Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Progressive Kansan Speaks Out About Emma and the Governor

 Yes, Virginia, there are liberals and progressives in Kansas.  This is a guest post by one of them  about Kansas teen tweeter, Emma Sullivan, (@emmakate988)  and the blowback from the office of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Jamagenie  writes on Hubpages and blogs at Saturday's Child. and always has something original and interesting to say.

Emma Sullivan
 Emma Sullivan, a high school student from Shawnee Mission, Kansas, is just barely old enough to vote and when she does, chances are she won't be marking any candidate in the "R" column after Republican governor Sam Brownback's communications director demanded Emma write a letter of apology to the guv for the tweet in which she "disrespected" him while attending - wait for it - a conference on government.

Being from Kansas, I've always wondered why Brownback traded a seat in the U.S. Senate and life inside the Beltway for the relative obscurity of the governorship of a state most non-residents can't remember passing through on their way to the bright lights of Denver, or Dallas, or St.Louis.

Bob Dole, after all, was so fond of being senator from a state he rarely visited except at re-election time, that you could've knocked me over with a feather when he resigned to run for prez. But, that's how it worked in the GOP back then.  Stick around long enough and the Oval Office would be yours. The political equivalent of  an Oscar for Lifetime Acheivement.  Try to forget OLAs are normally bestowed upon those so old they can barely get to the podium under their own power.  John McCain reminded us, but at least he had the good sense not to resign from the Senate before the votes were counted.

I can't say advanced age was the reason Ol' Bobby lost to Clinton, but I can tell you he had a presence(until the Viagra commercials, at least) that Brownback never will have.  For as long as I can remember, even before he acquired Liddy-The-Trophy-Wife, Bob Dole was treated like visiting royalty when he blessed us with his presence in the hinterland. Brownback, on the other hand, even when he was a senator, never elicited the same kiss-the-ring awe as Dole did. Hard to do that when you're kissing the ring of Bush43.

But that was then and this is now.  Brownback is "just" a governor, and of a state that doesn't have enough electoral votes to matter to presidential candidates. If his staffer was offended that a teenager figured out the guv "sucksalot" and said so, she not only needs a refresher course in the First Amendment, she also needs to consider a career change.

But then I'm guessing Ms. Communication Director can't be the sharpest tool in the woodshed if she unleashed the (perceived) power of the governor's office on a high school student attending a conferance on government.

Rather than being outraged, I haven't stopped laughing about the lesson she gave Emma and her fellow students about how government really works in the Sunflower State under Republican rule.

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