Kansas Lawmakers Defect to Democrats as G.O.P. Struggles in Suburbs

Four moderates from the Kansas City metro area have changed parties in the last month, reflecting a national realignment on a key partisan battleground.

Comments: 200

  1. More Republicans need to take a good look in the mirror. Pat Toomey comes to mind. 19380

  2. This Democrat welcomes all moderate Republicans to the party. Tell your friends.

  3. What's in a name?

  4. "In the end, said Ms. Sykes, who faced the testy reception at the retirement home, “I had to do what I could do to look at myself in the mirror.”" The head of the GOP, who sits in the Oval Office, doesn't worry about that. When he looks in the mirror he sees an exceptionally handsome and intelligent man who is being persecuted by pretty much everyone. Viva la narcissism.

  5. @Eric Probably also young. Mirror, mirror on the wall...!

  6. @Eric ...an exceptionally handsome and intelligent man... You forgot "with totally terrific hair." Just sayin'.

  7. For moderate Republicans who believe in small government and self reliance, I have one thing to say to you. The Republican Party you joined and voted for all your life has abandoned you. It has morphed into a party of race hating, deficit spending extremists.If you can't see that, then you are a blind to today's reality.

  8. Fine.They finally woke up. Good for them. But it has to be asked how they could ever have considered themselves Republicans in the first place. For decades the GOP has been a corrupt, misogynist, and warmongering party. Anyone who could have remained a Republican after W's catastrophic war of choice in Iraq, given the lies that were told to justify it, was either ignorant or deluded. And anyone who could have called themselves a Republican for ten seconds, let alone two full years, after Trump won the election can only be considered intellectually incompetent and morally bankrupt. So, good for them. I recognize it takes courage to switch parties. Congratulations on waking up and realizing that the world is round and two plus two equals four. But I prefer my Democrats to have had simple common sense and basic morality from the beginning. Let's nominate such candidates in these districts and others, all over the country, in 2019 and beyond.

  9. @Michael Chorost For women especially, it was long before W’s Iraq escapade that we could never consider ourselves Republican. Economics don’t mean a thing when you’re trapped with a pregnancy you neither can afford or even want. My first election I voted for Ronald Reagan because I was young, naive, and grew up in a Republican family but my far older and liberal lover at the time explained, “if you value your sexual freedom and reproductive autonomy, voting Republican is the surest way to destroy your freedoms before you reach middle age.” He was right. It’s only gotten worse for anyone who is not white heterosexual Christian male under Republicans and I never understood how a woman could consider membership in such an openly hostile and sexist party, especially once it consummated its raging romance with evangelicals.

  10. Just another example of how tribal we’ve become when one’s actual political views are less important than the political label attached to them.

  11. A Kansas Republican was once the definition of political sanity. Sober, Buick-driving professionals, church-going teachers, doctors, farmers who put the "conserve" in "conservative." They were resistant to unnecessary wars, fiscally frugal, reliably civic-minded. Nowadays, they are asked to follow the erratic path of the Mad Hatter, profess loyalty to Russia, support a bankrupt casino kingpin, a thrice-married philanderer and sexual braggart, a wastrel bigot who is driving our country into bankruptcy and who proudly denies ever needing to ask God's forgiveness. I admired the old Republicans. I can't imagine how you can even apply the name to the current group of traitors, war criminals and moral degenerates selling out our country. What's the matter with Kansas?

  12. @Big Text you said a mouthful right there. The Kansas Republicans you describe are the ones I grew up with.

  13. @Big Text What's the matter with Kansas, the same thing as with the 50 million who voted for trump, brain atrophy.

  14. @Big Text - Perfect. I'd also add that 'fiscally frugal' didn't automatically mean 'privatize everything'. Back when there probably really was big government waste, they wanted to stop that. Government paying the equivalent of $2 million for a mile of road or some non-sense like that? Stop that waster. Now-a-days it means, government is paying government employees the equivalent of $2 million for a mile of road, we need to change that so that we are paying $3.5 million to a private company for a mile of road that they don't really need to complete and doesn't need to use the same quality materials, just the cheapest stuff the private sector can make.

  15. No one should suffer for a change made from conscience. Neither should a person of conscience remain in a situation they aren't comfortable with. She's right , it's only a letter after her name. Her personal sense of honor deserves praise , and I'm willing to grant it.

  16. This is not a surprise to me. I’m a lifelong Republican but recently I have seriously considered flipping to Democrat. I don’t recognize my party anymore. What happened to the Big Tent of Ronald Reagan Republicans? Since when did the Republican Party become the Conservative Evangelical Party? How did this happen? I’m actually embarrassed these days to identify myself as a Republican. Why? Because I’m a rare breed: a Progressive Republican. I actually believe in Healthcare and Education for all. I actually believe in raising taxes on the Uber rich. I’m also pro-choice. I believe in getting rid of money in politics. I’m even pro-immigration as the grandson of immigrants myself. But I also believe in business friendly policies (for the most part). And I’m not a big fan of welfare as we know it today. But is that enough to call myself a Republican these days? It may be time for me to flip as well.

  17. @Mike L You seem to me like a pretty centrist Democrat/neoliberal. Well regulated free market, fair and clear rules to stimulate competition, and regulations that capture externalities (environment, societal, etc). That's pretty in-line with the moderate wing of the Democratic party.

  18. @Mike L It has been the "Conservative Evangelical Party" for over thirty years.

  19. @Mike LMr. Reagen ushered in the era of the "New Republican Party" with his initiating his campaign in Philadelphia, MS, and his visit to the military cemetery in Germany, signaling that it was all right to ignore the murders of civil rights workers and the atrocities of the Nazi's. The change continued with Gingrich's swings to the farther right, and then Cheney, Rumsfeld, et als. Trump and McConnel are merely the deep pits of what that party has become.

  20. This is the kind of grass roots migration that's so heartening because it addresses the real shock of November, 2016. The "what kind of people are we now if someone like Trump can be elected?" question. It's also a cautionary sign to the Democratic Party; it has to be a "big tent" if it's going to lead. The country is hungry for a cohesive center, it's fed up with strident extremes.

  21. @Dennis ...agree with much of what you say.....I believe the "big tent" characterization is an issue easily subsumed by generalities about what exactly "big tent" means. If a candidate proposes to lead with overly cautious tactics designed to offend as few as possible, the results will be more Trump. A candidate needs to inspire to possibility, and show plausible means as to how to get there. It is a difficult task for a candidate to define the line between mere slogan and immediately possible, but it has to be done. Coherent explanation is a major ingredient here, and not one most candidates embrace. My recommendation to all Dem. candidates is "go there" . The total electorate is not as addicted to sound bites as many campaign managers believe. Come up with a short and clear way to do it, and the majority you want will get it. Now, that would be a truly exceptional campaign! Let's go for it!

  22. @Dennis The Democratic Party is already a big tent. If you think otherwise, you aren't paying attention to the wide range of political opinions in the party, which does not have much of a litmus test for politicians.

