Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, and I are becoming BFFs these days.  First I wrote a glowing blog post about him this week and then I got to see him in person at an immigration forum hosted by the Village Square last night.

What is the Village Square?  The Village Square is a non-partisan public educational forum on matters of local, state and national importance. They are dedicated to maintaining factual accuracy in civic and political debate by growing civil dialog on divisive issues, and recalling the history and principles at the foundation of our democracy.

Civil dialog?  I had to check it out and see if this thing called civil dialog was even possible.

It was snowing like crazy when I left work for the event.  My liberal hybrid had trouble reaching the venue.  I was slipping and sliding all over the place, but NOTHING was going to keep me from seeing Mr. Kobach.  I even slid into an intersection and hit a car!  The woman jumped out of her car to inspect her bumper.  She looked at me and I mouthed – Kobach.  That’s all it took.  The power of his name alone was enough.  She gave me two thumbs up, jumped back into her car and we both drove away.

I finally made it to the event located at a large church. There was camera crew, a moderator and there were fact checkers.  The fact checkers were there to challenge any stats that were provided during the event and make sure they were valid.   They were armed with laptops and a strong internet connection.  I started to sweat.  I know I said I was 35.  Honestly, I’m 35.  They looked at me and I looked at them.  Suddenly they started typing.   Ok, I’m not 35, maybe I’m 39.  Did I say 39?  Ok, maybe I’m 40.  Certainly they have more important things to fact check than my age.  Jesus Christ it was hot in there.  Did I say Jesus Christ out loud?  Damn it, it’s a church.  I’m definitely going to hell.

Moving on…..Kris Kobach was the first to speak.  He gave a speech about illegal immigration and how it’s a drain on our economy.  He went on and on about how illegal immigrants come to this country and milk our social services.  He spoke out about illegal immigrants sending their children to our free public schools.  He spoke about the meat-packing industry wages falling due to illegal immigrants.

It was amazing that I kept my composure during Kobach’s speech.  I do have a confession to make.  I was guilty of having multiple sargasms during this time.  My eyes were in full roll mode and I caught myself sighing a number of times.  I mean I’m only human.  If I didn’t have those outlets I probably would have exploded right there in the church.

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The counter point came from Clarissa Martinez De-Castro who gave an entertaining speech about the history of immigration to the United States.  She spoke of the journey of illegal immigrants and refuted many of the points that Kobach brought up.

Finally there were two economists that focused on immigration.  That’s when the program got mind-blowingly good. They pushed back on almost all of Kobach’s points.  I wish they had a buzzer to ding him on his points just for effect. It’s hard to know if illegals drain our resources – why? Because they are illegal and we don’t have good facts to prove the point.  Do illegal immigrants  go public school?  No, but their LEGAL children go to public school and they have a right to.  It’s the law.  Meat packing industry wages did fall- not because of illegals, but because unions were broken up and they were the reason wages were kept at a decent level.  The economists were jabbing Kobach at every turn.

The end of the program just about killed me.  Kobach believes that we should have selective immigration based on who provides the great benefit to this country.  If you are good at math and science you are in.  If you aren’t – forget it.  If you are smart, you go to the front of the line.  If you are not smart, sorry Charlie.  The underlying racism in this thought process just about made my head spin.  The worst part was the church wasn’t offering any alcohol.  I had to listen to this remark stone cold sober!  My suffering was real people!

 

I will say the crowd was amazingly civil. There were civility bells that people could ring if things got out of hand. The bells only went off twice.  Once because the crowd applauded out of turn and the second time was because Kobach bashed President Obama – shocker!

Here’s my take away from the whole night.  I enjoyed the program.  I liked having all sides discuss the issue.  What I was most shocked by (in all seriousness) is that Kris Kobach is a brilliant legal mind.  He is a graduate of the Ivy League.  He is one of our top constitutional lawyers  in this country.  What shocked me was how easy his arguments were torn apart.  I may not agree with his position, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be dazzled by his brilliance.  I was FAR from dazzled.  Was he holding back, because he thought the audience wasn’t smart enough to follow along?  Is this as good as it gets or is this really it?  I left shocked and confused by him.

