Views from Kansas: Moran, Roberts need to say ‘no’

Editor’s Note: Views from Kansas is a regular feature that highlights editorials and other viewpoints from across the state.

Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts are probably the most likable guys in the U.S. Senate. They understand the issues facing Kansas, plead for agricultural interests and, depending upon the makeup of the crowd they are addressing, stay bullish on opposition to President Donald Trump’s ludicrous trade war — especially against friendly neighbors.

Still, there’s a bit of a wink as they talk so tough when addressing farmers, yet kiss the president’s woefully fake ring. In truth, we like both of these senators when they come to our parades, Farm Bureau meetings and county Republican meetings, yet they lack courage when it comes to being the rogues that America so desperately needs.

Moran and Roberts speak the language that mesmerizes folks who live along Elm and Spring streets in towns like Emporia, Valley Falls and Wellington. But they choke when it comes to spitting out three words that are so needed in Washington: “No, Mr. President”

They, like most Republican lawmakers, give Donald Trump automatic passes on everything from basic immorality to his lack of reading documents handed to him by aides, to his obsessive habit of tweeting inane comments sometimes three dozen times in one day.

When the president claims his wide-sweeping tariffs will benefit this nation, even though they strangle farmers, manufacturers and retailers in the process, Moran and Roberts grow sheepishly quiet –at least when their party leader is present.

When American soybean producers want nothing more than open international markets, these senators cheer loudly. But at the end of each day, they both remain loyalists to a president who probably thinks soybeans are served with caviar at Mar-a-Lago.

Roberts and Moran were pictured this week with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue as they supposedly discussed the trade war. That makes for good press, but it still doesn’t puncture the wall of rhetoric that the president believes will align the stars — if people will just follow him.

With Roberts owing nothing to anyone, since he is not running for election, and Moran grasping such a good feel for Main Street Kansas, it is the ideal time for them both to ponder the misery that Trump’s tariffs are dealing rural America and use their voices to say in unison: “No, Mr. President.”

— Originally published in the Montgomery County Chronicle

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