National attention has been focused recently on the race for the Republican nomination for the Kansas Senate seat being vacated by Sam Brownback. C-SPAN carried a debate between the contestants, Representatives Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran, and CNN also has spotlighted the race.
This race illustrates just how low politics in this coutnry can sink. Each of the two candidates is doing nothing but trying to argue he is more conservative than his rival. And it is not true conservatism they are speaking of, but the anti-tax, anti-immigrant garbage which passes for conservatism these days. Tiahrt's latest attack ad accuses Moran of voting "to provide taxpayer-funded health care coverage for illegal immigrants", because he supported a children's health bill! This is the sort of nonsense Kansas votes have had to listen to. The story is at http://www.kansascity.com/2010/07/19/2093797/new-tiahrt-ad-in-us-senate-race.html
This business of taking a few votes and damning your opponent for it is what ousted Senator Bob Bennett from the primary for his Utah Senate seat. He was damned for reaching across the aisle and working with a Democratic Senator on a piece of legislation. This should be what we want our elected officials to do, but in the eyes of the ultra right-wing tea party folks this is a no-no. As a result, the Republicans have lost a long-time Senator who was one of the good guys.
The irony of the Kansas race is that both candidates are conservatives, and this splitting of hairs is just ludicrous. In the debate all either one did was make accusations that his opponent wasn't conservative enough, and each talked about specific votes--who voted to raise taxes most often, etc. Neither presented any sort of vision of where he wanted his country or his party to go in the future.