Act One — The Ransom of Red Chief.
Sam Brownback had become such a huge political liability that his handlers decided to have him quietly transferred out of state. They wanted him to abandon his post as captain of the leaking Kansas dingy in exchange for a nice little job rearranging deck chairs on the Trump Titanic. Just one problem, the Republican controlled Senate already knew Sam and they applied the 10-foot pole rule. The quick under-the-radar maneuver didn't happen. Finally, just to make it go away, they called in Mike "Spiro" Pence to provide the confirming vote.
To be fair, the plan is now working. While we will be talking about the wreckage of the Brownback administration for a long time, we haven't actually heard anything from him since he left.
Act Two — Fool me twice, shame on me.
You just have to wonder what Sigmund Freud might say about Kris "K.K." Kobach and his big toy gun.
Kobach claims to have been the flrst to endorse Donald Trump. It wasn't an endorsement, it was a job application. He desperately wanted to be in Washington, but Washington didn't want him either. His theories were actually too goofy and embarrassing for the Trump administration.
Gov. Brownback snuck off in disgrace, yet for reasons that are unfathomable, the Republicans have nominated his evil twin to be the replacement. This means that Kansas taxpayers may be forced again to fund Kobach's national aspirations — the governorship would be just a consolation prize.
For the record, I have been a gun owner since around age 5, when the neighbor across the street handed me my first shotgun and let me carry it home alone. One of the weapons that I received as a teenager was a Springfield 1903A3 that my father gave me. That's one of the rifles that the Greatest Generation used to kill Nazis. I guess I should hang on to the old Springfield for a while longer. Understand that I'm not looking for trouble, but if the insane hate mongering and human rights violations are going to continue, someone may need to raid Harper's Ferry.
Fortunately, the founders developed a system of checks and balances to deal in a more orderly fashion with those leaders who think they are above the law. Regrettably, that system doesn't work properly now that we have career politicians. Someone needs to ask Don Hineman, and others, why they think their political futures are more important than right v. wrong. John Doll stepped up. Do the same.
Act Three — A swamp on the high plains.
The Anthony Scaramucci Award goes to Joel Erskin, Cecil O'Brate and the rest of that dirty tricks gang. If Herb Swender hoped to convince us that he's not abusive, then he certainly picked the wrong cheerleaders (so to speak).
The GCCC Board of Trustees granted due process to a man who believes that teachers don't deserve the same. That gave him enough time to set up an LLC to provide a tax shelter for his huge golden parachute. When a contract is prepared for Swender's replacement, please make sure the taxpayers get a better pre-nup.
Some of my friends will recognize a little parable about a farmer who emerges from the storm shelter to discover that both his family's home and his barn have been destroyed. Says the farmer, "No problem here. The wind's stopped blowing!”
Trustees Jetf Crist and Terri Worf apparently expressed the belief that the college is on probation because the accreditation evaluators were unqualified. That is nearly as stupid as asking your IRS auditor for a copy of his resume; and it's not hard to imagine who fed them that excuse. I fear some trustees, and those two in particular, may have too much in common with our fabled farmer. Swender's gone: the wind's stopped blowing. They may believe that they can go right back to plodding along and pretending that everything's dandy like they did before.
I have pointed out on several occasions that the goal of the Koch driven alt-wrongs is to destroy public education, so the sceptic in me has to wonder if this whole mess wasn't just part of their master plan. If you care about the college and its students more than you do about political agendas, then it's time to clean house. The problems weren't caused by just one bad apple. Rebuilding the school calls for fresh sets of eyes. I’m sure the accreditation can be restored; regaining actual credibility will be the hardest part.
John Dailey, a Telegram contributing columnist, is the owner of Sandhill Books. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.