Republican Dreams Shattered as Koch Ideology Flops In Red State Kansas


Republicans and their teabagger cohort have claimed they want to take the country back to an era of wonderment, morality, and prosperity if only they controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. Their Koch brother funders claim, like Republicans, that if Americans could only understand the beauty of their libertarian vision for America, they would vote en masse for Republicans and watch the country thrive and prosper economically in a socially conservative promised land where religion and Koch ideology rules.

If any American took the most extreme Republican members of Congress and combined them into one super-conservative, they would produce Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Brownback is a religious right extremist, Koch brother and ALEC ideologue, anti-government teabagger, and Bush-economic sycophant with an equally hard-right legislature taking Kansas in the direction Republicans want to take America. The state of Kansas is precisely what Koch-Republicans envision for America if not for those pesky Democrats in the Senate and the White House, and they want voter approval to replicate for the entire country what the Kochs and Brownback’s administration did for Kansas.

As reported here and here, Kansas is going broke and on the path to bankruptcy thanks to Brownback’s adherence to the Republican habit of giving the state’s assets to the rich in the form of tax cuts. For the second time in two months, another credit rating agency downgraded Kansas financial situation. Moody’s downgraded Kansas in May, and this week Standard and Poor’s followed suit citing “a structurally unbalanced budget following state income tax cuts” that a Kansas professor of public finance said will certainly get worse. Kenneth Kriz said, “not only was the state downgraded, but it was put on what is called a ‘negative outlook’ watch” he claims means more downgrades are likely. Kriz continued that “the real issue here is business. One of the things businesses look at when deciding on an area is the credit rating.” Kansas is lagging the nation in job creation, revenue is non-existent, education is starved of funding, and the state could not afford $100,000 to keep homeless shelters for children open. However, the economic devastation is just one aspect of a completely Republican government.

Kansas under Brownback’s leadership epitomizes extreme Koch brother policies they helped enact by engineering a Republican-Tea Party legislature that it is arguably the most conservative, religious, and libertarian in the nation; a legislature and governor that believe, like national Republicans, they are on a mission from god. Subsequently, they have dealt Kansas some serious Old Testament ruination that is a portent of what a Koch-directed Republican government will subject the entire nation to if given the chance.

In a typical Koch brother and ALEC move, Brownback attacked teachers’ unions by enacting ALEC template legislation called “innovation zones” allowing school districts to ignore existing state laws regarding education curriculum and collectively-bargained teacher salaries. Brownback also unconstitutionally slashed education funding to the bone leading the Kansas Supreme Court to order him to restore the funding, and abolished all arts programs across the board just for fun.

Since the Koch brothers helped install a Republican legislature and governor, Brownback closely-adhered to their ALEC privatization scam and privatized Medicaid to shift federal healthcare funding for the poor to private corporations, and Brownback rejected free Medicaid expansion to further restrict poor Kansas resident’s access to medical care and cement his standing as a “true religious conservative.”

While Brownback was a United States senator, he built up a reputation as an extremely religious social conservative, and with a willing legislature at his beck and call, he immediately attacked women’s reproductive rights with religious zeal. Brownback earned his Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and National Right to Life Committee bona fides for assailing women so Americans can see how religious Republicans intend on taking women back to the Dark Ages.

Brownback and the Republican legislature defunded Planned Parenthood, imposed one of the harshest anti-abortion laws in the nation, unilaterally declared that life begins at zygote (fertilization), and forced the last remaining abortion providers to read a religious script with medically false, and frightening, propaganda to women seeking the procedure. To punctuate the point that he governs Kansas according to his deeply-held Christian beliefs, Brownback wrote the words “Jesus + Mary” at the top of the bill when he signed it.

The Kansas Republicans did not fail to impress gun or 10th Amendment fanatics when they passed the “Second Amendment Protection Act” declaring Kansas is immune to federal gun safety laws because it is a “sovereign state.” In April, Brownback signed legislation that prohibits all county and municipal initiatives in place to regulate firearms and ammunition as a nod to the NRA’s supremacy over local communities and counties; its power over the state government was never in question.

It is difficult to feel empathy for Kansas residents because they did vote for the Koch brother, religious right “demolition team” decimating the state, but to be fair, they were heavily influenced by big money from the Koch brothers who were desperate to reveal how wonderful their vision for the country worked in a state that was their “beta test” for the entire nation. Republicans cannot claim any longer that their grand experiment and Koch vision would work marvelously if only they had control of the Senate and White House, because they have total control of Kansas and their ideology has devastated the state economically, sent women to the Dark Ages, and put education back 20 years.

