In a Pitch article that gets almost everything wrong, former Kansas City Starreporter Barbara Shelly allows moderate Republican Representative Melissa Rooker to state one undeniable truth: “I’m in the midst of a fairly ugly campaign being waged by the very far left.”
Rooker continues, “Right now Democrats say compromise is bad. My opponent is being supported by a group of people pushing the narrative that the GOP is a party of fascists and anyone who’s part of the GOP is a fascist.”
Although a relatively liberal Republican–only six Democrats had lower scores on the 2018 KPI Freedom Index–Rooker is not a classic RINO. She identifies for reasons Shelly cannot understand as a Republican and was willing to have her photo taken with Rep. Kevin Yoder.
Nowhere in the article does Rooker denounce President Trump or gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach. Nor does she repeat that timeless RINO chestnut, “I’m not leaving the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me.”
The article might have held some interest if Shelly had explored why the Democratic mood towards someone as benign as Rooker was so “ugly.” She tells us, “Rooker’s opponent is Rui Xu, one of a wave of candidates who were shocked into political activism by the election of Donald Trump in 2016.”
Beyond that, however, Shelly offers no explanation as to how that shock has affected lives in Kansas. Are Kansans less prosperous that they were two years ago? Are they less free? As to issues, Xu questions Rooker’s “support for net neutrality and criticizes her Yes vote for a bill that allows higher concentrations of chickens on farms.”
Walking door to door, where nuance is lost in brief exchanges, Rooker is facing the kind of treatment conservatives routinely receive even in public forums. Shelly, for instance, feels free to say of Kobach, “He promises harsh and bigoted policies that would make the Brownback debacle look like the good old days.”
Concerns about net neutrality have not driven Democrats mad. And Lord knows, the “higher concentration of chickens” bothers no one in Rooker’s district other than Xu.
No, what has turned the mood ugly are reporters willing to call a candidate like Kobach “harsh and bigoted” and still think what they are doing is “journalism.”