Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

 

Dear friends at the Sentinel,

 

You and I have something in common. I know it’s shocking, but hang on and I’ll get to it. Every time I click on your website to read your latest trashing of the KC Star, KCUR, moderate Republicans, all KS Democrats, any common sense legislation or to read your lovefest for Kobach and Brownback, a link pops up asking me for money.  Turns out I’m ALSO asking people for money.

Can you guess what for? A hint. You wrote about it today.

That’s right! It’s for the KS Mainstream Coalition’s Walk to Raise Hell in 2018.

First, I’m not the official spokesperson for the group, but I do belong and support what they stand for.  I’ve been attending their events for the past few years.

You were clever to point out the irony in how our group is trying to “raise hell” when we call ourselves “mainstream”.  First, I don’t think we have to raise hell since it’s going to be as hot as Satan’s living room tomorrow with a heat index of 101 for the walk – thanks Mother Nature.

Let’s explore that anyway.

Why does a group that is mainstream need to raise hell?  I wouldn’t check the “Kansas Truth Caucus” social feed for any hints, but Kansas is digging our way out of budget crisis the size of the Grand Canyon from disastrous tax cuts (still waiting on trickle down) and trying to establish constitutional funding for our public schools.  The legislature made big strides this last session.

Why?

Democrats and Moderate Republicans.

Who are supported with help from groups like….

Starts with an “M”

Mainstream Coalition!!!! Ding! Ding!

From the Sentinel, “Truth be told there is nothing “mainstream” about the coalition, never has been. The soft-core progressives who run the show now mimic the alleged “stealth candidates” they set out to expose twenty-four years ago.”

There is nothing “mainstream” about the coalition? Really? Nothing “mainstream” about wanting strong public education?  Nothing “mainstream” about supporting separation of church and state?  Nothing “mainstream” about fiscal responsibility?

Fiscal responsibility and a walk that has the word “hell” in it sounds ppprrrreeettttyyy radical.

I guess Kansans can decide if they like what Mainstream stands for and the candidates they support or if they want to go back to the failed tax experiment and that got us into this mess and had everyone asking, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”

Signed,

A “soft-core progressive” who is excited to Raise Hell in 2018

 

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7 thoughts on “KS Mainstream Coalition’s Walk to Raise Hell in 2018

  1. Rick Cooley says:

    Reblogged this on Rcooley123's Blog and commented:
    KS is awakening to the damage their hard right Governor and legislature have wreaked on their state. Here’s hoping similar grassroots activism is taking place in the other 49 states.

    1. Aimee Patton says:

      Yes we are! It’s taken a lot of hard work and it will continue to take hard work to fight against going backwards. KS is an example that radical tax cuts don’t work. Activists groups are making a big difference in our state and doing amazing work. Thanks for your comment and hope you are doing well!

  2. MildlyExtremist or ExtremelyMild says:

    Dear Reader,
    As a public service, and because it wasn’t explained in the blog posting, I’d like to explore the group which is referenced and discussed in the above. So what are the primary positions held by the MainStream Coalition, as defined on their own website? (http://www.mainstreamcoalition.org/)

    “MainStream is a coalition of informed citizens who believe that moderate voices need to be heard in today’s political climate. We stand for mainstream, common sense, responsible and compassionate ideals. We believe that people with different points of view can come together to forge good government that benefits all citizens. Republican or Democrat, Independent or unaffiliated, MainStream Coalition’s members stand for strong public education free of special interests, fiscally responsible policies that balance revenue strategies, and good government free from partisan machinations and religious doctrine.”
    Ok, so far it sounds rather flattering and self-congratulatory, does it not? I’m reminded of Garrison Keillor’s line about the fictional residents of Lake Wobegon……”where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” Ah, if only we could totally control what others think of us.

    “More than that, our members understand that to take Kansas back from extremists and their ideologies, we need to do more than just vote. We need to get informed, get involved, and speak out. If you are frustrated by extremist tactics, wish there were a rational voice for common sense in politics, and embrace the notion that good ideas can come from both sides of the partisan divide, then welcome to MainStream.”
    Hmm, I’m beginning to detect some “extremist” language here! And that’s the primary point which you the reader should keep in the forefront of your mind….specifically, who is defining the language which is being used.