  23. Amazing. "You flipped — I’m disenfranchised," said Kent Crippin, 82. Another man told her, "I still feel betrayed." If these guys seriously feel disenfranchised because Crippin switched from being a Republican to being a Democrat because the Republican Party is so corrupt, radically right-wing, is destroying all of our alliances, including NATO, which Republicans consistently championed for most, if not all of these men's lives, and that she could no longer remain a moderate Republican within Trump's G.O.P., then the only reason they believe they've been "disenfranchised" is because they only care about one thing; Trump's white identity politics. These elderly Americans seemingly have no idea what it means to be disenfranchised. The fact that Trump is now, for instance, suddenly totally selling out our Republic and our Democracy to Putin and Russia, when rank-and-file Republicans such as those profiled here, up until Trump, spent their lives vilifying and fighting Russia, means Trump and G.O.P. are the ones who have sold them out. Further, Trump and the G.O.P. have so undermined the social safety net, that despite these elderly Americans having spent their lives paying into Social Security and Medicare, it is going to collapse unless Democrats fix it. These elderly no doubt need to live on that social safety net now, yet their money is being bled out and stolen by Republicans, as Republicans deliberately dismantle it. If that's not disenfranchisement, what in the world is?

  24. Kansas is a very Caucasian state.

  25. @Robert B If you voted for a Democrat who decided to flip to the Republicans, would you not feel the same way? These "elderly" people who you disparage in a rather ageist fashion may have other reasons for voting Republican, especially at the state level that have little to do with Trump and much to do with local issues. I may not agree with them (I'm a Democrat) but until I have sat down and had an in depth discussion with these folks, I am not just going to dismiss their opinions as uninformed. Possibly they are, but possibly there is more going on. I am, however, curious as to why these politicians did not become independents. Independents can and do win at the state level, especially if they are incumbents.

  26. @Robert B Actually the GOP began undermining the social safety net in 1980 with the election of Reagan. That's when the systematic gutting of the middle-class began under "supply-side economics". The GOP believes that giving the rich more money while diminishing benefits to the middle-class and the poor will make everyone richer. The GOP still believes this as shown by the 2017 Tax Cuts for Billionaires bill which passed the GOP controlled Congress with zero Democratic support.

  27. The Democratic Positioning should be simple: - Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump are two of the wealthiest men in the United States. - They both seek to compel Federal workers to show up on the job without getting a paycheck, all because they would like to use those workers as "leverage" to get money to build a Wall. The Wall, by the way, lost the 2018 Election. The People spoke -- the American public doesn't want the wall. Trump spoke endlessly of the approaching "Caravan." FOX News gave him a big assist with endless "Wall" and Caravan" coverage. Yet the people voted in historic numbers for the Democrats, who spoke mostly about health care. The Wall Lost. Donald Trump Lost. Open the Government and pay people for their labor. Today.

  28. “You flipped — I’m disenfranchised,” said Kent Crippin, 82. “And I’ve been a Republican all my life.” Cry more. And this isn’t disenfranchisement—you still have a representative, they just caucus with a party your propaganda has conditioned you to believe is evil. Real disenfranchisement is what your party has been doing to poor people for decades.

  29. More and more the party of white male nationalists.

  30. Kind of brings a new meaning to "bleeding Kansas."

  31. Too late. The 2 dead deer next to my Obama sign in a KC suburb in 2008 made me view Kansas in a different and ugly light. Volunteered for Hillary in 2016 before I sold the farm and moved to the Emerald City. Count me as a refugee from a black and white world to a beautiful technicolor one.

  32. @Dorothy But sn't KC in Missouri?

  33. @Bubo Check a map. Surprise!

  34. @Bubo There is a Kansas City, Kansas and a Kansas City, Missouri. Best to check your map before posting some questions.

  35. Free advice for Ms. Sykes. Don’t apologize. State that you believe in the rule of law. That our society has no place for hate and misogyny. That we should pay our bills. And that, you know, lying is not O.K. They got a problem with any of that? And by the way, disenfranchisement of women and people of color was the norm for 200 years in America...that 82 year old white Man doesn’t have a clue.

  36. It is nice to see that at least some elected officials march to their own drummers seeking a higher loyalty than that to a political party that has lost all credibility and moral/ethical bearing. Politics is not a team sport - it is about life and death and the reality of living in a diverse, previously healthy, country. Trump (and McConnell) have made the duty of governance a sham, corrupting collective responsibility and focusing on power and ego - ignoring what is in the best interest of ALL of their electorate. We are not fighting the Nazis (yet) but trying to reclaim our souls. The million+ workers that Trump has furloughed by his infantile hissy fit feel REAL PAIN, something that Trump has never experienced. It is as foreign to him as the Congo (which, I am sure, he could not locate on a map if his life depended upon it). TRUMP is our issue. No credible negotiations can ever be done with him in power. That applies to trade, immigration, budget, alliances - everything. Let statesmen do statesmanship; relegate Trump to prison where he belongs.

  37. @RealTRUTH Trump is the inevitable result of Republican extremism. Should Trump fail Republicans will elevate another like him. Perhaps Pence, a Dominionist Christian that salivates for the Christian 'end times'. At least Trump is largely ineffectual. Worse would be another lying, self serving greedy power hungry extremist who is actually effective and better able to hide his true nature. The Republican party has no shortage of people meeting that description.

  38. @Mike Or McConnell, but he prefers the Senate, where he can be utterly obstructive to decency.

  39. @Mike For one reason, I disagree. To replace Trump, they will need a white man with a very big personality, a cross between Napoleon and P.T. Barnum, who less informed voters feel drawn to in hopes he will improve their less than satisfactory lives. Fortunately, a grifter on that scale, with the requisite charm, comes along very rarely..

  40. So, you switched over and became a Democrat. What does that mean exactly? And why would it even be possible to do so? Did your positions suddenly change? Do you suddenly agree with the principals and goals of the Democratic party? This stinks to high heaven to me. I think voters should be able to vote for whomever they want, and stand behind whatever they want, changing as often as they like. However...if you are a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat or Republican and you simply switch over when it's convenient to get the votes... What does that say about you? And what does it say about our political system, already broken and mismanaged? This is a failure of our country to teach civics among other things. If all you see are two parties as "teams" and you root for one or the other, with no regard for policy and how they affect your life, then you are not doing your job. If a Republican doesn't like the way the Republican party treats them, change the party. Becoming a Republican-lite Democrat is the easy way out. You want to make real change? Do it from within. This is just the problem making itself worse.

  41. @TR What it says is that the Republican Party has gotten so extreme that it’s driving away moderates. I grew up in a Republican suburb. The people there believed in public education, the power of government to be a force for good, parks, a clean environment. None of these beliefs exist in today’s Republican Party tolerates racism and sexism, is privatizing schools for profit and despoiling the environment among many other reprehensible actions. There isn’t any room in today’s Republican Party for a normal American.

