Politics, as noted many times in this column, is all about winners and losers.
After being elected as chairman of the Kansas Republican Party recently, Kris Kobach, a noted conservative who failed in his bid to unseat moderate or liberal U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore in 2004, rightfully had winning on his mind. Republicans "got killed" in the 2006 elections, Kobach reportedly said, and "without dramatic action," he predicted, "we'll be killed again" in 2008.
The new chairman was trying to mobilize the party faithful, one would hope, to elect people to office who would be properly motivated and serve Kansas well. But Kobach had another goal in mind.
"We can't knock the governor out of office in '08, but we can make her life much more difficult," Kobach said, apparently referring to gaining enough seats in the Kansas Legislature to block initiatives and override vetoes made by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
Is that the best policy for the Kansas Republican Party? An effort focused on stymieing action by the governor and others rather than initiating or proposing progressive legislation for the good of the state?
If there was any overriding message from the November elections, it was that voters wanted to see government run in a different, more cooperative, less contentious manner. Those of both parties who failed to get that message are likely to be the ones who get "killed" in the election of 2008.