I plan on attending more events by the Village Square.  I hope you check them out as well.

 

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8 thoughts on “My Review of the Village Square Event Featuring Kris Kobach

  1. David says:

    Thanks, Aimee…in one post you made me smarter, made me chuckle and helped me learn about Village Square. You’re Wonder Woman.

  2. Brian Johnson says:

    Great post Aimee! Like you, I was interestingly amused by Kobach’s theory on selective immigration. Kobach’s view is that more people want to come to the U.S. than any other nation in the world. If we believe that premise, then Kobach’s logical conclusion is that as a matter of National Security, we should pick the “Cream of the Crop.” I found it curiously interesting that Kobach would choose to use an agrarian based idiom as a metaphor to highlight his view on immigration. Not to mention that this line of thinking is rather provincial and reminiscent of an antebellum view of immigration and its relationship to labor and wages. What Kobach failed to mention was just who gets to decide who the “Cream of the crop” is. Unless, of course, by cream, Kobach meant “white” in which case our current immigration laws will suffice.

  3. Greg says:

    I was interested in your comment about how illegal immigrants didnt reduce the pay for jobs at the Kansas meat packing plants!! I remember when I was at school in Emporia Ks- that those jobs were both hard – dirty – dangerous and pretty well paid for rural America!! So I wondered what happened to those jobs!! The first article I looked up from Crop Choice expained the history of the union in the meat packing industry!! I will leave you with a paragraph from their article!!
    “In April 1982, IBP bought the old Storm Lake plant from Hygrade for $2.5 million. The Storm Lake workers were not welcomed back. Hundreds applied for positions at the new plant, but fewer than thirty were hired. Wages averaged $7 per hour, or $14,600 per year – less than half the average salary of the old workers. IBP imported a largely immigrant work force to man the plant.” Again from an article in Crop choice!!
    So being a liberal Democrat – how can you disagree with him on the lose of better paying jobs??

  4. Michael Box says:

    What kind of monster would split up families and send children who know little to nothing about the language and culture of Mexico to that country?

    Mexico offers compulsory education through the eighth grade. This means that when the kids would be going off to high school in America they are sent to work in Mexico. So I ask you what kind of monster would send kids who were raised and educated in America back to a country they do not know and to an unconscionable labor market? And I do mean unconscionable.

    For the boys, they soon learn that they cannot earn a decent wage doing the menial work for a few pesos that is available in their towns. What is the alternative? They are soon recruited to traffic either drugs or people across the border, to be mules to take drugs deep into the United States, or to be coyotes and get people to load house. Of course the work pays much better than being a clerk at a shop, but failure to work may mean your family gets murdered.

    For the girls the prospects are flat out criminal. It is inconceivable that these children are in the eighth grade one day and sold into prostitution the next, often by their older boyfriends who have taken up employment with a criminal enterprise.
    Of course the factory jobs in Mexico came from the closed plants in America and pay pennies to the dollars American Union contracts guaranteed their members. These companies are also not burdened by clean air or clean water laws.

    If Kris Kobach were serious about immigration reform he’d demand that all free trade agreements require the other nations to all collective bargaining, universal education through high school, and strict adherence to environmental protection laws. Of course then he wouldn’t be a knee jerk Republic politician who relies heavily on demagogic remarks. He’d be Bernie Sanders!

  5. lindiana55 says:

    It has occurred to me that Mr. Kobach, with his Ivy League education, tenacity and seemingly endless time to work on non-Kansas issues– could accomplish something for the good of this state. There are many, many poor and disabled Kansas citizens who could use an advocate with his qualifications. Oh wait, there isn’t any money or political clout in that kind of work.

