Election 2018

Kris Kobach is Gone

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Kris Kobach's defeat was not at the very top of my wish list (a position occupied by Scott Walker), but it was certainly one of the best outcomes of yesterday's elections.

The Kansas secretary of state was defeated by Democratic challenger Laura Kelly who, like Tony Evers in Wisconsin, promised to restore sanity in her victory speech last night.

"The people of Kansas spoke and they spoke so loudly," she said. "Today, Kansans voted for change, not only in the direction of the state, but a change in the tone of our state." [...]

"What happened in Kansas today is different than anywhere else in the nation," Kelly said. "And I believe that you know, there will be a lot of talk around America about the "blue wave," but I don't believe that's what's happened here in Kansas. What happened in Kansas was a wave of common sense, a wave of bipartisanship. This wasn't one side beating the other, it was Democrats and Republicans and Independents all coming together to put our state back on track because we all know we have faced challenges over the last eight years like no other state."

Calls for bipartisanship aside, Kelly is undoubtedly going to run into opposition in the state legislature on several key issues, but that's okay. The state can handle that.

What the state and the rest of the nation could not handle is the second coming of Sam Brownback that Kobach promised he would be.

Kobach would have regressed through all the progress Kansas has made since rolling back Sam Brownback's signature tax "experiment" that bankrupted the state and led to a years-long fight over judicial independence itself.

Kobach's ascension would have had implications for the rest of the country as it would have furthered his aggressive efforts to suppress voters and deport immigrants. His policies as governor could have been replicated in Congress just like Sam Brownback's tax cuts were.

Just the same, Kobach's defeat also has implications for the rest of the country and it's a fairly clear signal that we can no longer ask 'what's the matter with Kansas?'

The fact is, after yesterday elections which also saw a Native American lesbian Democrat (Sharice Davids) defeat one of Trump's allies (Kevin Yoder), Kansas may be closer to being a purple state than Florida is. All it took was Sam Brownback showing them what the end game of Republican policy looks like.

  • mnpollio

    Unfortunately both Andrew Gillum and Beto O’Rourke lost their races. Which demonstrates how screwed up the majority of people in the states of Texas and Florida are – although this was far from a surprise. In short, a majority of people in those states are apparently A-OK with the chronic racism, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, hatred towards the poor and middle class, and over-the-top cruelty and brutality we have witnessed nonstop for the past two years.

    Truthfully, while I am thrilled the Democrats regained the House, I am less than thrilled with the notion that there were still an abundance of American citizens that are seemingly fine with the behavior of Der Fuehrer Trump and his Neo-Nazi administration. I am also keeping my fingers crossed that the Dems do not follow Trump’s advice and place Nancy Pelosi (“I’m afraid there is nothing we can do..”) in charge again. She is already making noise about being cautious and not going after Trump. They need a strong leader/crusader at the helm at this point – not another dose of the Pelosi/Reid/Schumer hand-wringing/bipartisanship at all costs from the sidelines, which lets the Repugs get away with murder in the spirit of “reaching across the aisle to get stuff done” meme. You know – the same actions that worked so well for them during the Bush years and set the stage for this current atrocity.

  • muselet

    Kris Kobach’s loss makes me unreasonably happy, given that I’m half a continent away from Kansas.

    We haven’t heard the last of Kobach, of course. For all I know, he’ll be nominated for Attorney General after Donald Trump fires Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. For now, it’s enough to know he’s an unemployed hack lawyer who’ll soon have to schlep bankers boxes full of personal stuff out of Memorial Hall in Topeka by himself (it’s too much to hope a security guard demands to inspect the contents of the boxes, but a man can dream).

    –alopecia

    • Unfortunately, Kobach will now have plenty of extra time to draft crappy ultra-conservative state legislation for ALEC that my state will adopt and then waste millions of my tax dollars to defend against its unconstitutionality in Federal Court. But I am very glad for Kansas.

      • muselet

        Yeah, you’re right, he’ll probably end up occupying the office next door to Scott Walker at the Institute for the Study of Prosperity and Freedom or some such. The nation won’t be rid of him for decades.

        –alopecia

  • Georgie
  • Draxiar

    Hopefully when/if Laura Kelly raises taxes to pull Kansas out of the Brownback/Kobach damage the residents won’t squawk and vote in a trickle down asshole like Brownback/Kobach in 4 years.