Kansas, the clown state: From slavery to Hitler

Wow: A Kansas politician on Thursday praised the tactics of Adolf Hitler.

Wow: A Kansas politician on Thursday praised the tactics of Adolf Hitler.

It’s bad enough that Kansas features a delusional governor in Sam Brownback and a bumbling secretary of state in Kris Kobach.

But in the last two days, the Sunflower State has drawn national scorn for a pair of issues not involving  them. Which somehow makes these incidents even more troubling and embarrassing.

1. The Kansas attorney general’s office seemed to praise an 1857 pro-slavery decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

2. On Thursday, one of its top legislative leaders did praise the tactics once used by Adolf Hitler.

In the first case, Attorney General Derek Schmidt on Wednesday apologized for the inclusion of the ludicrous Dred Scott decision — saying black people could not be considered U.S. citizens — in a legal filing as the state essentially tries to outlaw abortion in Kansas.

“Neither the State nor its attorneys believe or were arguing that Dred Scott was correctly decided,” Schmidt said. “Nonetheless, the reference to that case was obviously inappropriate, and as soon as I became aware of it today, I ordered the State’s brief withdrawn.”

Of course, the damage to the state’s reputation had already been done, as attention to the absurd filing went around the country.

In  the second case, Speaker Pro Tem Peggy Mast, an Emporia Republican, posted something stupid to her Facebook page.

“Great quote from Hitler in the video,” she said. “Please listen to it closely. His words are profound! Let’s start using discernment.”

What the hell?

As The Wichita Eagle’s story clears up, “Mast shared a link to an article from JulieRoys.com, a Christian blog. The article included a transcript and video of anti-abortion activist Gianna Jessen testifying before Congress about Planned Parenthood. During her testimony, Jessen quoted Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany during World War II, on propaganda, contending that Planned Parenthood was using similar techniques.”

Ah, yes, it often all comes back to abortion for ultra-conservative politicians in Kansas.

Mast later tweeted, “PP is using the tactics of Hitler. Sorry I did not make myself clear enough for you.”

Oh, I think you made it quite clear, Rep. Mast. You don’t mind praising a man who slaughtered millions of people and started a war that led to many more casualties.

Thank goodness Mast is not running for re-election. But too bad she dragged Kansas’ name through the mud one more time before she could leave office.

263 Thoughts.

  1. Using a convoluted line of reasoning I can see where the attorney for the state could have cited either dissent from Scott v. Sandford. The holding in Dred Scott boiled down to his lack of standing because he was a slave in another state.
    The case was decided before the Civil War began. Afterwards Kansas became a state. Then the Civil War took place. After the war the 13th, 14th, &15th Amendments were ratified.
    The Due Process Clause, which applied to the states, effectively overturned Scott v. Sandford. A Kansas lawyer representing the state of Kansas is well advised to grasp our state’s history and the aversion of Kansas law to follow Missouri law.
    In legal parlance Missouri is an Eastern state where the law prefers banks and corporations. Kansas is a Western state where the squarely supports the common man.

  2. Yael plays the “Hitler card” ? What could be more lame, than when a politically liberal Democrat, standing on the losing side of history, resorts to the pariah of the modern era as the poster child for his opposition? To quote President Obama the other day, “I mean…..come on people! That’s just crazy.”

    Frankly, this is the type of unprofessional writing which led to Yael being shown the door recently at The Kansas City Star. (sorry for dredging up that bad day)

    Now, let’s do something different and actually attempt to analyze what may be at the root of Yael Abouhalkah’s hatred toward Kansas. As you likely know, for many years now, Yael has been on a seemingly endless invective attack against Kansas Republicans. It perhaps reached it’s zenith when nearly every day, Yael would include something negative in the paper directed toward that “Red” splinter which had embedded itself deep within his brain and served as the source of his near-daily convulsive writing spasms. A true tale of a tormented soul.

    So, we must ask ourselves, what possibly could have sparked this outburst of angry rhetorical discharge? Some possibilities:

    Is this graduate of Shawnee Mission West haunted by bad memories from his Johnson County Kansas youth?
    Was he denied a scholarship to attend his first choice of a Kansas college?
    Did he experience an unfortunate case of bullying when Kansas rednecks mistook him for a foreign student following the taking of American hostages in Iran, during the Carter White House years?
    Did a baseball scout with the last name Brownback burst his dream of one day playing for the Royals?
    Was Yael experiencing a mid-life crisis, and took out his frustration on Kansas?
    Has he never won his age-group category when road-racing in Kansas?

