GOP split — Governor should steer clear of references to inclusion


When a radical Republican recently targeted former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kansas, a prominent GOP senator rightly shot back.

When a radical Republican recently targeted former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kansas, a prominent GOP senator rightly shot back.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona didn't appreciate comments from Sen. Ted Cruz, the Tea Party darling from Texas.

In labeling Dole and other Republicans ineffective, Cruz said: "And then, of course, all of us remember President Dole and President McCain and President Romney. Now look: those are good men. They're decent men, but when you don't stand and draw a clear distinction, when you don't stand for principle, Democrats celebrate."

McCain, a wounded war veteran like Dole, understandably bristled at Cruz questioning the principles of the World War II vet Dole, and asked Cruz for an apology that hasn't materialized.

Then, Gov. Sam Brownback launched his own defense of Dole with an astounding reference to two-term Republican President Reagan.

As part of discussion on GOP conservatives and moderates during a nationally televised interview, Brownback said: "... my point is, the Reagan point is, you just don't speak poorly of fellow Republicans. You know, and Reagan was always a very inclusive person and he had a lot of moderates in the party."

The comments were laughable coming from a governor who worked overtime with his allies, Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, to malign and ostracize fellow Republicans who dared challenge their ultraconservative agenda in any way.

The governor took advantage of an ugly, last-minute campaign of misinformation designed to mislead voters in the August 2012 GOP primary. Their ads even linked Republicans who questioned the Brownback agenda to Obamacare (a federal law), which was absurd.

But voters fell for it, and the radical right erased the influence of more traditional, nonextremist Republicans in their own party, including former Senate President Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican.

Criticism of policies and philosophies of fellow party members should be expected. But any such conflict won't be tolerated by the Brownback regime.

"Inclusive" is the last word the Kansas governor should use. And, "don't speak poorly of fellow Republicans?"

Consider it more hypocrisy from an administration setting a new standard for as much.

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