Everything Sam Brownback and the Kansas Republican legislature enacted has been introduced by Republicans in the House and Senate whether it is assigning “personhood” to zygotes, eviscerating education, privatizing Medicaid and Medicare, or handing nation’s revenue stream directly to corporations and the rich. Everything national Republicans and the Koch brothers have dreamt of enacting over the past five years was imposed on Kansas and is a monumental disaster for the state and the people.

Even current and former Kansas Republicans acknowledge the abject failure of the Koch-Republican economic vision and it led over 100 of them to endorse Brownback’s Democratic opponent citing both his catastrophic economic scheme and extremist agenda as a disaster for Kansas. They stopped short of calling it a Koch brother disaster likely because the Kochs are Kansas boys. For contrast, a state Republicans and the Kochs hate with biblical passion, California, is leading the nation in both prosperity and jobs because of a voter-approved tax increase and strong environmental regulations. In fact, California is in the black, increasing funding for education and social programs, and paying down the debilitating debt incurred from the last Republican administration.

This column has said it before, but if Americans want to know what the Republican, teabagger, Koch, and ALEC agenda will mean for America if Republicans gain control of Congress and the White House, they now have a living, breathing, and bleeding example in Kansas. A few months ago Charles Koch penned an op-ed complaining that no-one appreciates his vision for America because it has never been given a chance. Now that the Koch vision is a reality in Kansas, it is doubtful that Republicans will do anything other than push harder to see it enacted nationally because wreaking devastation on the economy and the people is what they do best; just ask Kansas residents.

27 Replies to “Republican Dreams Shattered as Koch Ideology Flops In Red State Kansas”

  1. Brownback gave Kansans exactly what they wanted. Now that it’s been shown to be a spectacular failure they blame Brownback and Brownback blames the Black Guy in the White House.

  2. The citizens of Kansas are in the same situation as New Jersey. Both elected governors who believe the ALEC and Koch Brothers ideology. As a result, both states have had their credit ratings downgraded.

    Kansas is in worse shape than New Jersey,through. This is what the people of Kansas wanted, this is what they got. Now they have buyers remorse.

    If the people of Kansas truly regret voting for Brownback, electing a Democrat won’t be enough. They have to vote out the members in both the House and Senate and replace them with Democrats, or else both houses can override any veto by the governor.

  3. Although I feel for those Kansans who did not vote for these clowns, I am glad they were able to enact their “vision” for Kansas unfettered by any real opposition.

    As Rmuse stated, we now have a prime example of what the Koch, ALEC, right-wing policies will do on a national level.

    All but the most rigid of ideologues will now have to admit that Republican economic policies are an abject failure.

  4. And how will Kansas vote? Will other states take heed? Republican, Libertarian small government means a government not of the people, nor for the people, but of and for a very few. And we aint one of the few toto.

  5. I bet that conservative will say that the measures implemented in Kansas failed because they were NOT conservative enough…

    Funny how the same Governor that says State supersedes Federal, also take any right away from city councils.

    It’s not that he doesn’t believe in small government, it’s that the believes HE should rule everyone else.

  6. I just have one question. Other than the interstate highway system what if any program, economic theory, anything work?

  7. folks we have one chance to stop this radical rightwing GOPTP madness and fallacy. we have one chance this November. dems need to turn out big. if they show up and vote they win. its that simple. if they don’t show up we may never have a second chance!!!

  8. Boycotting driving through Kansas from OK to CO since Brownback took over as Governor. Walked out of a speech he made to OK GOP which was frankly nuts and started my pulling away from GOP — before TP came on the scene but combining religion and politics has never worked with me.

    Brownback was so bad some members of his own party in the legislature started voicing concerns they had cut education too much.

    The clincher was former Republican office holders endorsing the Democrat. Some of them clobbered Brownback. Fallin/legislature in OK has been following Kansas but some GOP Leiglsature members having 2nd thoughts now. OK is #2 ALEC State.

    Americans need to wake up this is what you get with Koch/ALEC agenda and why GOP needs to be defeated at all levels.

  9. Please pardon my internet dummy-level comment, but I cannot resist.
    Is this Governor Brownback or Governor Brownshirt?

