Our 2010 election process is well underway with the primary in Kansas August 3rd. Kansas is a predictably Republican state, and usually our politics are fairly polite, perhaps much like those in the UK, or at least how we would imagine they would be. This year is an exception.
I suppose the problem is obvious. One of our two US Senators, Sam Brownback, is leaving his Senate seat open to run for governor. Two of our US Representatives, Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran(both GOP) are running for his seat. Both have been fairly popular in their own districts, and in reality there is probably not much difference between them. So, naturally both have resorted to convincing us the other is evil. Their running for the US Senate is leaving their respective House positions open, with 6 Republican contenders for Moran's seat, and I believe 5 for Tiahrt's. There are three front runners for Moran's 1st district spot, and each of them is spending a fortune lambasting the others. But the real fortune is being spent in the 4th district that takes in Wichita, where "Wink" Hartman has been running ads it seems since dirt was new, in reality I believe I saw the first one the end of April. His chief challenger Mike Pompeo also seems to have plenty of cash to spend, and they have been hurling insults and character abuse against each other for at least the last month, calling each other liars, not insinuating but saying it outright.
We live in the 1st and not the 4th and it has been fairly easy for me to decide who I will vote for in our own House race, but Mrs. KF and I have remarked more than once if we lived in the 4th we might not vote at all. Apparently we share that feeling with many in the 4th, because a dark horse emerged last week in the persona of Jean Schodorf, after running about 3 ads, she skyrocketed up the polls right past old Wink, who rumor has it has spent over $1 million of his own money in this race.
I think the overall effect of this race is to make everyone disgusted with politics(more than we already were). How can any of us know what is true, and who the biggest crook is, with a daily dose of propaganda coming full force, in emails, pop up ads on the computer, TV, radio, and the good old US mail in the form of flyers. I talked to another farmer several days ago who was advance voting because he and his wife were going on vacation. He told me they sat at the kitchen table discussing what to do, and finally decided between Moran and Tiahrt one would vote for Moran and the other for Tiahrt, so they could do no harm. How sad is that?
What will be especially amusing is watching the Republican party try to close ranks behind those who are victors in the primaries Tuesday. After all this name calling and mudslinging, suddenly like magic everything will be all better,and we will be called on to present a unified front in November, to send good Republicans to DC to battle Obama. At one time I thought Kansans were above all that, I guess we aren't. What our nation needs is a viable third party. More and more of us say it, whether or not it ever happens is unknown.