    These are just a few possibilities (all likely incorrect) my friends, but something most assuredly triggered Yael’s vendetta against the great state of Kansas. It’s rather like watching a mad dog chasing cars in traffic, initially amusing, but then it quickly morphs into a real concern for the welfare of the misguided creature.

      • Thank you Joe. That’s one of the points I was attempting, as it seems lately that so many writers of the liberal Democrat persuasion reflexively reach for their Hitler allegory when attacking Trump and the Republican party.

        What Karen (below) apparently doesn’t understand is that while Yael offers a plethora of over-the-top Republican attacks, he’s generally silent, if not cheerleading, the malfeasance of Democrats. I’d simply like to see some equal opportunity sniping at the incompetence of both parties.

        As for Linda and Cheryl (also below), I would remind you that “elected officials” are just that….elected. Elected by the residents, in this case, of the state of Kansas. I take issue with a KCMO resident essentially calling into question the judgement of Kansas voters to democratically elect their state representatives. If Yael would like to offer rants directed at the great people of Kansas, then let him do so.

    • I am quite sure that his positions that were expressed were the result of the inept Governor Brownback, the Kansas State legislature and Kobach. There is much displeasure regarding their failed policies and positions over the past several years. This is definitely a “Koch” ran State. All of the afore mentioned are an embarrassment to our State and thus have made Kansas politics the laughing stock of the entire country among intellectual people of this country.

      • Thank you! Let’s not forget. That hundreds of thousands did not vote for Brownback, as well many more that didn’t vote for his minion brigade of Koched Up and ALEC alums! I’m sorry, but I did not realize that an out- of-state intellectual could not or should not call out a KANSAN politician equating Hitler’s philosophies to sound advice. By the way, Rex, the word “democrat” is a noun, not an adjective, and that Sir, is true in any state.

  3. Wow, Yael really hit a nerve with Ray Townley. Personally, I’ve never read anything he’s written that resembled a vendetta against Kansas, but always appreciated him holding our elected officials’ feet to the fire.

  4. I appreciate Yael’s writing, especially in recent years. I don’t think his motivation is a vendetta, rather a reasonable reaction to decisions made by elected officials. His comments in the Star will be missed.

  5. I appreciate Mr. Abouhalkah’s writing, but I do not think his motivation is a vendetta. The bumbling and inept leadership of this state offers a plethora of topics to write about, and I’m glad he can do it clearly and bravely.

  6. Seem it wasn’t Yael playing the Hitler card but instead the lame legislator, Peggy Mast, who tried and failed to give Hitler a positive slant by recognizing how profound he was. Of course Hitler was known to love children and dogs so I guess we should be required to forgive his minor transgressions. Can’t condemn a man for one little mistake, eh, Peggy?

  7. Thousands of us Kansans are just damn tickled all to hell your gone and on the street. Of course not even that matters any more because most of us dropped the KC Star long ago due to people like you that ruined a great paper. So, welcome to irrelevance. God it was fun writing this to you.

  8. This was very insightful and well researched. It really made me think. Lately my wife’s son has been talking about Trump and how he thinks people should have to show ID to vote. I think this piece will be just the thing to convince him that he is goose stepping towards FASCISM and HITLER! We can only be so vigilant because it is 2016 you know.

    • Good one Alexi!!
      Showing an ID to vote is now the equivalent of “Fascism and Hitler!”
      I like your sarcastic humor.

      (little known fact from “A Liberal’s Handbook”)
      Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, and the Khmer Rouge all modeled their movements after early Kansas Republicans.

  9. Hi Yeal
    I am not at all a fan of our current state government – but I am willing to accept that Mast’s statement wasn’t praising Hitler the man. I wouldn’t classify his words on propaganda as ‘profound’ but it would be a mistake on our part (of those on both sides of the aisle) to dismiss observations such as his that have some degree of accuracy in describing what works to affect the behavior of masses of people even today. While I think Mast is wrong headed to apply those words to Planned Parenthood, it certainly does (to me) seem to apply to the theory behind the 24/7 news cycle promoting fear, hatred, and distrust that comes out of many of today’s large news (entertainment?) networks with the apparent purpose of misdirecting attention away from more important issues with which we should instead be engaging.

