Letters to the Editor

Letter: Party first?

July 23, 2014


To the editor:

They didn’t have political parties in 1790, just Americans. Their word for “party” was “faction.” There were disagreements between the likes of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, but they identified themselves as Americans. George Washington refused to identify with any party. His enormous prestige tamped down parties. This fear of faction is reflected in the initial method for selecting president and vice president. Second place became vice president. This method rejects party; all candidates stood for the same idea: America.

The Federalist Papers repeatedly warn against the dangers of faction, what we now call parties — Republicans and Democrats. For true American patriots, parties serve the interests of the nation, not the reverse.

Recently, 103 former and current Republican officeholders publicly endorsed a Democrat, Paul Davis, for governor. Their reason: social and economic policies of the Brownback administration have been fiscally irresponsible and have hurt education and the economy. A 104th, former Rep. Jan Meyers, initially listed with the 103, has issued a statement disavowing support of Davis.

She said: “I’m trying to stay out of the race. … If I endorsed anyone, it would be Sam Brownback because he’s our Republican candidate.” The report finished with a quote that she was “trying to be a moderate,” but concluded she “would never publicly endorse a Democrat over a sitting Republican governor.”

Rep. Meyers’ support of Republicans, and her disdain for Democrats, highlights the problem of politics today. What would George Washington say of a representative of the people who supports her party first — right or wrong?


Scott Burkhart 3 years, 11 months ago

Typical liberal straw man. "If you don't compromise, you're really not an American patriot." The problem is that your idea of compromise means conservatives must agree with liberals, such as yourself. That's not compromising. That's going along to get along. Much like these 103 Republicans did that cost them their seats in Congress. Why don't you try agreeing with us for once. Here are some topics for you to choose from and feel free to get back to us when you want to "compromise". 1) ACA 2) Fast and Furious 3) IRS 4) Benghazi 5) Foreign Policy (lots of subsets in this one) 6) Enforcement of immigration laws 7) Transparency. Take your pick.

Philipp Wannemaker 3 years, 11 months ago

You are prime example of what letter writer was talking about.

Scott Burkhart 3 years, 11 months ago

So are you. See how the whole finger pointing thing works.

Bryan Moore 3 years, 11 months ago

Typical conservative B.S. What do you want to compromise on the ACA about? Is there a provision like - we agree to repeal the 'kids on parents insurance till 26' and you'll set up exchanges in the states that didn't opt to previously? Is that the type of compromise or is your idea of compromise letting the congress repeal it on their 50th attempt? If so, you don't want compromise you want elimination! Fast and Furious? What is it you want to compromise on? You want Holder to turn himself in to Sheriff Joe and beg forgiveness for running a sting operation that he was at best tangentially aware of? Benghazi? How many investigations do you want before you feel appeased? What is your idea of compromise? Obama and Clinton turn themselves over for execution? Foreign Policy is usually set by the President through the State department. Do you want a permanent Republican overseer for foreign policy is that your compromise? Should a Democratic President always have to clear Foreign policy with a Republican group before doing anything on the world stage? Emigration laws? Really? The least number of illegals crossing our southern border in decades and you want him to compromise on what? Even more increase in Border Patrol strength than he has already implemented? Do you want him to stop the deportation policy of prioritization of violent offenders going first and make sure more street taco vendors and hotel maids are roughed up and sent packing instead? Transparency is one thing I do have a beef with personally but it is not like Republican Presidents are all open doors, look at the books guy's either. Like a lot of things almost every politician says during campaigns, some things are far more difficult to achieve in practice than they are to muse about in a stump speech (Gitmo comes to mind). Let me know what your idea of compromise on these issues is (i.e. not just say "Benghazi" but tell us what the compromise would be) and then get back to us.

Linda and Bill Houghton 3 years, 11 months ago

Compromise is the action of both sides giving up some of their demands, not complete capitulation as Scott seems to want.

Scott Burkhart 3 years, 11 months ago

Oh, like in the ACA that was rammed through Congress on a completely partisan vote and they had to change the rules to get it passed. Is that what you mean by compromise? Or where Harry Reid changes Senate rules and invokes the "nuclear" option to get appointments approved? Is that compromise? Or where the President has lost 13 consecutive SCOTUS cases, by unanimous decisions, because he decided to go it alone with his pen and phone? That kind of "both sides giving up some of their demands", compromise?