  42. Why? Reagan changed parties?

  43. IF this is happening in Kansas, of all places, there might be some hope. It’s time for the Republican party to shrink so small that we can drown it in the bathtub...one selfish white elderly death at a time. When you boil it down, Republicans are just plain selfish, and their elderly are the worst. It’s all about them, and Trump is their chosen leader. He is hateful man they misplaced in this powerful position who has methodically gone on the attack against every sector of the population, one group at a time. The disabled, minorities, women, children at the border, transgender people in the military, refuges seeking assylm, now federal employees. Not your group? Maybe when Trump gets around to his euthanasia program to reduce government spending on medicare, selfish aging ‘hands off my medicare’ white voters will finally get rid of Trump. It was the GOP that intoduced ‘death panels’ into the public discourse... so it must be simmering in the back of Trump’s brain.

  44. They are welcome to "become" blue dogs by simply changing their title. Their allegiances are exactly the same... Just a formality. An entire nation choking on Koch.

  45. Seems disingenuous to change parties immediately after an election. Why not before?

  46. There is no such thing as a moderate republican anymore. The republicans are extremists and anyone who doesn’t walk lock step is sidelined or cast out. Basically democrats are becoming the centrists. Republicans are now extremists who believe it’s their way or the highway. This rigid aspect will either destroy them or all of us. Hopefully it’ll just be them but they are doing a good job of taking us with them. Would it be possible to disband the party system? And then change the winner take all aspect. I truly dislike not being represented if I lose the election. That means I have no voice for many years. I don’t think that’s a healthy way to represent people.

  47. Only 4? Well there’s still plenty of time before 2020.

  48. Often, there is no explaining how my brain works. As I was reading the last of this article this stanza from Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter" popped into my head: The time has come,' the Walrus said, To talk of many things: Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax — Of cabbages — and kings — And why the sea is boiling hot — And whether pigs have wings.' I brought the complete poem up on screen (thanks, Google) and re-read it for the umpteenth time. It won't fit here, so here is its link: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43914/the-walrus-and-the-carpenter-56d222cbc80a9 It is quite an apt allegory for the Republican party, and particularly what happens to those who ignored wiser heads and rushed into its arms.

  49. @Glen I love this allegory. Thanks for making me smile

  50. Exactly. Leave the party. Over and over the Republican Party has shown it belongs to Trump and his supporters. If you aren't one of those supporyers, then leave it to them and let them stand on their own.

  51. The Brownbackistan experiment exposed the reality that trickle-down economics have never once worked in the real world. Okay, the Kansas GOP made a mistake but what is truly astounding is its continued refusal to acknowledge that fact. At least nobody any longer entertains the possibility that Sam Brownback could be president one day and take this experiment nationwide to destroy the US economy as he did that of Kansas. "However beautiful the strategy, once should occasionally look at the results." - Winston Churchill

  52. @BP Wake up! What do you think the recent tax cut did? It cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations. This is exactly what Brownback and the conservative Republicans did in my state. It was a disaster. The people figured it out and voted in moderates who have turned it around. Pray we can do the same as a country and get rid of last year's disastrous tax cut made by the GOP in Congress.

  53. As a long time Kansas resident, I say hallelujah and Finally. What's the matter with Kansas ??? The unholy marriage between religion and GOP politics. That has been described and discussed ad nauseam. The reason this is happening in this particular place is because of Money. Specifically, these Voters are much better educated and have much better incomes than the statewide average. Just like in my Wichita suburb. The GOP uses religion as a cudgel to enforce their policies, and garner votes. Maybe after the Brownback Disaster, the educated people with actual options are refusing to participate in the scam, and are emboldened to speak up and stand out. Congratulations, and please proceed.

  54. I'm so proud of these brave women for standing up for what they believe is right for this country. The Republucan vision, as espoused by the White House, is based on fear mongering and hate--not a good direction for our future.

  55. @BlueBird Espoused by the WH, yes. But enthusiastically & unequivocally supported by Republican legislators. This didn't just start with tRump, he just made it open.

  56. Four Kansas lawmakers switched parties! It takes quite a bit for one, let alone four to switch. These are unusual times.

  57. Thomas Frank wrote a book some time back "What's the Matter With Kansas". What was the matter the last eight years was the state experiment Sam Brownback brought to Kansas and exposed as a failure, "tax cuts for the rich pay for themselves". Soon Kansans found out that that ongoing myth of the rightwing was all that it was a myth as the education budget suffered. These women have read the tea leaves. They look at Republican obstruction and how the party exists solely to cut taxes and has no ideas. They had to leave and as the old timers die off they will be replaced by those who have seen the voodoo that trickle down economics is in reality. Good move by those women.

  58. i don't know well about Kansas, except the label deep red Republican Kansas. Those statements from elderly Republican folks to Ms. Sykes will be fleeting. She appears devastated but a new generation of Kansas residents will be on her side. It is a learning curve and growing pains. She will succeed in her political career because she knows what is right and firm with her conviction. Lincoln's Republican Party is already long gone, Kansas folks. It has morphed to Donald's Nationalist Party.

  59. Kansas isn’t really deep red though. I hope this portends a turn, but I think it’s less of one than I’d hope. Kansas, for most of its history, has been moderate/populist. The recent swing to right is an anomaly, brought in mostly by right wingers manipulating anti-abortion sentiment. For example, three of its last five governors have been Dem women. This is Eisenhower-Dole country.

  60. “I had to do what I could do to look at myself in the mirror.” A character test that too many GOP voters and politicians are failing. Too many who follow Trump have abandoned basic principles of humanity to follow his lead, and the Christians, beyond belief. If someone had told me that those who believe in God would follow a man like Trump I would never have believed. The Golden Rule is now suspended for do unto others anything you can to advance conservatism.

  61. @r. brown I beg to differ with your last word, The GOP is not pushing conservatism. Anything but. They are seeking power.

  62. If moderate Republicans do not leave they will be increasingly surrounded by extreme right-wing white nationalists! On the other hand, if they stay, they may be able to move the needle a bit to the center after the trumpsters have been relegated to the dustbin of political irrelevance! I'm not sure which option is best for the future of the US.

  63. There may be less here than meets the eye. Democratic women have won three of the last five gubernatorial elections, and for longer than that the legislature has been a three-party body: Democrats, traditional Republicans and extreme Republicans. Before Brownback the first two often allied to maintain a course nearer the center of the channel. Brownback's election was followed by a Koch-backed purge of moderate Republicans, resulting in a disastrous tax cutting experiment. When the experiment continued to produce deficits and substandard basic services moderates of both parties in the legislature rebounded and the tax cuts were significantly scaled back to restore solvency. A significant body of extremist Republicans remain, but there has been growing recognition that neither extremism nor partisanship is consistent with traditional Kansas values. The recent party shifts are largely a reaction by some Republicans to the remaining all-or-nothing demands of the no-longer-ascendant extremists. Most Kansans will remain Republican, but they will insist on deciding for themselves what the party should stand for.

  64. The Republicans continue to support a complete and utter lack of integrity, of ethics of rationality and morality. It is truly despicable.

