobach missed an opportunity here to rise above partisan politics by refusing to enforce a bad law.  However, he chose partisan politics over principle and enforced the law to the letter (pun intended).  This I could forgive, the missed opportunity notwithstanding.

But today Mr. Kobach did something that I cannot forgive.

Former US Senate candidate Chad Taylor wound up having to sue the state of Kansas in order to have his name removed from the ballot.  The Kansas Supreme Court rightly decided in Mr. Taylor’s favor and ordered Secretary Kobach to remove Taylor’s name. 

Here was another opportunity for Mr. Kobach to rise above partisan politics.  All this supposed lover of our system of checks and balances had to do was respectfully disagree with the court and grudgingly comply.  Were he a real prince, he might have even said that while he was disappointed with the court’s decision, he remained thankful that the governments of Kansas and of our country have a separation of powers.

Instead, Mr. Kobach announced today that he will withdraw Chad Taylor from the ballot, but the Kansas Democratic Party must offer a candidate to replace Taylor on the ballot by September 26...or else.  So, he intends to force the Democratic Party to run in a race in which they have chosen not to run?  This from an outspoken opponent of Obamacare on the grounds that Americans should not be forced to buy health insurance if they don’t want to do so? 

This response is not just out of control.  This response is ABOUT control. 

This response reveals that Mr. Kobach does not really care about freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, or even the right to vote. 

This response reveals Kris Kobach for what he truly is:  a Machiavellian demagogue who cares only about his own partisan political ambitions.

I never thought that I, a politically active Republican, would ever say this, but I agree with Democratic Chairwoman Joan Wagnon when she said that Kris Kobach “cannot be trusted.”  I will be voting for his opponent, Democrat Jean Schodorf, and encourage all of my loyal readers from Kansas to do the same.  Information about Ms. Schodorf and her campaign may be found here:

US Senator from Kansas Pat Roberts
Senator Pat Roberts’ reaction to the Kansas Supreme Court decision is not only blatantly partisan but also laughable.  Mr. Roberts went on record as being against the court’s decision, and then went on to say that Kansas Democrats have been “disenfranchised” by the removal of Chad Taylor from the ballot.  PUL--EASE! 

Far from being disenfranchised, with Chad Taylor--who had no chance of winning--out of the way, the Democrats in Kansas now have a viable chance to elect Independent candidate Greg Orman to the US Senate--a man who, conservatively (pun intended) supports at least fifty percent of the principles that Democrats hold dear.  Kansas Democrats know perhaps better than most that half a loaf is better than none.  Kansas Democrats may actually have a chance for at least some of their views to be represented in the US Senate for the first time since the Great Depression--a fact that Roberts well knows.

Mr. Roberts missed the same opportunities as Mr. Kobach to be a man of principle instead of partisan politics.  It would have been so easy for him to claim the moral high ground.  The fact that he did not calls his judgment into question.  I, for one, am going to give Greg Orman a second look.

Democratic Candidate for Kanas Secretary of State Jean Schodorf
Kandidate Kris Kobach

A cog
A frog
A demagogue

No free speecher

No longer trusted

Be deft
Look left

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