    • (First – sorry for misspelling your name Yael)
      @Ray above – in regard to your statement “.. I would remind you that “elected officials” are just that….elected. Elected by the residents, in this case, of the state of Kansas. I take issue with a KCMO resident essentially calling into question the judgement of Kansas voters to democratically elect their state representatives..” I would point out that the fact that our “elected” officials were chosen by the residents in no way means that their actions are reflecting the wishes of ALL Kansas residents. Many of us are extremely dissatisfied with the decisions that have been made over the past 4+ years in regard to taxation policy and the budget tragedy that resulted therefrom (to the detriment of our schools and infrastructure).

      Lastly – Yael has not always been a KCMO resident – we both went to the same high school in Overland Park (waaay back in the day) and whether he is no longer a Kansas resident today in no way diminishes the value of his perspective. If you don’t like it you need not read his commentary OR you can provide a comprehensive defense of those things about Kansas to which he objects rather than to engage in personal attacks as if he kicked your puppy.

      • Hey D.R.:
        Thanks for expressing yourself and respecting my right to do so as well.
        “their actions are reflecting the wishes of ALL Kansas residents.” Thanks for stating the obvious D.R., but I assumed that point was a given with everyone here.
        “Lastly – Yael has not always been a KCMO resident” D.R., I would direct you to my initial comment, in which I referenced Yael’s youth in Johnson County and specifically his attendance at Shawnee Mission West. Sorry about that last game!
        I make it a point to read from those offering different perspectives, including those with whom I disagree. Now, as for your suggestion to “provide a comprehensive defense of those things about” which others may object to, I will take my lead from you and Yael.

  10. @Ray – As far as the game (I assume football)… really?? I haven’t paid attention to what happens there in over 40 years – high school wasn’t the highlight of my life like it was for some (and I’m not implying it was for you..but some people have sad lives and their best years came and went before they reached 19).

    Oh .. and forgive me for not reading every one of your posts, but I think you must not read everything of Yeal’s either because as I go back and look at that earlier post I see it starts with “Yael plays the Hitler card?” which is kind of telling since his blog pertains Kansas Speaker Pro Tem Peggy Mast on her Facebook page the following: “..“Great quote from Hitler in the video,” she said. “Please listen to it closely. His words are profound! Let’s start using discernment.”.. it was THAT for which the picture of Hitler was used as a tag on this blog. Since you would have known if you had actually read his blog, my conclusion that you have not done so is a reasonable…so I really don’t feel too bad about not reading all of yours.

    • Hey there D.R.,
      Now we’re having a good discussion.
      You wrote, “high school wasn’t the highlight of my life”, and correctly assumed the same for myself, so I don’t know why you spent a whole paragraph on the subject.
      D.R., I forgive you for the sin of not reading all of my posts, though I read all of yours before replying to you. And while I haven’t read everything Yael has written, I did read his entire “Hitler” post. What you (and others) don’t understand, is that by twisting Mast’s reference, Yael is guilty of exactly the same thing for which he accuses her.
      According to Yael’s very post, here are the facts:
      Peggy Mast referenced an article at JulieRoys.com about someone’s testimony before Congress concerning Planned Parenthood. This person referenced Hitler’s use of propaganda and compared it to the tactics employed by Planned Parenthood. Yael then turned on his own propaganda machine with statements like “Kansas, the clown state: From slavery to Hitler”….”It’s bad enough that Kansas features a delusional governor in Sam Brownback and a bumbling secretary of state in Kris Kobach.”….”national scorn”….”troubling and embarrassing”….”seemed to praise”…”it often all comes back to abortion for ultra-conservative politicians in Kansas.”….”praising a man who slaughtered millions of people and started a war that led to many more casualties.”….”dragged Kansas’ name through the mud.”
      You see, what I object to is Yael’s insistence on trying his best to heap scorn and derision upon the state of Kansas. And that is exactly what he’s been doing repeatedly for years now, simply because his political party lost influence in the state. According to Yael’s rules, all references (good, bad, or neutral) to Hitler are forbidden, because to do so is promoting evil. That’s just idiotic! And finally, if other parts of the country hear disparaging comments aimed at Kansas, it’s likely only because people like Yael are working overtime to spread their poisonous propaganda. Yael is like the crazy neighbor who burns your house down because he disagrees with your choice of paint and shingles!
      Thanks for the discussion D.R.
      P.S. I had a really good joke last comment, but Yael censored me.

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