  65. Trumpism stripped any decent Republican of cover. We see the real GOP now, purified after repeated tests, shamelessly racist, terrified, vindictive, and incapable of taking part in the 21st century. They feel disenfranchised? Good.

  66. The Republican Party became the Cult of Trump on July 19, 2016, when he was officially nominated. If you do not want to drink that KoolAid, you need to get out of the "Republican" Party.

  67. Re: I think the Democrats did a pretty good job convincing swing voters we need something new. Actually it seems that the chaotic vileness pouring out 24/7 from the WH did a far better job of convincing these swing voters. But some trumpicans don't yet seem ready to believe this or anything else that might puncture their illusions.

  68. "Cross over, republicans. All are welcome. All welcome, go into the light...There is peace and serenity in the light."

  69. She was right to do this: the Entire GOP machine is a mass of money hungry power brokers lacking not one iota of decency! As soon as the rest of America wakes up to their anti democracy attitudes .... most clearly expressed by extremist pundits like hannity, limbaugh and coulter.... our country will be better off.

  70. If I was on a ship that was sinking, I think I would get off. If I was in a building that was burning, I think I would get out. If I was a Republican, I think I would really seriously consider change parties.

  71. “You flipped — I’m disenfranchised" “I still feel betrayed, and I won’t make the mistake of voting for you again.” She didn't flip, the GOP did. The GOP's platforms and practices moved, Ms Sykes's didn't, so her move is really the contrary of treason. Politicians need to be politicians before being partisans, we need to elect them based on policy over party. Especially at the state level.

  72. I’m hoping that this trend towards Democrats will continue. Maybe Republicans and Independent voters are finally waking up to the reality that if they vote Republican they will be voting against their own best interests and politicians are seeing the writing on the wall. I wish Kansas the best as they try to fix the damage done by irresponsible Republicans who cut the taxes of the wealthy only to drastically cuts services like education which is a crime , a true crime .

  73. I helped ruin your state. My work here is done.

  74. It's unfortunate the two elderly voters feel disenfranchised and betrayed, and I can certainly relate as I wouldn't want my elected representative switching parties after the vote. However, it makes me wonder why they voted for this candidate in the first place: was it because of the 'R' beside her name, or did they agree with her moderate stance?

  75. @D. Epp Option #1. There are far too many willfully ignorant voters who vote based solely on the letter after a candidate's name. This is how individuals like Kris Kobach get to play wrecking ball with entire states.

  76. One must wonder why moderate Republicans in Kansas are only now leaving the Republican party. It was a Republican governor, whose Republican economic plan ran the state of Kansas into the ground. They apparently thought it was a good idea at the time.

  77. @David Bible, they (speaking of Bollier and Clayton) found themselves voting with the minority, not with Brownback, because they understood the values of their constituents. So no, they didn’t think his ideas were good but when you are the minority in the majority your voice doesn’t carry much weight.

  78. her "views on policy haven't changed, only the letter after her name.". That rates a big WHAT? How is it good that all future votes will have exactly the same results as all past votes? Again I say. WHAT?

  79. This independent looks at "party loyalty" as a crude joke - no matter D or R. Look at the person, the individual. Do they share my vision of what this nation (state, county, city, etc.) should become? Be that as it may, it could be a cold day in Hades before I consider voting for a Republican again.

  80. Given how Sam Brownback used Kansas as a Petrie dish for fiscal conservatism gone wild...and failed incredibly badly...it is not surprising that there is a small amount of realignment.

  81. State Rep. Clayton’s comment “not one of those Republicans” really sums it up. There are those with conservative viewpoints, but in the party of Trump every Republican vote goes towards supporting Trump above all else. Yes, Trump over country. It’s not possible to say you don’t support Trump and are a Republican too, there is only the party of Trump. Looking at web sites popular to millennial and Gen-Z there is no real overlap between the party of Trump and the younger generation. In California the Republican Party has third party status and that looks to be the Grumpy Old Party future for the rest of the country too. If one really wants a conservative, rather than caustic Trump, viewpoint to survive I’d recommend another party. The party of Lincoln is dead and never to return.

  82. For many years I have said we Kansans had no power as we were ignored by the Democrats and taken for granted by the Republicans. Finally, some power.

  83. This story doesn't tell it all. Right-wing Republicans in Kansas, fueled by Koch Brothers money, have been purging moderate Republicans in primaries for several years. Kobach, when he was Secretary of State, scheduled primaries in early August, trying to ensure that only the most hard-core conservatives would turn out. And these purge tactics have been successful, with the purges making the party more and more right-wing, while many voters (as voters will do) kept voting their party label. Moderate Republicans aren't allowed to exist in the Koch/Brownback/Kobach new party, Trump is just the latest push, but the purge has been going on for years. These Koch-funded Republicans don't want a policy dialogue--they just want to win at any cost.

  84. @Michael Richards - one good thing recently in Kansas - back in 2016 elections, the voters turned out do-nothing Ted Huelskamp, Tea Party (oh, sorry, "Freedom Caucus") big mouth. A bunch of state level Tea Partiers lost their elections, too.

  85. I grew up in Johnson County, Kansas and maintain family ties there. This story does not surprise me at all. Historically it's the far western part of Kansas with hard-headed German farmers and ranchers that has been the most right wing. When I saw a few years back that some of these yahoo Kansas Republican legislators were saying out loud that they didn't want to pay taxes to educate other people's children I knew their majority grip on power was doomed in places like Johnson County. Go Jayhawks !

  86. Conservative Republicans talk a great game, but when it comes to actually GOVERNING, they fall flat on their faces. You can't run a state, a county, or a town on ZERO revenue. People are beginning to notice that things go to Hades when the government shuts down. "Gummint" is not the problem - LACK of "gummint" is the problem (unless you like to live in the jungle). After Trump gets done messing everything up, the blue wave of 2018 will look like a ripple in 2020 by comparison.

  87. And the GOP mantra of cutting, cutting, cutting taxes only ends by destroying communities. Revenue makes things go, and you get what you pay for. For example, it’s far less expensive to pay higher taxes and get great public schools/teachers than it is to send your kid to a “better” private or religious school. People are so dumb about taxes. They want to pay as little as possible, and then they complain about their schools, roads, crime, long waits for a court case to be heard, and on and on. It’s mind boggling that people don’t get basic math. That tax delusion—believed by millions—is the big thing the GOP has accomplished the last 30-40 years, and it will take at least that long to undo, if that can even be done.

  88. I've occasionally voted for a Republican at the local level, beause I've understood that local and national issues aren't the same, and there might be a local Republican politician who's simply more competent than their Democratic opponent. For the indefinite future, however, I will never vote for a Republican anywhere. Even voting for a GOP town councilperson strengthens an organization that is trying to help Donald J. Trump dominate my country, destroy its institutions, and deprive millions of my fellow citizens of healthcare. They run together as a team, under the same banner of the elephant. They watch him lie, watch him spread hatred, and stay aligned with him. And I do often wonder how some of them, who seem like decent people, can look themselves in the mirror every morning. I now sometimes abstain. But today's Republican Party is so inimical to my values that I refuse to promote its success, anywhere. It's tribal, it's a shame, I know many will disagree, and I hope I won't have to feel this way forever. However, in a democracy, I'm morally responsible for my vote and what it contributes to.