  6. nedhamson says:

    Reblogged this on Ned Hamson Second Line View of the News and commented:
    I finally made it to the event located at a large church. There was camera crew, a moderator and there were fact checkers. The fact checkers were there to challenge any stats that were provided during the event and make sure they were valid. They were armed with laptops and a strong internet connection. I started to sweat. I know I said I was 35. Honestly, I’m 35. They looked at me and I looked at them. Suddenly they started typing. Ok, I’m not 35, maybe I’m 39. Did I say 39? Ok, maybe I’m 40. Certainly they have more important things to fact check than my age. Jesus Christ it was hot in there. Did I say Jesus Christ out loud? Damn it, it’s a church. I’m definitely going to hell.

    Moving on…..Kris Kobach was the first to speak. He gave a speech about illegal immigration and how it’s a drain on our economy. He went on and on about how illegal immigrants come to this country and milk our social services. He spoke out about illegal immigrants sending their children to our free public schools. He spoke about the meat-packing industry wages falling due to illegal immigrants.

    It was amazing that I kept my composure during Kobach’s speech. I do have a confession to make. I was guilty of having multiple sargasms during this time. My eyes were in full roll mode and I caught myself sighing a number of times. I mean I’m only human. If I didn’t have those outlets I probably would have exploded right there in the church.

  7. Ben Dazzle says:

    My Review of Your Review of the Village Square Event Featuring Kris Kobach

    Concerning your opening of — “Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, and I are becoming BFFs”–uh, I didn’t realize you spoke so bluntly about your sex life here, but I’m sure that Kobach is a faithful married man, so perhaps your thinking of someone else.

    Civil dialog? Oh, that’s right, your background is from out of “left” field, so I’m sure that one threw you for a loop!

    “I even slid into an intersection and hit a car! The woman jumped out of her car to inspect her bumper. She looked at me and I mouthed – Kobach. That’s all it took.” Aimee, I hate to burst your bubble, but I spoke to that woman later while she filed a hit and run report. She said that when she saw your bumper chock full of Obama and Hillary stickers, while you shouted “Go Back!” at her while pointing your finger, she knew you were unbalanced and just drove to the police department after noting your license plate info.

    “Damn it, it’s a church. I’m definitely going to hell.” Well, making confessions while in church is acceptable, just try to keep your voice down next time!

    “Multiple sargasms”? While in church? Aimee, how could you! If anyone ever asks you to approach the pulpit and kneel, please….please, think before you act.

    I couldn’t help but notice that you repeatedly used the phrase “illegal immigration.” You should look up the word “illegal” and ask yourself what would our society be like if everyone acted “illegally.” You wouldn’t really call it a society any longer. Anarchistic chaos anyone? Aimee? Hello?

    “Kobach believes that we should have selective immigration.” This attitude reflects the policy in place by our federal government in which wealthy Asians (especially Chinese capitalists) are able to purchase U.S. residency status for a mere $1 million dollars. Don’t like it? It was a Democratic Congress and Administration. Oops! There goes your “selective memory” again!

    Drowning your sorrows in alcohol? Ah, alcohol is like government intervention, moderation is the key. A prudent individual perhaps avoids it altogether, while those who succumb to temptation may ultimately kill themselves and those around them. Something to think about Aimee.

    “What I was most shocked by (in all seriousness) is that Kris Kobach is a brilliant legal mind. He is a graduate of the Ivy League. He is one of our top constitutional lawyers in this country.” Aimee!! You’re sobering up already!

    (thanks for your satire, and for being a good sport!)

    1. Aimee Patton says:

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I’m guessing you aren’t sure what BFF means – it means best friends forever. Not sure how you are linking that to my sex life, but I’ll just go with it. Right now I’m LOLing. I’ll leave you to figure out what that means. Hint – it also has something to do with sex.

      Anyhoo…you point out many good points here Ben. I will take them to heart. I get the feeling you don’t like my writing or my points. Here’s a little secret. The internet is filled with oodles of blogs. All you have to do is type in Google and then in the search bar type in “right wing blogs” and a list as long as you can imagine will come up with blog after blog bashing libtards like me. I have a feeling that you will feel more comfortable on one of those sites.

      You are always welcome here, but if you want to read post after post of ideas that are just like your own, please seek out some of those blogs.
      All my best,
      Aimee

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