Wednesday, May 31, 2006

As the Kansas Republican Party crumbles, you have to wonder what will happen nationally

Former Kansas Republican Party Chairman Mark Parkinson’s leap from the GOP to the Democratic Party became complete today when Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius announced she had picked Parkinson as her running mate.

As the ultra-right folks who’ve taken over the state GOP called Parkinson a hypocrite, the rest of us political junkies alternated between being stunned and wondering why such a switch took so long.

Kansas Republicans have been at war with each other for years. Moderates like Parkinson and former Republican/now Democrat Paul Morrison have been pushed aside by the religious right and the megachurches. Morrison, by the way, is a former GOP stalwart who switched to the Democratic Party to run against the state’s wildly right-wing attorney general, Phill Kline.

Earlier today the Lawrence Journal-World talked about the sense of moderate Republicans that the GOP has left sanity behind.
They pointed to the Republican majority on the Kansas State Board of Education, which adopted science standards that criticize evolution and hired as education commissioner Bob Corkins, who had no experience in the education field and proposed using tax dollars for private schools. And they pointed to some in the GOP who spend most of their time focusing on opposing abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

“The right-wing nature of the party is what is causing good people like Mark Parkinson to leave the Republican Party,” said Andy Wollen, chairman of the
Kansas Traditional Republican Majority. “It is scary and dangerous.”

As everyone knows, Kansas is an overwhelmingly Republican state. But the rock-solid GOP voters of the past are decidedly unhappy these days. SurveyUSA’s most recent results tell the tale.

The approval rating of the Democrat governor is 61 percent, while her disapproval is at 31 percent in a poll released May 18. Our Republican senators, Sam Brownback (48 percent approval) and Pat Roberts (49 percent approval) are sinking in voters' favor for the first time in history. Meanwhile, our not-so-beloved president is given only a 35 percent approval rating, compared to 61 percent disapproval, in a state that twice voted overwhelmingly for him.

If the old-line GOP folks are jumping ship in the reddest of red states, you do have to wonder what will happen nationally. Have folks finally had enough?

1 comment:

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