  89. @Bill Camarda—You are not alone. I came to the decision to never vote for a Republican, no matter how qualified, when St. Ronny ended the "fairness doctrine" and no conservatives complained. I renewed my pledge the first time I heard the prevarications, mendacious winks, and just plain lies of "Rush." Fox News and the Republicans in Congress keep me faithfully in the no Republican in government ever category. Whether or not you own a MAGA hat, if you are a Republican, you are wearing one, proudly.

  90. Maybe when those elderly Republicans begin to understand that the GOP considers them parasites and wants to cut their Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid dollars, they'll finally see that they've aligned themselves with a party that does not have their best interests at heart. In the meantime, it's all guns, gays, and God, isn't it?

  91. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end for the Republican party as it has become these last several years. And it didn't start becoming so extreme with Trump, oh my, no. The party's crazy extremism is what allowed Trump to become president. No. If the Republican Party wants to remain a viable political force in this country they either need to clean house (aka "drain the swamp") or the moderate members need to flip, as these brave women have done.

  92. With Trump running the GOP into the swampy toxic waste dump, more Republicans are likely to adopt this strategy.

  93. These women politicians know how to read the tea leaves. They understand if they do not switch, their counties will switch under them and make them vulnerable during the next election. You represent your constituency and it they are Dems, you too become a Democrat. Too often, pols. represent and are beholden to their party. That is wrong. They pledge an oath to the Constitution of their state and not to their political affiliation.

  94. “If I’m not re-elected, that’s O.K., but I did what I felt was right,” she said. “I’m sorry I’ve hurt you.” Wow! A Republican with Integrity! And by the way, the only people hurting her constituents is the Republican Party which abandoned her and her constituents. In the end, I suspect she will be OK. Especially when they Impeach Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors.

  95. Maybe these four new Democrats are like me. I'm from Kansas and my first ancestor there settled the state in 1859. The think about Kansans is that they are capable of a wry skepticism. Bob Dole has this quality, and gave it a humorous sharp edge.

  96. @Epamiynondas While I disagreed with Bob Dole about most things, I still admired his statesmanship and clear moral compass. The Republican party of Kris Kobach has no morals, just a single-minded focus on winning and imposing their horrid ideology on Americans.

  97. I have long thought that we are in a historic realignment of parties. While the Republicans were winning, their methods—lies and fear mongering—made me think they could carry on only so long before their heinous tactics caught up with them. Like a classic Greek tragedy, Republican successes carried with them the seeds of their own destruction. I think it is likely, after gigantic losses in 2020, Republicans will cease to be a viable national party. We are already there in bellwether states NY and California. In time we may see the Democrats split into two, a centrist and a leftish party, both far more responsible and fit to govern than today’s Republicans. The Republicans will be a third party with little influence outside the most intransigent southern states, consisting of leftover ever-Trumpists and the usual assortment of conspiracy nuts.

  98. @Jagadeesan Wishful thinking. Have you been to the red states? It is going to take a long time for their own demise.

  99. I applaud their willingness to say, "Enough is enough," when it comes to supporting this disgraceful excuse of a president. Frankly, I'm disillusioned with both sides and my hope is that moderates from both parties will come together and offer this country an alternative to what we have now.

  100. @Judith H The Democrats ARE the moderates.

  101. @Thomas Zaslavsky I don't agree. I think that the moderates are distributed across the parties and independents. There are radical groups in both parties that steer them strongly. This is because neither party can win without appeasing the extremists or so they must think.

  102. @Justus You are surely wrong about the Democrats and right about the Republicans. The facts are clear, unless you think Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, to name two, are extremists. I hope not, but if you do, I would say you're living in CloudCuckooLand.

  103. The GOP represents the past. Perhaps those that benefited from that past in their youth have nostalgia for that era. However, if the US is to have any leadership in the world, as imperfect as theDems may be, we need many of their ideas to continue growing, educating our population for qualified jobs, we need to protect our planet, our women, have available contraception and reproductive rights. We need immigrants to help us grow just as it happened in the past but also because they will help us pay for social security for our aging population. I hope we move in that direction without a new “tea party” split in the party but with the inclusion of the younger generation. Thumbs up for Kansas.

  104. @Lili B One long view might be that our nation makes incremental progress, and that always comes with some hiccups and backtracking. We can see the Trump era as the hiccup in history.

  105. @Agent GG Hopefully. It ain't over yet!! With some luck, this guy will be out after the next election and we can get on with trying to make things better for everyone.

  106. When Dan Inouye, Democratic senator from Hawaii, died in 2012, Bob Dole went to view his body lying in state in D.C. Both were war heroes, who met while recovering from their war wounds and went on to serve in the Senate for decades. Dole mostly used a wheelchair to get around by then, but this time he walked up to the casket and put his hand on the flag. "I wouldn't want Danny to see me in a wheelchair," he said later. Gave me some hope for Kansans, Republican or Democrat. This gives me more.

  107. @steve Bob Dole couldn't win a Kansas primary for dog catcher today. He actually believed government could do some good. He supported things like Social Security and public education and the civil rights movement. Dole was the opposite of Trump; therefore he wouldn't have a chance in today's Kansus GOP -- like these four state legislators, he'd be forced to leave the party, and that would be the end of his career.

  108. @Tom I remember when we considered Dole fairly conservative. He would seem downright liberal in today's party.

  109. Good for them having consciences.

  110. nothing but opportunistic carpetbaggers

  111. Kansans called trickle down economics by another name back in the day. "Horse and sparrow economics." Feed the horse all the oats it wants and some will find its way to the sparrow. The grandfathers of the Kansas Republicans were the most progressive people in the country. That was in an agrarian society where family farmers didn't like being ripped off by the Northeast bankers. Now Big Money and Big Ag run the place.

  112. Bravo! Welcome!

  113. “Fiscal prudence and limited government”? If by that you mean lowering the business tax rate so radically the state couldn’t pay its bills, gerrymandering voting, and denying people Constitutional rights like the right to choose. Seems opposite to me, but if that’s what you mean by “fiscal prudence and limited government”, ok.

  114. Hmmmm - too bad these elderly men feel "disenfranchised". Now they might get an idea as to how many minorites and women have felt for years. I'm not feeling sorry for them.