    Ask a cross-section of Kansas residents to define the meaning of “mainstream….moderate….responsible….extremist” or other such terms, and who here doubts that the responses would span a wide spectrum? Now, let’s look at some specific issues which this group highlights on their website:

    BUDGET AND TAXES
    “MainStream believes that a solid revenue strategy for the state does not overburden any one segment of the population, relies on sales, income, and property taxes, and provides enough funds to properly support the duties of state government.”
    Are they saying that all Kansas residents, corporations, or other entities should contribute equally toward the annual state budget? And since they’re keen on clearly separating government from religion, I suppose they favor abolishing all tax exemptions for religious/charitable organizations?

    CIVIL RIGHTS, EQUALITY, AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
    “MainStream believes that every citizen has the same rights, regardless of gender, race, age, sexual identity, or sexual orientation.”
    Hmm, we can’t help but notice that of the five descriptors itemized above, three involve sex. Is the MainStream Coalition actually a liberal sexual rights group masquerading as something else? If a Kansas resident self-identifies as a bigamist, polygamist, nudist, exhibitionist, sadist, or practitioner of bestiality, does the MainStream Coalition believe they have the same legal rights as other residents? That point of view is far from the mainstream.

    HEALTH CARE
    “MainStream believes that compassionate, competent, affordable health care should be available to every Kansan, regardless of income or situation.”
    Honestly, the above quote is rather nonsensical. How about just aiming for generally affordable health care? If you’re on a limited budget and pay for health care on a sliding scale based upon your income, are you really going to complain that the provider wasn’t compassionate enough?

    JUDICIAL
    “The Kansas right wing ideologues, thwarted by the courts (some would say, by the State’s Constitution), especially on school funding matters, have begun a campaign to unbalance these checks. MainStream strongly believes that an independent judiciary is vital to the health of the state, and actions by the Governor or the Legislature to usurp, diminish, or influence the judicial branch of government should be strongly opposed.”
    Oops! There goes that extremist language again. If there are right-wing ideologues, are there not also left-wing ideologues? Apparently, the MainStream Coalition either hasn’t identified them or isn’t concerned about them, and frankly that concerns me because it indicates an unbalanced viewpoint.

    PUBLIC EDUCATION
    “The financing of public education is a requirement of the Kansas Constitution. Despite this binding obligation, and despite numerous lawsuits, Kansas legislators and lobbyists have been continuing to slash state spending on education to fulfill their mission to shrink government. Without greater voter engagement, they may ultimately cause Kansas public schools to fail. MainStream believes an excellent education is a right given to every Kansas child by the Kansas Constitution, and that every Kansas child deserves the same opportunity to succeed. Public education is a singular responsibility of the state, and benefits every Kansas citizen. There is no excuse for shrinking, privatizing, or curtailing public education in Kansas.”
    Firstly, the above information is not factual, and thus the entire premise of the MainStream Coalition is becoming ever more suspect. Do lobbyists slash state spending? No, they do not. Furthermore, Kansas legislators are elected by the voters in their district, and serve at their whim. On public education, the MainStream Coalition sounds like a disgruntled political minority, and a minority is not mainstream.

    REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES
    “Kansas has a deplorable history of trying to deny access to reproductive health services. We have some of the most onerous restrictions on access to abortions, contraceptives, and sexual health education. For example, pharmacists may refuse to provide contraceptives if they choose, and are not required to refer to another source. In many Kansas towns, there is only one pharmacy, effectively denying some contraceptives to those Kansas citizens. MainStream rejects the notion that anyone is “pro-abortion,” a charge often leveled at those calling themselves pro choice. The moderate position is that reproductive health issues are medical and personal, and should not be subject to the morality of any government official.”
    Dear reader, are you familiar with the term obfuscation? When the MainStream Coalition and other politically liberal anti-Republican groups use the term “reproductive health services” please understand that they’re referring to abortion. Yes, I know it’s confusing! While “reproduction” refers to creating life, these liberal groups are trying to hijack the language and equate “abortion” (the extinguishing of life) to creating life. It’s quite an Orwellian form of “newspeak” don’t you think?

