Martin Hawver
Guest Columnist
Last weekend the Kansas Republican State Committee voted, well, we guess it would be: If you can’t say something nice about somebody (and by clear implication for us political junkies, nothing nice about somebody else) don’t say anything at all.
It’s a sort of off-beat twist on that advice your mother gave you, but it rang clear Saturday in Wichita at the semi-annual meeting of the Kansas GOP’s leaders, and it probably says something that Republicans, of course, and in this case, Democrats, ought to hear.
The issue was the vote by Congress to raise the debt ceiling, in which the six-member all-Republican Kansas delegation split in half. U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp of the 1st District voted against the debt ceiling bump, as did 3rd District Rep. Kevin Yoder, and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran. Reps. Lynn Jenkins of the 2nd District and Mike Pompeo of the 4th voted for the bill, as did U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts.
OK, so before the state committee meeting, the party chairs of the districts represented by Huelskamp and Yoder ginned up a resolution to congratulate the two for voting against the Obama administration-pushed debt ceiling hike, oh and toss in congratulations for Moran, too.
Well, that clear-cut boost for just Huelskamp, Yoder and Moran got turned around and watered-down by the party’s resolutions committee which wouldn’t go for the by implication blasting of Jenkins, Pompeo and Roberts.
What did the resolutions committee come up with to present for an up-or-down vote by the leaders of the state’s GOP? A resolution that blasts President Barack Obama for “failure to lead in addressing the serious economic woes this nation is facing which were created due to the liberal policies of his administration.” Expected that, didn’t you?
The recast resolution essentially applauds the entire delegation for, well, we guess, showing up with neatly combed hair. No, scratch that—that leaves out Roberts.
The recast resolution applauds the entire delegation (including those who voted for the debt ceiling raiser) for “persistent efforts to prove to the voters of Kansas that Republicans can be trusted to continue advocating for strong reforms in Washington and further cuts in governmental spending,” whether they voted for the debt ceiling hike or not.
Not exactly a resolution that you’d run out to have framed, is it?
You probably get a better idea when you learn that Huelskamp’s 1st District delegates rejected the “praise ‘em all” resolution 29-3, and Yoder’s 3rd District delegation voted 30-8 against the resolution which gave all six legislators the equivalent of a Miss Congeniality award.
Overall, the resolution failed, 96 no to 61 yes.
Clearly, if you can’t pick and choose among Kansas’ members of Congress for praise, then conservatives aren’t interested in just praising members of Congress for being there…oh, or for being elected as Republicans…
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