  10. This is what happens to a state, when you take public money to give rich people a tax break. They don’t spend that money in the state. They hide it in off shore accounts. Meanwhile the state has to cut back on public services. What are the people in Kansas waiting for? If you let this nut case keep the job how long will you have enough cops, firefighters?

  11. Yet Brownback has pulled it out for the republicans. He will win in Nov and the citizens have themselves to blame. I won’t feel sorry for them either.

  12. Simply proves the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.” Apparently the people of Kansas wished to prove that Republicans could do a better job than a Democrat. I wonder if they learned their lesson, or if they like being treated as chattel.

    This is perfect example of why religion and politics cannot and should not be mixed. And a perfect example of why the 1st Amendment was so important to a free society. However, it has been squashed by the SCOTUS and I don’t know how we will ever again make it relevant, not with the judges we have.

  13. Australia now has something like a Tea Party govt. Debt is going up, jobs are going down, now higher at 6.4% than you guys!

    We had a government under Julia Gillard that was all class, now we have a conservative govt that is all arse!

  14. The despicable Rupert Murdoch was taking credit when Tony Abbott became your PM. He had a lot to do with funding Abbott’s campaign. Based on what you’ve written, I don’t think it will be too long before Australians will want to dump him. When he rolled back the carbon tax, I was appalled because Australia has experienced some of the worst effects of climate change over the last few years. I did a bit of research and discovered that the tax was less than $26.00 USD per metric tonne. Abbott is in the pocket of the Australian energy producers and corporatists. He says he plans to replace the carbon tax with ‘incentives’ which are supposed to ‘encourage’ the energy companies to adopt strategies to ‘fight’ climate change. I don’t believe it. His real plan is to allow the energy companies to do whatever they want to make money. One good thing about your government–it’s easier to get rid of Abbott with a vote of no confidence than it is to get rid of a U.S. president.

  15. It’s a big advantage of a federal government in that we can experiment with different policies in different states.

    But we need to pay attention to these experiments and learn from them.

  16. California under governor Browns leadership took the exact opposite fiscal approach than did Kansas state with much better economic results. California raised taxes on the very wealthy along with a voter approved sales tax increase to bring in much needed revenue. California saw its bond rating raised from negative to stable last year by the same bond agencies which downgraded Kansas. Nationwide California was second to Texas in job growth the past year. Sadly you wont hear these facts on any corporate owned conservative tilted mainstream media outlets.

  17. WOW!
    It’s hard to feel sorry for the people of Kansas! They voted for their misery, and you can’t fix stupid!!

  18. I will feel sorry for them right up until they vote the gop back in. If they vote in a Dem, thats a different story

    We enjoyed the greatest non war boom under Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich.
    We must get a new House of Representatives without the ideology Government is bad and Tax cuts are death. What have they given us? TRIPLED OUR DEBT. TRIPLED. It was 5800 Billion when Clinton left office. It is now 18,000 Billion. The boom resulted, primarily, from Clinton-Gingrich getting A Minimum Wage passed.


    Created 22,400,000 new jobs and many paid Income and payroll tax. millions went off unemployment compensation and food stamps. GDP went from $6300 Billion to 11,000.
    National Income jumped from $5000 Billion to 8,000. Average weekly earnings went from $360 to 478.
    Unemployment went from 7.2% to as low as 3.9%. Ads and signs everywhere—Help Wanted-Start above minimum wage. Home ownership hit all- time high. Dow Jones Average from 3500 to 11,720.
    Nasdaq from 700 to 5000. Minimum Wage had been increased about $5,000 per year.

  20. Not saying you’re wrong or anything…he does need removed from office. But the argument about cops and firefighters doesn’t entirely work since a lot of Kansas (the smaller towns) don’t have a state funded fire department or police force. My hometown has one officer that our local city funds and our fire department and EMT are all volunteer based. Community members are trained and then scheduled as on call. The town itself raises money for new fire engines and ambulances…we don’t get any help from the state. But like I said that only applies to the smaller towns, but they do make up a lot of Kansas.

  21. The Koch brothers home base is Wichita Kansas. The Koch brothers started the Tea Party organization. In 2001 Koch Industries had to pay $25,000,000 to settle a Federal lawsuit for stealing oil from Federal and Indian land. My reference for this information is Wikipedia and newspapers. Republicons are a bunch of Koch suckers.

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