Kansas Congressmen discomfitingly quiet

By

Opinion

August 19, 2019 - 10:00 AM

Former Speaker of the U.S. House Tip O’Neill famously said, “All politics is local.” He was referring specifically to congressional races, where responding to local issues from a national perspective — farm subsidy payments, Social Security checks, small business loans, etc. — was crucial to winning re-election. O’Neill’s aphorism still applies, but only to an extent, as House districts trend more blue or red over time.

Indeed, today most politics is national, not local; we can decry partisanship and polarization, but they are facts of contemporary political life. Sometimes, however, the price of partisanship is simply too high. This is one of those times.

Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as those in the Kansas Legislature, must come to terms with their unblinking support for President Donald Trump, whose excesses place him outside the mainstream of American politics. To be sure, he retains a 42 or 43 percent job approval rating and a hard core of supporters, but many of them question his fitness, capabilities, and policy preferences. For example, across several polls, more than 40% of Republicans think that immigrants strengthen the country. 

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