Bryan Moore 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes the ACA was a compromise! The left wanted single payer but we adopted the old republican plan that is the ACA. Yes, it was rammed through congress with only a year or so of debate, oh the blinding speed of the U.S. government! Reid changed the rules after years of Republican obstructionism (was filibustering every nominee to practically every position the Republicans idea of a way to promote compromise?). Name the 13 cases that Obama has lost in the supreme court. I know you got this from FOX news because Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte was making that claim on Fox News Sunday early this month. You might want to check out what Factcheck.org says about that claim, they call it false. Politifact.com also gave it a false rating. Scotus blog called it a "concocted statistic". Richard Lempert, a nonresident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution and an emeritus law professor at the University of Michigan, reviewed Goodlatte’s list of cases for us and said that “only Noel Canning can be fairly cited to support this position. According to his spokeswoman, Goodlatte is pointing to nine Supreme Court decisions described in a report by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and another four unanimous decisions that have occurred since. Lempert told us Cruz’s characterization of the cases in his report “is for the most part dishonest.” Several of the cases began during the George W. Bush administration, and the Obama administration continued advocating the same position. Also, Lempert says, these cases weren’t about the extent of presidential power, but “rather they concerned technical and jurisdictional issues or the meaning of statutory language.” Factcheck.org 7/3/14.

James Howlette 3 years, 11 months ago

They should have done a better job ramming and passed a liberal bill instead of RomneyCare. Instead, they did all this compromising and allowed all these amendments only to have the GOP throw a collective fit and vote against the bill in the end.

MerriAnnie Smith 3 years, 11 months ago

Had Republicans agreed to compromise and work with Obama he'd have worked WITH them. You're blind if you can't see that.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 years, 11 months ago

It is really scary when Republican legislators are asked to sign a loyalty pledge. The only pledge they should have is a pledge to their constituents. If you put your party before your country, you cannot say you are patriotic; I don't care what party you are in.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 11 months ago

The basic problem here is the alarming number of people who are opposed to the President of the United States because of his race. Do not tell me I am wrong, you can hear the snide remarks and racist comments in nearly any gathering, and this attitude is still very present in American politics. The Republicans cannot accept the fact that the black senator from Illinois was elected over a white candidate and will do anything and everything to oppose him. It matters now how this attitude affects the citizens who elected him. Many people bought health insurance in accord with the Federal Law establishing the Affordable Care Act, but the Republicans in their spiteful hatred are trying to do anything do bring down this Federal Law and deprive millions of decent affordable health insurance. This attitude infects the state government of Kansas with the governor and legislature falling all over themselves to salve over the rampant racism that exists in the electorate and make stupid and illegal laws to try to oppose everything that the Federal Government does. But when Hillary Clinton runs for President (if she does) and gets elected, you will see a whole new display of prejudice and bigotry against women. This is the Republican way, white, male, "Christian" and "conservative".

Philipp Wannemaker 3 years, 11 months ago

Fred, excellent summation of most Republican party members.

Scott Burkhart 3 years, 11 months ago

The Obama campaign called Hillary a racist too. By your standards, the white, male, Christian, "conservative" is in pretty good company, huh?

Kevin Elliott 3 years, 11 months ago

It should be simple. You select a party that best represents the school of thought you subscribe to, but as an elected official, you are to represent ALL the people in your area, not just your party. If you do not understand that, I question your patriotism to this country. I mean that as harsh as it sounds.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 11 months ago

Scott says this is a liberal straw dog mantra: "If you don't compromise, you're really not an American patriot."

Actually, creating BOTH the Senate and House of Representatives by our founding fathers was a compromise based on fundamental differences of perception as to how we should run our country. Staw dogs were hard to find back in those days, Scott.

The bipartisanship institute lists great compromises throughout our history, including the Republican presidential candidates cancelling out each other and putting up a lawyer from Illinois named Lincoln to break the gridlock in their 1860 convention; 1945's wisdom from Sen. Vandenberg: "politics stops at the water's edge" winning out over bipartisan bickering over foreign policy; 1967's 27 Republicans joining 44 Democrats to break the Southern Democrat filibuster block and pass the Civil Rights Act thanks to the leadership displayed by both Republican Everett Dirksen and Democrat Mike Mansfield; and Kansas' own Bob Dole's efforts with George McGovern in 1973 to reform Food Stamps, with Moynihan in 1983 to reform Social Security, and with George Mitchell in 1990 to pass the American with Disabilities Act.

It's time to throw that "liberal straw dog" into the barn and use it as bedding to make it easier to clean up all the manure in there. Seems that there are those who know only how to polarize people even though there is most often far more in common than those few differences. I think that the Middle East is a cautionary tale about what kind of culture evolves from pursuing a polarized view of your neighbor for centuries on end.

Kathleen Ammel 3 years, 11 months ago

"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." -- Thomas Jefferson

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