Kansas “Independent” Comes Out of the Closet as a Democrat

You are probably generally aware of the situation in Kansas, where long-time (and not very inspiring) Senator Pat Roberts survived a primary challenge by insurgent Milton Wolf, but was badly weakened for the general election. The Democrats shrewdly talked their endorsed candidate out of the race, and instead are coalescing behind “independent” candidate Greg Orman. Kansas voters surely would not elect Orman if they knew that doing so would keep Harry Reid in place as Majority Leader, but Orman’s “independent” stance is confusing quite a few Kansans.

It shouldn’t. On Monday, Orman came out of the closet by endorsing the Democrats’ Udall proposal, which would repeal the First Amendment as it relates to participation in political campaigns. Under the Democrats’ amendment, Congress would have the unfettered power to “regulate” raising and spending money on political campaigns. To take just one example, a Democratic Congress could exercise this power by making it a felony to contribute to the campaign of anyone who is not an endorsed Democratic Party candidate.

Orman’s support for Harry Reid’s pet project, intended to muzzle Republicans, tells you all you need to know about his real views. In the Senate, he would be a Reid acolyte. I am pretty sure a majority of Kansans wouldn’t intentionally vote for someone who wants to repeal the First Amendment, but–like Orman–the Udall proposal is flying under false colors. Democrats promote it as merely an effort to reverse Citizens United. Like Orman’s claim to be an independent, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Whether Kansas voters will figure this out by November remains to be seen.

The Kansas cliffhanger is a reminder that when insurgent novices challenge Democrats or run for open seats (Ron Johnson is a great example), they can do a great deal of good, and deserve our enthusiastic support. On the other hand, when they mount primary challenges against incumbent Republicans, including mediocre ones like Roberts (lifetime American Conservative Union rating 86%), they are likely to serve no one’s interests but the Democrats’.

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