  115. “You flipped — I’m disenfranchised,” said Kent Crippin, 82. “And I’ve been a Republican all my life.” Kent, now you know what it feels like when your party wins the national popular vote -twice- but the clearly worse candidate, the champion of corporations, theocracy, ignorance, and white power - is given the presidency. Kent, now you know what it's like for the Dems to win the popular vote by almost 9% in the midterms, but only pick up 40 seats due to gerrymandering, and lose senate seats even though 12 million more Americans voted for Democratic senators. Kent, now you know what it feels like to live in states like WI or NC, where winning 60% of the popular vote gets Democrats 35% of the state legislature. Kent, now you know what it's like when GOP-held legislatures purge voter roles and disenfranchise voters after losing elections by reducing the power of the governorship. Kent, now you know what it's like to have to waste time and money combatting GOP disenfranchisement. Glad you got a taste of disenfranchisement before it's too late. Now maybe you've got a better understanding of the "American experiment."

  116. @Josh Wilson Brilliantly stated.

  117. People of Kansas are terrified to ever hear the words, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

  118. “You flipped — I’m disenfranchised,” said Kent Crippin, 82. “And I’ve been a Republican all my life.” Ya think maybe that's the problem? People voting along party lines no matter how terrible their candidates are, how far away from the original Republican principles (small, less intrusive government, fiscal responsibility) the party has strayed? Why do we even bother having elections if people's votes are going to be set in stone from birth? Just declare at age 18 and then fuggedaboudit. And it's hard to sympathize with a guy suddenly feeling disenfranchised at 82 when there are entire communities that have been disenfranchised for generations, like blacks in the South.

  119. “You flipped — I’m disenfranchised,” said Kent Crippin, 82. “And I’ve been a Republican all my life.” But, life-long Republicans had zero problem voting for a former New York City Democrat once Trump added his Nativist hate speech and his name-calling and his thousands of lies. Sheesh!

  120. @Able Nommer. This guy likely had no idea who was even running. He saw the R, and flipped the switch

  121. If only 4 GOP US senators had similarly flipped when their party embraced "birther"-ism during Mr. Obama's presidency, the world would be in a much better place today.

  122. It's long past time to stop calling the Tea Party/Trump people conservative. They are not conservative but retrograde reactionaries. They pursue reckless policies that did not begin with Trump. It was Reagan who blew the roof through the national debt and transformed the U.S. from a creditor nation into a debtor nation. It was Bush Jr. who led the reckless wars in the Middle East and Asia and blew up the economy. Now Trump is doing the same things, just on hyper drive and with more blatant racism and xenophobia. The moderates and the Democrats are the true fiscal conservatives and the prudent and cautious leaders.

  123. Good for them! (I was born in Kansas, for which I apologize.)

  124. There is decency in Johnson County! Welcome ladies - so happy to have you join us in saving our republic Thank you for your bravery

  125. Perhaps Mr. Pompey better think twice about running for Senate in Kansas in 2020. With a good challenger, he might go down to defeat.

  126. No city in America is being impacted more by the tariffs on China than Wichita, Kansas according to the Brookings Institution. Wichita has the largest share of export jobs affected by President Donald Trump’s China tariffs: nearly 9 percent of its export-supported employment — or about 2,900 jobs. “We’re No. 1 in the nation” in terms of impacts from the tariffs, said Karyn Page, president and CEO of Kansas Global Trade Services. “That’s not a ranking we particularly like.” So why are so many in the state convinced that the Republican party is working for them?

  127. They aren’t. They are primarily concerned about fetuses.

  128. Dear Ms. Sykes. Please do not cry. Please hold your head high, look those elderly gentlemen in the eye, and tell them that the Eisenhower Library and burial site is there in Abilene, just down the road from Topeka. Tell them that the Republican Party they are mourning is buried there with Ike. Tell them that the Republican Party of Sam Brownback, Kris Koback and Donald Trump is no longer the party they "voted for all their lives." And Ms. Sykes, please take heart. Some of us Kansans feel you did the right thing by following your conscience. Sincerely...

  129. An 82-year old man feels "disenfranchised." Well, since he's not exactly the future of America, this lawmaker who flipped parties should feel that she's now on the right side of history. When, exactly, will the elderly begin to understand that, try as they might, they can't control America's destiny now and forever? They don't own America.

  130. Shame. They are finally starting, perhaps, to feel ashamed of what the GOP stands for. Cruelty for cruelty's sake is not governing. Good on these reps for doing the right thing and seeing it cannot continue.

  131. The modern Republican Party is to a significant extent now the natural political home for extremists, fanatics, and outright lunatics, one of whom resides in the White House. Little wonder reasonable people are leaving. Likely these politicians are the leading edge of an avalanche of defections. We need a responsible and sane conservative party. Perhaps these politicians and others like them will eventually found such a party. In seems unlikely that the current Republican Party can adequately reform itself starting from this dismal point.

  132. As a "yellow dog" Democrat I certainly welcome these four Kansas legislators into the fold of the Democratic Party but I do have some reservations. The principles of the Democratic Party which are based on the idea that the one of government's central purpose is to help the little guy and to ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share of the tax burden, may not be acceptable to ex -Republicans who have bolted from their party simply because they find Trump morally offensive. If there is a mass exodus from the GOP to the Dems I would be concerned that their conservative message might dilute the fundamental objectives of the Democratic Party. A litmus test might be whether a person thought that the Trump tax cut was offensive or not. Ex-GOPers who think that the tax cut was great, but that Trump is abhorrent, maybe need to start a new party. Hatred of Trump the man, while still adhering to GOP principles that hurt the average man, should not be a reason for being a Democrat.

  133. The principles of any party are what its members vote they should be, not what you say they should be. Both parties have changed their positions dramatically on thousands of issues and will continue to do so. This is how our democracy grows and evolves over time.

  134. If this abandonment of the Trump Republican Party can occur in Kansas, it can be replicated anywhere in the country. We are witnessing the inexorable death spiral of a collection of people who refuse to believe and recognize that a return to America, circa 1955, is a demographic impossibility.

  135. Perfectly captures the inevitable destiny that we call demographics. Who needs old, unemployed, dying voters, anyway? Youth is the future.

  136. This old (progressive) voter is not quite ready to fade away ;)

  137. If it is difficult to go from R to D, consider going to independent/unaffiliated. The party infrastructure isn't there, but you can be freer to be yourself and encourage D's and R's to consider what you have to say if they want your vote.

  138. @Mac.....except that in Kansas you have to declare a party in order to vote in the primary

  139. @Julie That needs to change everywhere. Primaries should be open. If a party wants a closed primary, let them do it at their party meetings. Taxpayers should not fund the expense of party machinery.

  140. Beyond the way the name is pronounced the so called Republican Party of today bears no resemblance to the party I stuffed envelopes for as a kid. While undoubtedly there are still members who uphold the values woven deep into that political fabric, the number began to shrink with Reagan's apostasy and I think all the "old timers" know what I'm saying. Teddy Roosevelt? Remember him?

  141. These moderate Republicans are leaving the party for the same reason a number of conservative Democrats flipped parties a generation ago. They can see the writing on the wall and know if they want to keep their jobs they must become Democrats. It's self-preservation more than courage. I wonder if any Republicans in Congress will try to do the same and get off the sinking ship before 2020.

