Once it’s over, I welcome anyone interested in more information. I’ll try to have a big overview piece up maybe tomorrow or Sunday, but here’s my basic thesis.
Kris Kobach has worked for, received money from, and pledged to support the agenda of groups that promote extremely radical right wing policies. These are groups out of the mainstream who are trying to shift the Republican party away from its moderate elements into a truly odd place. One group promotes a racist agenda and is associated with Holocaust deniers and eugenicists, another promotes militias as a way to purge America of anything that doesn’t match their concept of Biblical law.
These groups have stated desires to infiltrate their supporters into various parts of the government to promote their agenda. When they have succeeded, they have used congressmen they supported as stalking horses, getting into meetings with senior leadership in Congress.
Furthermore, they are driven by, if not racism, xenophobia. They fear that illegal immigration from Mexico is actually the vanguard of the “Reconquista,” a re-annexation of lands captured in the Mexican war. They advocate militarizing the border to respond to what they see has a military invasion by “homo progenitiva,” and worry that the descendants of the original settlers from the 13 colonies (“homo contraceptivus”), and their religion, will be obliterated by this inferior group.
Kris Kobach has stated his support for militarizing the border, and has also shown himself to be an extremist on immigration, since he is the only lawyer who came forward to sue the state of Kansas over a law it shares with 8 other states, granting in-state tuition to anyone who has gone through at least three years of high school. Whether he shares all of the bizarre beliefs of these groups, his willingness to court them, and their enthusiasm for his candidacy, suggests that he will at least promote the policies these groups advocate, and oppose compromise on issues from gun control to immigration. He is the pretty face these groups are putting forward to advocate extremism, and to shift every debate away from sensible moderation, toward the madness of right-wing absolutism. He thinks everyone is a liberal, and is supported by groups which indirectly advocate death squads as a means of dealing with liberals.
Because his views do not reflect those of the Third District, and because history suggests that he would represent his supporters interests over his constituents, no one should vote for him. He should lose 75–25, because anything less will make these groups think that they should come back and try again.
Even the Lawrence Journal World’s conservative editorial board could not enthusiastically support Kobach, merely suggesting that generic republicans would be better than generic democrats in both local house races. They note in particular that “some of his associations cause some people to pause in their enthusiastic endorsement of his candidacy.” (If I had to speculate, I’d guess the editorial board split on their endorsement, and wound up only being able to endorse the party, not the candidate.)
Dennis Moore is a sensible moderate (conservative for my tastes) who takes the responsibility of representing his district in the House of Representatives. He deserves more respect than Kobach has shown, and I — like the campus paper, the Johnson County Sun, the Kansas City Star, and countless Republicans and Democrats — enthusiastically endorse the re-election of Dennis Moore and the crushing defeat of his unworthy opponent.