    VOTING RIGHTS
    “Voting is a right and a duty. As a right, it should not be limited in any way. In Kansas, the Secretary of State has repeatedly argued that protections from voter fraud are more important than unfettered access to this right. But when asked to support voting machine audits to prevent voting fraud, his office demures. MainStream believes that every eligible voter has the right to vote, and should be enabled and encouraged to do so by the Kansas Secretary of State, rather than confronted with obstacles.”
    While this is a poorly disguised direct attack on Kris Kobach, once again the MainStream Coalition comes up short in the logic and reasoning department. Does MainStream believe that every eligible Kansas driver has the right to drive a vehicle? Does MainStream believe that eligible drivers should hold a state driver’s license on their person while engaged in the activity of driving a vehicle? Is it outlandish then in any way whatsoever to require eligible Kansas voters to show a state-approved photo identification when exercising their right to vote?

    In summary, the group calling itself the MainStream Coalition represents neither the mainstream, nor a broad coalition of political viewpoints from across Kansas. Readers beware, those who hold minority fringe opinions will sometimes attempt to hijack the language in order to fool the casual observer and hide their history of electoral defeat. If voting is indeed a right and a duty as described above, then the residents of Kansas have already decided with their ballots that they don’t share the same values as this so-called MainStream Coalition. Note to Aimee Patton: Kansans aren’t particularly partial to Hell-Raisers! Amen!

    1. Mark Dugan says:

      You’ve tried very hard to make Mainstream sound left wing, extremist, and sex crazed, or at least “fringe” and out of touch. But it’s a tall order. Support for public education, government free of the grip of religion, an independent judiciary, abortion rights, and access to health care — those are mainstream positions held by large swaths of Republicans and Democrats in Kansas. Sounds pretty good to me. So, a valiant attempt to discredit the reasonable, I suppose, but no.

      Two of your comments stand out, to use your language, as deceptive and Orwellian. First, because Mainstream supports civil rights not only on the basis of race and age, but also on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, and sexual identity, you wonder whether it’s a “liberal sexual rights group masquerading as something else,” and you go from there to bestiality. Seriously? Who is it, again, who’s overly focused on sex? Your comment sounds awfully close to the people who opposed gay marriage because it’s a slippery slope from there to marrying farm animals. Wonder what your gay friends think about that argument.

      And second, you’re almost apoplectic that anyone would object to a simple requirement that someone show a photo ID to vote. Have you read the opinions by federal judges, some of them appointed by Republicans, striking down voter ID laws as motivated by racial animus? I ask because you don’t show any indication that you have. Together, they present a pretty overwhelming case that that’s the motivation behind those laws, that they disproportionately affect poor people and minorities, and that the problem they purport to rectify (voter fraud) is extremely rare. Your apoplexy about this issue is a pretty weak rebuttal to the overwhelming facts.

      Also, maybe this is a cheap shot, but that’s what the interwebs are for, right? So what the hell: Aimee Patton is funnier than you are and much better with the picture thingies.

      1. PrimaryCreek Coalition says:

        Mr. Dugan, I understand your confusion by the positions put forth by the MainStream Coalition, and their attempt to disguise themselves as some sort of moderate majority to the citizens of Kansas. I agree that such a fringe group has placed a tall order before themselves if they think they can easily fool the great people of Kansas, a state with an exemplary history of conservative values.

        Perhaps at least part of your problem Mr. Dugan, is your own biased viewpoint, which apparently has led you to misinterpret my words for your misguided imaginings of what you think I represent. This, despite the fact that we don’t know each other and have never met to my knowledge. Please note that I went directly to the MainStream Coalition website to read their public policy positions, and quoted such to the reader, so as to educate, something that both you and the original blog post failed to do. I forgive you both, just learn from your mistake please.

