Last night’s debate in Kansas between Republican Senator Pat Roberts, and his opponent Greg Orman is a perfect example of Conservative strategy for winning the 2014 midterm elections. The evening’s debate was educational on a single level; Republicans are confused about who their opponent actually is.
Pat Roberts is struggling to retain his Senate seat. His record is less than good, and he appears to be out of touch with Congress’ political structure.
Greg Orman is running as an independent; that simply means that he has declared that he has no major party affiliation. Roberts basically referred to Mr. Orman as a ‘Liberal Democrat.’
The principal question is ‘who is Roberts running against?’ He constantly railed against President Obama and Senator Harry Reid; seldom mentioning his opponent. When Roberts actually responded to questions on the issues, he perfectly matched the Republican platform, offering no new ideas. The answers given by Mr. Orman offered ideas which were neither liberal nor conservative; displaying his independent thinking on matters of importance in Kansas and the Nation.
Roberts continued to use a ‘well-worn’ tactic; he used Harry Reid’s name at least 20 times, and President Obama’s 19. Whether or not this continuous attacking of the two top Democrats will result in a Roberts’ victory is yet to be determined. In other states the strategy is having some effect.
Uninformed voters lack the ability to understand that electing the best candidate for their state and for the nation is why we have elections. All Americans should be independent and elect the best man or woman for the job. In Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is battling Democrat Allison Grimes. McConnell is ahead in the polls; and the DNC has ceased running ads for Grimes. Here’s the rub; polls of possible voters admit that McConnell is unpopular, but they also say that they hate Mr. Obama, and do not want another pawn for him to use in Washington. Republican voters must be unaware that one of the difficulties the President has experienced is the fact that his own party is frequently in opposition to his policies. On the right side of the aisle, Republican Congressmen give their leaders 100 percent of their votes over 99 percent of the time. George W. Bush’s failed policies never received a solitary ‘no’ vote.
Roberts received justified criticism from Mr. Orman. Orman, a businessman, told the crowd that he was the only person on the stage to have ever created a job for a Kansas resident. He pointed to the fact that Roberts has spent most of his adult life in Washington; most of his time spent in Kansas has been for election efforts.
When Roberts again blamed the President and Mr. Reid for the gridlock in Washington, Mr. Orman agreed with him, partially. He admitted Roberts was right by 50 percent; the other 50 percent of the problem is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Pat Roberts.
The two most contentious issues between the candidates were on the always volatile issue of abortion, and Citizens United.
Roberts again held the position of extreme conservatives; ‘no.’ He made the tired old statement that it is the responsibility of all men to protect unborn life. Orman stated that he leaves his trust in the women of the state of Kansas. He believes that they have the intelligence to decide what to do with their own productive system.
Citizens United was a reversal by the Republican dominated Supreme Court of the ‘McCain-Feingold Act’ which limited campaign contributions by corporations and individual groups. Orman argued that it is unfair to the average contributor, creating Super PACS which virtually allow corporations to buy elections for candidates who support their position. Roberts used the Supreme Court argument that abolishing Citizens United would violate the first amendment rights of corporations. He, like the Court, indicated that ‘corporations are people.’
Republicans are confused about their opponents; and they’re using it to press an emotional button. They are claiming that voting for their opponent is a vote for Mr. Obama. With the millions of dollars spent on such ads it is more evident now than ever why the television was labeled the ‘boob tube.’
By James Turnage