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View Diary: Alone in Kansas (173 comments)

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  •  Great diary. (16+ / 0-)

    We seem to be getting many more liberal Kansans' perspectives on dkos recently, and I am thrilled with that development.

    A couple of things (opinions really) that I think are worth mentioning here:

    1) Obama has driven these people nuts. As I posted in the last Kansas-centric diary, and as you point out, there was a time - very recently, in fact - when such a thing as "moderate Republicans" existed in Kansas, and when conservative candidates won in the GOP primary, the moderates would back the Democrat in the general election  (see, e.g., Kathleen Sebelius). Since 2008, this has all changed. The moderates have apparently been made crazy by Obama - it's the only thing that's really changed since Sebelius was last elected (other than the crazy slate the Kansas GOP consistently puts forward). These moderates have morphed into Birchers, unfortunately.

    2) The type of people mentioned in this diary are, again unfortunately, the majority in this state. The single most succinct and accurate thing I have ever heard about these Kansas wingnuts was spoken by our president, albeit in a different context: "They are proud of their ignorance." Don't kid yourselves - most of them know the government is not going to bust down their door to seize their weapons - they are simply not that crazy. What has happened is that radical right-wing ideology and paranoid fantasies have become a sort of article of faith among these wingnuts - a shibboleth. Belief in these psychotic ideas is a tribal marker for these people.  They know their friends are radical right-wingers, and thus they themselves must be radical right-wingers.

    What's truly sad, and reprehensible, really, is that these people are who Thomas Frank was talking about in his book several years ago. They see their children's class size increasing every year, they see skyrocketing tuition to the state universities, they see their local roads crumbling, and they don't care. All they know is that "liberals" support teachers and teachers unions, so what if the same teachers trying to educate their dumbass kids are fired or given pay cuts? These people get their $250 tax cut, and call it good.

    What has changed since Frank wrote his book is that the social and economic wings of the GOP here have melded, creating what I term the unitary wingnut voting bloc. Jesus hates abortion, and was a free-market, tax-cutting supply-sider to boot; as a result, so is your average Kansas wingnut. The Kochs have been a large impetus behind this consolidation into a monolithic socially and economically conservative wingnut mass. I won't lie - I hate these people.

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