        Now, let’s cover some specifics in regards to your confusion:
        1) I never referred to the MainStream Coalition as “left-wing”, in fact, the only time I used that term was under the heading of JUDICIAL when I noted that they were using extremist language. I said:
        “Oops! There goes that extremist language again. If there are right-wing ideologues, are there not also left-wing ideologues? Apparently, the MainStream Coalition either hasn’t identified them or isn’t concerned about them, and frankly that concerns me because it indicates an unbalanced viewpoint.”
        You see, as I explained, I am interested in a balanced viewpoint. Perhaps you too are capable of reform, and will join me in seeking moderation?
        2) You state, and I’m directly quoting, “Support for public education, government free of the grip of religion, an independent judiciary, abortion rights, and access to health care — those are mainstream positions held by large swaths of Republicans and Democrats in Kansas.” Without debating whether or not your statement accurately reflects reality in Kansas, you believe it to be true. So, the obvious question then becomes “why was the MainStream Coalition formed, and what is the goal of their activism?” Mr. Dugan, with respect, you shot yourself in the foot with that statement!
        3) Next up, you resort to an old trick in the propagandist’s handbook. Because I correctly pointed out the MainStream Coalition’s liberal stance and concentration upon gender, sexual identity, and sexual orientation, and because you’re powerless to respond, you seek to label others as the “deceptive and Orwellian” purveyor of language. Once again, I directly quoted the MainStream Coalition position as “MainStream believes that every citizen has the same rights, regardless of gender, race, age, sexual identity, or sexual orientation.” Mr. Dugan, you purposely failed to address the issue which I raised. Perhaps you’re not interested in debate, just shouting down those with whom you disagree? Based upon their statement, the MainStream Coalition would support the rights of bigamists, polygamists, nudists, exhibitionists, etc., to legally practice their identity and orientation. Unfortunately, you strongly identified with bestiality, and focused like a laser upon that one word while missing the main point.
        4) For the record, my gay friends tend to be intelligent, engaged with the issues, and unafraid of polite vigorous debate. They know that their sex life is a private issue, and generally refrain from forcing that upon others, as it’s only an issue between themselves and their partner. It’s the same attitude expressed by my heterosexual friends.
        5) “…you’re almost apoplectic that anyone would object to a simple requirement that someone show a photo ID to vote.” By this time I believe you were growing fatigued in your weak response to my posting. Apoplectic? Please reference your dictionary and understand this adjective refers to “overcome with anger.” That was not my context at all. Oh, and thank you for agreeing that photo ID for driving and voting is a “simple requirement.”
        6) Finally, with amusement, I note that you’ve exhausted even your own patience with failed arguments when you admit that you’re after “cheap shots.” We can agree that Aimee Patton successfully incorporates humor into her writing, but it’s the writing I’m interested in, not the “thingies” as you describe. While you’re at the dictionary, you may wish to stay there awhile and review your word selection.

        Dear reader, overall I give Mr. Dugan partial credit for his reply to my post, but ultimately it’s not enough to avoid the category of “near failure” simply because he did not adequately counter the multiple points I addressed when thoroughly reviewing the MainStream Coalition’s published policy stances. Let’s hope he can enter remedial Summer school and correct these deficiencies lest they become permanently ingrained. I thank you.

  3. Mark Dugan says:

    I’ve been around Mainstream for a long time. I know a lot of the people involved with it and some of the founders. I also know some radicals, people you might legitimately call “extremists.” The two groups don’t overlap. Why you insist Mainstream must be motivated by something other than what they say on their web site is unclear; you don’t appear to have done any digging beyond the web site. Your point, for whatever it’s worth, would be stronger with more research and fewer words.

  4. AlphaRivulet says:

    Mr. Dugan, really? Must I continue to school you in presenting a logical argument to the reader?

    If you’ve indeed been around the MainStream Coalition for a long time as you state, I find it surprising that you have not referred to their name properly a single time in this series of blog postings. While I myself disagree with many of their public policy positions, and take issue with the language used on their site, I do extend them the courtesy of referencing their name as they have indicated on their website.

    Again, you seem to have missed my primary points. I directly object to what they say on their website, it’s the reason why I quoted their multiple policy stances, please go back and see the 7 headings beginning with BUDGET AND TAXES…..you can’t miss it, if you look. Equally important, I cautioned the reader in stating…. “And that’s the primary point which you the reader should keep in the forefront of your mind….specifically, who is defining the language which is being used.”

    After repeatedly failing to refute my multiple critiques of the MainStream Coalition’s publicly stated positions, you then believe it’s somehow my duty and obligation to do more research on them? While we each follow our own conscience, I will tell you that I do not make it a practice to research those individuals and organizations who can’t pass an entry-level test of legitimacy. To each his own.

    In closing, I appreciate Mr. Dugan’s willingness to engage, and though I’ve teased him a bit in this space, I wish him no ill will. The root of most conflict is centered on a lack of communication between the disgruntled parties. Mr. Dugan is not afraid to express his thoughts, and that by itself is a positive trait. And because he enjoys Aimee Patton’s blog, I believe his soul is redeemable.

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