  142. @Chris Gray The "conservative Democrats" flipped back in the 60's, when Johnson signed equal rights legislation. They were mostly southern racists turning to Republicans who would uphold their "separate but (not)equal" mentality, anti-miscegenation laws, etc. Abe Lincoln wouldn't recognize the platform of the current crop of Republicans, and is likely rolling in his grave over Trump.

  143. I retired from PA to Florida just 6 years ago. I was a registered Democrat but worked for more than 17 years in civil service under Republican and Democratic Administrations. Since I started from the lowest level, a Clerk 1 and finally after graduate school as a member of the executive staff of the PA Department of Transportation, I saw many changes over the years and experienced the best and worst of from both political parties. I used to be non-partisan and I used to view both parties as having something to contribute to the citizens of the Commonwealth. Over the years my views have changed. Both parties have great flaws but one is morally and ethically bankrupt. The Republicans are filled with venom and hatred that cannot be described. They are literally morally corrupt and socially, economically and educationally backward. They have a terrible mean streak that is guided by their ultra-conservative dogmatic religious views. The Republicans are reactionaries living in the 1800s. They casually dismiss science, education, the value of teachers, minorities, and the rights of women. They oppose public schools, and taxes for public schools. They oppose state pensions for all but the legislators and the governor's office. They oppose government except what they control. And would rather have hangings than prison terms for all offenses. Republicans are morally and ethically challenged. There will be more defections.

  144. They know most of the voters in their district doesn’t even know who is running. But we’re taught to vote democrat.

  145. @Jim What on earth do you mean?

  146. As a Democrat in Kansas, I was frequently told I was throwing my vote away and I needed to register as a Republican so I could vote in the primary. There were times it was tempting but I just couldn’t do it. What has happened in Kansas is the Democrats have come home and are voting for Democrats. Furthermore some of the moderate Republicans are crossing over. The Democratic party in Johnson County has never been more energized than it is today. I personally spent months knocking on doors each weekend before the election. This didn’t come natural to me but I was compelled to do it because it had to be done. The future depends on it. Nothing was more motivating than hearing the crazy things the ultra conservatives said or hearing how poorly the moderate Republican women were treated in the Kansas Legislature. I am most proud about Governor Laura Kelly’s win and I am very optimistic about the changes she can make. Mark my words, there is more to come in this transition. We are only just getting started.

  147. @Lori Amen sister! There is a lot of energy and you are right - it's just getting started.

  148. #GOPExit

  149. With the new liberal progressive left-wing faction flexing their muscle, more moderates mean more division in the Democrat party.

  150. @Mr. Slater Multiple factions in the Democrat party has been true forever. To quote the humorist Will Rogers "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." Somehow the party has managed.

  151. “You flipped — I’m disenfranchised,” said Kent Crippin, 82. “And I’ve been a Republican all my life.” Lucky for you the Republicans weren't in power all your life, or you have no social security and no Medicare. If you're such a staunch Republican, turn in your benefits.

  152. @george eliot Thank you, George. My own mother (age 94) is the same as Kent Crippin. Complaining non-stop about Dems while praising Social Security and her Medicare.

  153. @James Nickoloff And not seeing the irony in shouting "keep the government's hands off my medicare."

  154. Are they really leaving on principles or because they are reading the tea leaves and see they are gonna lose their seats?

  155. @James T ONeill Both can be true. Their principles do not fit well with today's Republican Party and the voters in their districts do not fit well with the Republican party too.

  156. Bravo- kudos to all four of you. How could anyone represent a party which is nothing but a stooge for paymasters. They have lost their soul sometime ago and now thrives on fear, division mongering and the lust to remain in power at any cost. We have a clueless child bully pathological liar in the awhite House. The party has come to such a low level that they close their eyes and put up with the court jester flown with zero governance skills. All four of you are very special- you have compassion and care for the nation. The rest of the representatives in power are severly compromised. Wish many of them had the heart and courage to do the same. Regardless, what goes around comes around. The downfall has started and soon they will be minority party everywhere as people start learning about the true color of them.

  157. All I can say to Dinah Sykes, after a small thank you for seeing the light, is what took you so long. The writings been on the wall, in big bold type, since Reagan; no more "fairness doctrine," "greed is god," "gummint is the problem," 'he missed me so let's not talk gun control,+ Bush the 1st's "no new taxes," and on and on to today's ridiculous situation of the least competent president in our history wrecking our country at home and abroad. Support for a competent local Repub just adds another "invisible" MAGA hat to the nation's ruling class.

  158. If four Senate Republicans would flip we could get rid of Mitch McConnell as majority leader and that would be one giant step forward for America.

  159. McCONnell is a hypocritical disgrace. Power retention and party Over country is what he's about. The sooner he's gone the better for US all.

  160. Actually the answer is to do the opposite. Have all the Democrats switch to the GOP and see if they have enough votes to elect a pragmatic leader.

  161. @Robert O. Tried calling and writing to McConnell’s office the other day. His contact webpage is blank and his phone’s mail box won’t accept messages. Unfortunate that this public servant clearly doesn’t want to hear from his fellow citizens. Worst majority leader in the 100 year history of majority leaders.

  162. Maybe there was Something the Matter with Kansas, but now there are signs of the state beginning to return to its progressive roots. Kansans appear to be waking up to the fraud of far-right governance, perhaps sooner than other red states because they have been taking a particularly savage dose of Republican austerity

  163. Lenexa and Overland Park are home to KS' tech companies. There are a lot of college educated engineers there, that sadly don't make that much money. Less than half of what I make in Silicon Valley, but they own a 5 bedroom houses for $350,000 and I own a 1 1/2 bedroom house on 100x100 ft lot with no garage for $1M so they are pretty smart people. Half of my family tree is from Kansas. The smart ones either moved to Manhattan (KS, the University town) or out of the state. Maybe the state electorate is changing, but it seems to be the same areas that were always more "enlightened".

  164. The same thing needs to happen in the US Senate. Five or six senate republicans needs to become independents and caucus with the democrats and deprive Senator McConnel of the senate leadership and stop his toadying to President Trump.

  165. But then if they come from Red or Purple states they won’t get re-elected because as the article points out, especially for the elderly, it is a straight party line mentality.

  166. @Will Eigo "especially for the elderly" As one of those, I would note that we are literally a dying breed. To quote the economist John Maynard Keynes. "in the long run we all shall be dead." Some of us will get there sooner than others. At some point every generation must pass the reigns to those coming up behind it; we are either at that point or rapidly approaching it - 2020 will tell which although 2018 provided some pretty good hints.

  167. I wonder if this will be a trend. If so, it will be interesting.

  168. Kansas is a total Conservative Disaster! Wake up Kansas, what has the GOP done for you? Nothing but despair!

  169. Kansas just elected a Dem governor and flipped a US House seats Dem. There were several local flips to the left/center. Your call to wake up is a little late.

  170. Maybe nothing is wrong with Kansas?

  171. In other words, those GOPers with some sense of decency and brains have switched to the right side!

  172. @Nelson Yes, the LEFT side.

