Soon, the Topeka Capital-Journal won’t have Sam Brownback to kick around anymore, but that’s not stopping the editorial board members from lacing up their steel-toeds for a few final rounds.
Forget giving thanks or even just setting aside politics in favor of mashed potatoes and stuffing. Not on the Cap-J’s watch. The information is not readily available in the pages of the Topeka daily, but there’s plenty to be grateful for in Kansas. Since 2011, personal incomes are up. Unemployment is at a near record low. The private sector is growing. Wages are up. Schools are receiving the highest amount of state funding in Kansas history. The editorial board, though, can’t be bothered to count blessings. On Thanksgiving, the Topeka daily took yet another opportunity to kick the Kansas Governor–this time, for his graciousness in allowing Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer to take hold of the reins of Kansas Government in preparation of Brownback’s departure.
Brownback is slated to become the Ambassador for Religious Liberty at the U.S. State Department, assuming the U.S. Senate can stop stuffing its face with Al Franken’s sexual harassment apologies long enough to hold a confirmation vote. Senate Democrats are attempting to spike Brownback’s nomination, in part, because papers like the Topeka Capital-Journal give them a pass to be as nasty as they want to be.
Readers should recall how graciously Kansas Republicans smoothed President Obama’s nomination of then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. There was then-Sen. Brownback waxing poetic about Obama’s choice to take over one-sixth of the nation’s economy. There, too, was Sen. Pat Roberts extolling the virtues of Sebelius. This was despite the objections of several pro-life groups that accurately recognized Sebelius’ stance on abortion on-demand –whenever, however, and as often as possible–made her a particularly abhorrent candidate to run the nation’s healthcare system. Still, Senate Republicans led by Kansas’ delegation, greased the wheels of her nomination, and the rest is history.
Brownback’s ascension to the state department hasn’t been smooth, and now, his confirmation is in doubt. Despite the snafus in Washington, Brownback has worked to ease the transition to a new Governor. One would think, after the nearly endless barrage of Cap-J editorials bashing Brownback, that the lobbyist-infused editorial board would be loading up on egg nog and toasting his departure while scribbling whatever words they could to help the nomination along.
Instead, they wait until Thanksgiving to add another kick. This time, the editorial board is fuming, because Brownback is smoothing a coming transition.
“In case you forgot, Sam Brownback is still the governor of Kansas,” the editorial snarks. The Governor recently allowed the Lt. Governor to make an appointment to head the Department of Child and Family Services. Meanwhile, Colyer and his team are crafting a budget proposal for next year.
The Cap-J cushions its kicks to the state’s top executive by pretending to feel sorry for Colyer. The Lt. Governor, they write, is in an uncomfortable position as Brownback’s replacement-in-waiting.
Colyer faces “a difficult primary against Secretary of State Kris Kobach and needs an opportunity to distinguish himself from his unpopular boss,” the editorial reads. They also toss in Brownback’s low approval rating for good measure. (Some people reasonably wonder whether poll takers interview only newspaper editorial writers when gathering approval ratings.)
In addition to putting Colyer in a tight spot, the editorial bemoans how confusing the situation is to everyone else.
“As Senate President Susan Wagle recently noted, ‘I really don’t know who’s going to deliver the State of the State,’” the editorial reads.
That’s correct. The editorial board thinks not knowing who is going to deliver a rarely watched address to the Kansas Legislature is throwing everyone into mass confusion and hysteria. O ye of little faith, editorial board. Colyer and Wagle are certainly smart enough to work through that tiny bit of uncertainty. They’ll be fine.
Still, readers should be concerned about editorial writers at the Cap-J. When Brownback leaves office, they’ll have to start fresh finding new ways to bash the latest administration. Readers can hope the they will begin to focus on real issues instead of baseless character attacks, but readers probably shouldn’t hold their breath.