by Max Brantley
Here's the Tea Party-wished conclusion of the creation of a monolithic Republican Party (NY Times):
In eight years in the Kansas Legislature, State Senator Dick Kelsey said, he never voted for a tax increase and frequently supported spending cuts. As an evangelical pastor, a staunch opponent of abortion and an acknowledged leader in the fight to elect conservative lawmakers, he has been endorsed by Kansans for Life and the National Rifle Association.
But after publicly criticizing elements of Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax plan this year, Mr. Kelsey found himself among a cluster of conservative Republican state senators that a more conservative coalition here is working to defeat in Tuesday’s primary elections.
It's that old time religion and it's evident in the rising Republican bloc in Arkansas. No moderation. No consensus. No compromise. One true church. Black and white. No gray. A moderate is anyone who deviates even a microscopic degree from "truth."
Noted: The Koch Bros.' Americans for Prosperity is bankrolling the extremist takeover in Kansas, just as it is working to do in Arkansas, where it worked for election of extremist Republicans in primaries and has even put the spouse of an extremist legislator on the payroll.
The Kansas experience likely provides a parallel for Arkansas, where the Republican Party platform draft first considered proposing a repeal of the income tax with an increase in the sales tax to offset at least some of the loss. Conservatives prevailed in calling for repeal of the income tax, period. That would hit a $3 billion lick to government services. Hooray, the extremists say. In Kansas:
Moderates said conservatives were too preoccupied with ideology and purity tests, which they called an all-or-nothing approach — even when it is impractical. This year, for instance, conservatives pushed through the largest tax cut in Kansas history, one that is expected to shave state revenue by more than a billion dollars over two years, at a time the state can ill afford to lose money, moderates say.
The Hubbards, Mauchs, Bells, Raperts, etc., would be right at home in Kansas.
One candidate for the State Senate, Matthew Windheuser, was asked where he stood on social issues. “My first gun was an AK-47,” he responded, drawing approving laughter from an audience that included a man whose T-shirt read “Real Patriots Join Rightwingamerica.com.”