[Governor] Brownback set things up [for a citizen revolt in Kansas] by launching what he called, proudly and unapologetically, a “real, live experiment” that he hoped would provide a model of red-state governance. He pushed steep income and business tax cuts through the Legislature, insisting that his program would spur unprecedented economic growth. The results so far have been less than inspiring: large budget deficits, credit downgrades, and substantial cuts in education spending, some of which were reversed only because of a court order. Only rarely does an election pose such a clear philosophical and policy choice.
What it means to be Kansas is precisely what’s at stake, and it’s why [candidate for Governor] Davis’ campaign uses #RestoreKansas—a traditionalist’s slogan when you think about it—as its Twitter battle cry. The choice Davis is offering is not between liberalism and conservatism but between two kinds of conservatism—the deeply anti-government tea party kind, and an older variety that values prudence and fiscal restraint but also expects government to provide, as Davis put it, “the basic services that are essential to the state’s vitality.”
Most recent polls (from PollTracker) have Davis running ahead of Brownback.
Among those who came out to greet Davis here was David Toland, executive director of Thrive Allen County, a social service and economic development organization. He summarized why the decision here matters so much.
“If moderates are starting to push back against the extremism of the Republican Party in Kansas, I cannot believe they won’t be pushing back in other states,” Toland said. “This is a state with a strong conservative tradition that’s in open rebellion against the policies of its own party.”
So, Toto, there may be hope for KS after all. And maybe some hope for crAZy as well.
Dionne's article is a good read on its own, but the photo of a tornado on the midwestern plains at sunset is a work of art and not to be missed.