The State of Kansas is red — a scarlet red so deep that us poor blue Kansans can barely make a dent in its crimson density. Kansas is so ultra-conservative that, despite dire warnings of what would happen if Sam Brownback were elected to a second term as governor, he won by a hefty margin and made us the laughingstock of the nation.
Brownback’s failures as governor are legend. His economic ‘plan’ has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in budget shortfalls that have decimated the state, resulting in slash-and-burn cuts to everything from education to health care. Kansas is falling short on everything from revenue to job growth, and the state’s bond rating has been downgraded — TWICE.
Still, it comes as a bit of a surprise that in a recent statewide survey conducted by Fort Hays State University, only 18% of Kansans said they were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ satisfied with Brownback’s performance. Conversely, 28% of respondents said they satisfied with Democratic President Barack Obama’s performance.
President Obama’s popularity in Red State Kansas is now 10 percentage points higher than its own governor, Sam Brownback.
Now 28% is by no means a ringing endorsement, but it’s not surprising since Obama has long been reviled here in Koch territory. However, the mere fact that he rates a full 10 percentage points higher than the State’s own governor speaks volumes.
While this may seem just a Kansas issue, it has a broader, nationwide message. Prior to Brownback’s re-election, there were quite a few governors who tried to adopt his experimental economic policies. However, they were prevented from doing so by both their state legislatures and the electorate. Not Brownback. With the rubber stamp of the Republican state legislature and the rah-rah cheering of national leaders such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Brownback was given free rein to run Kansas right into the ground.
Here’s the truly frightening part. Brownback’s economic model is the very same one Republicans wanted to impose on the nation. And they still can. All they need is a far-right president in conjunction with a far-right majority Congress.
Scares the hell out of you, doesn’t it? And just in time for Halloween.