The Corner

How Conservatives Won the Heart of America

That’s the subtitle of the book that made Thomas Frank’s career. Its success was predicated on the fact that people from anyplace but Kansas assume, very wrongly, that conservatives always win there.

Nevertheless, it’s a mantra of Frank’s that in Kansas, as he recently told a WSJ video interviewer, there’s always a pull toward the “right, right, right.” Since nobody knows much about Kansas, including, apparently, Thomas Frank, the show goes on.

Here, via the Topeka Cap-Journal, is the news today from Kansas:

The Kansas Senate fell one vote short of overriding Gov. Mark Parkinson’s veto of an abortion bill…The bill would have required doctors to submit more detailed reports to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment about abortions of viable fetuses after the 21st week of pregnancy. Such abortions are allowed in Kansas only to save the woman’s life or prevent major long-term damage to her physical or mental health.

The bill also would have allowed patients to file lawsuits against physicians if there was evidence an abortion was conducted in violation of state law.

I note this every now and then, but just for the record:

1. Mark Parkinson is a liberal Democrat, as was his predecessor, Kathleen Sebelius.

2. There has never been a conservative Republican governor of Kansas.

3. In fact, for most of the last half-century, the governor of Kansas has been a Democrat.

4. The legislature, controlled since the beginning of time by Democrats and liberal Republicans, routinely defeats even mild conservative efforts, like this one intended to simply monitor compliance with state law.

5. “Moderate” Republicans (see above) routinely switch parties when it’s politically expedient to do so. Parkinson, for example, used to run the state’s GOP.

6. In Kansas, the lieutenant-governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all appointed Democrats.

7. Aside from Sam Brownback and a one-term attorney general, Phill Kline, no conservative has ever won a statewide election in Kansas.

8. There has never been a conservative named to the Kansas’ supreme court; a witch-hunting liberal justice, Carol Beier, a Sebelius appointee, is blatant in her efforts to punish Phill Kline and his assistant, Eric Rucker, both honorable prosecutors, for attempting to investigate Planned Parenthood after being asked by district court judges to do so. I’ve written about it here and here before, and so has Kathryn.

9. We had to write those pieces because in Kansas, there is not a single newspaper who would give Phill Kline and his team fair coverage. The Kansas City Star, for example, accepts awards from abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.

Just saying.

Denis BoylesDennis Boyles is a writer, editor, former university lecturer, and the author/editor of several books of poetry, travel, history, criticism, and practical advice, including Superior, Nebraska (2008), Design Poetics (1975), ...


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