  173. Proper side.

  174. Ms Sykes concludes with, “I had to do what I could do to look at myself in the mirror.” America needs to do the same.

  175. @steve hoff How about resigning? That would allow you to take a moral a moral stand against the Republican Party whose nomination you accepted while allowing constituents in the district to vote for candidates who actually believe in what they say while campaigning. And yes, our country ABSOLUTELY needs to take a good look in the mirror.

  176. You flipped — I’m disenfranchised You are only disenfranchised if you can't vote. Does your Congress person listen to your views? Does she still support the positions that caused you to vote for her?

  177. Kenarmy, many dont vote based on the politician's views and policies, they vote based in the R or D after their name on the ballot. They see it as a team sport. So if the politician changes teams, even if they havent changed views or policies, they feel cheated.

  178. I grew up in Johnson County and while it was fairly conservative as a whole it wasn't reactionary. It didn't cater to the fringes and it didn't throw away its highly regarded school system for tax cuts. All of these things occurred under Brownback. Glad to see sanity returning. It's a shame it took a charlatan like Sam Brownback to make people see just how radical the Republican Party has become.

  179. @R.G. P. Hopefully witnessing a charlatan like Trump will change other's minds about the radicalization of the GOP. So far it is not happening, at least not fast enough. Some in Kansas, like Kent here, are apparently fine with the bomb-throwing GOP, be it Brownback's or Trump's.

  180. It's astonishing how the Republican Party careens further and further to the right as it loses all voices of moderation and common sense. The GOP in Kansas would be unrecognizable to Goldwater or Reagan. Kobach was an incredibly ugly candidate, but assuming Republicans don't make that mistake again, they will resume full control of Kansas when Laura Kelly's term is up. One wonders if there is any hope whatsoever for Kansas or if the state is doomed to become the Mississippi of the Midwest. If I were raising a family there, I would be planning to leave, because what kind of a future would there be for my kids?

  181. No, Kansas has had 5 Democratic governors of its last 10. Johnson County (KC burbs) has never been uber conservative, and Kansas City Kansas has always been solidly Democratic. The population of rural Kansas is changing quickly, increasingly Latinx. The population of Dodge City is now majority Latinx. I think this is the beginning of a long term crawl back to center.

  182. I was a Kansan for over 60 years, and a registered Republican until January, 2017 when I switched my registration to Democrat, and October, 2018, when I moved to Colorado. It’s difficult to recognize the party I used to be a member of, and the state I grew up in.

  183. Post Goldwater the GOP became functional Dixiecrats.

  184. The truth is, unless you are a millionaire, or a single-minded anti-abortion or pro-gun voter, there is no reason to be a republican. Look at what has happened: the Education Department ignores public education and promotes private, for-profit schools. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has almost stopped protecting consumers. The EPA has given up addressing pollution and given in to corporate polluters. The Interior Department wants to sell off or allow mining and oil drilling on our public lands. The Justice Department does nothing to protect voting rights and minority rights, and will do nothing to promote police reform. The Housing Department does... nothing? Republicans, as a block, don't believe that climate change is an issue to be addressed. Why, then, are voters upset with these legislators switching from (R) to (D)?

  185. Simple tribalism.

  186. Questions I’d ask these politicians: Why waste your time on a voter who loudly proclaims he’s not a racist, but consistently votes for racists? Why waste your time on a voter who claims to be staunchly pro-women, but who consistently votes for a party that is against women’s interests, against equal pay for women, and against women’s reproductive rights? Why waste your time on a voter who claims to be for the family farmer, but who votes for both politicians and a party who have worked steadfastly to destroy the hard-earned international markets for these very farmers? Why waste your time on a voter who supports and votes for a party that gives aid and comfort to one of our greatest international adversaries, namely Russia? Why waste a single tear on these people, who clearly have their own narrow misguided self interest at heart, to the great detriment of our nation as a whole? These are folks who wouldn’t mind a bit if our entire country went down in flames, so long as they held on to that fraudulent Supreme Court majority and their oh so precious assault rifles....

  187. @JHS Perhaps because people are more complex than the narrow and biased view you have. I'm a Democrat, and I despise Trump, but I have friends and relatives who voted for him. I think they are wrong and made a bad decision, but they are not rotten to the core as you intimate. Remember that Clinton lost due in large part to losing a swath of Obama voters who went for Trump. One of the reasons voters vote Republican is because there are too many Democrats who do nothing but arrogantly look down their noses at those who disagree with them.

  188. I would encourage Ms. Sykes not to back down. If accused of flip or betrayal , remind these Fox watchers that you will act only in the interests of your constituents and it is the republican party that has betrayed and flipped . Kansas' son, Eisenhower did not act this way. "You flipped — I’m disenfranchised,” they said. Who flipped?? who is disenfranchised when a billionaire takes your tax money and gives it away wholesale to his billionaire pals ?

  189. We had similar results in the mid-1960's in in NYC & NJ State. Many Dems in in both replacing them with Lindsay as Mayor and Rockafeller as Governor . If Nancy in House & esp, Chuck in Senate can have decent Republicans to vote against Trump now & in 2020. we can win! We need Midwest states like PA & MI, with Obama & his wife's strong support to rouse Black votes. The last be tough, and need people like this article describes.

  190. She was elected to do what we wanted. Its not about her. The people should be able to impeach her and have another election. This is depriving the people their vote. All four of these will be gone the next election

  191. @kevin Do you vote for a party or do you vote for a person? Shouldn't their actual votes on bills be the deciding factor?

  192. @Pip I understand the 'person' argument but the person's party determines majority and leadership. At national level i vote against McConnell just like others vote against Pelosi because the leader is far, far more powerful than the person who represents me.

  193. @kevin Don't be so sure, it sounds like they did not do it for personal but did not get the support they need to serve their voters.

  194. Re the 82 year old man who'd been a Republican all his - regardless if Republican or Democrat, there are better reasons to choose than "because I've always done it this way."

  195. If this is how they feel now, how will they feel after another 21 months of Trump.

  196. “You flipped — I’m disenfranchised,” said Kent Crippin, 82. “And I’ve been a Republican all my life. Time for change, Kent. The Republican party has shown itself to be the enemy of the common man, unless you think that denying health care, education and the right of every citizen to the pursuit of happiness is your cup of tea. Brownback was and is a complete disaster for Kansas economics, same as Trump is for all save the uber rich. Good on these lawmakers for having the courage to buck a party that supports a pathological liar in cahoots with our adversaries.

  197. @Jussmartenuf "You flipped - I'm disenfranchised." Doesn't this person have a modicum of shame that he votes blindly for a party rather than what is good for the American people and the people of his state?

  198. Finally, the Kansans have come to their senses, Koch or no Koch

  199. Bravo to these women! They have more courage than their male counterparts in the Republican Party for following their conscience.

  200. Brownback has left a permanent stain on his party. The lower taxes/gut programs lab experiment was a failure, and he's moved on (and back) to D.C. It's what Republican leaders do.