Bob Dole puzzles Kansas conservatives prior to primary

In the run-up to the Kansas Republican primary to take place Tuesday, there's been a radio commercial playing in Kansas City (and, presumably, throughout the state) that says, "Breaking News!  Bob Dole has endorsed Jeff Colyer for Governor.  Dole has indicated that Colyer is the only candidate who can defeat Kris Kobach."

Jeff Colyer was lieutenant governor under Sam Brownback and succeeded Brownback as governor when Brownback resigned in January to take the post of ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.  Prior to Brownback's resignation, secretary of state Kris Kobach was presumed to be Brownback's likely successor.

It's hard to imagine anyone more conservative than Kris Kobach, who has been a particular hard-liner on matters of illegal immigration and voter fraud.  No one, not Jeff Colyer or anyone else, can be as tough on those issues, or issues of state sovereignty (on which matters he's been a consultant to the Trump administration and to other states), as Kris Kobach.  But, because of such uncompromising positions, Kobach inspires almost as much deranged hatred as Donald Trump.

That's why the Dole endorsement is strange, but perhaps not as strange as it first appears.  While I respect Bob Dole for his service and sacrifice in WWII, I've frankly never felt that he actually stood very firmly for anything.  The now 95-year-old former senator, former Senate majority leader, and l996 Republican presidential candidate has always been a compromiser who has long been an advocate of "reaching across the aisle."  This time, he seems to have reached all the way into NeverTrump Land.  Because Kobach appeals to the same voter base that put Donald Trump in the White House, the same people who oppose Trump (including establishment Republicans and RINOs) seem to be opposing Kris Kobach and wishing to make the Kansas gubernatorial race a referendum on Trump.

Also strange is the fact that Colyer has the endorsement of the National Rifle Association.  It's hard to imagine a more stalwart defender of the Second Amendment than Kris Kobach, who, while an avid hunter, has made it abundantly clear that the right to keep and bear arms has precious little to do with hunting (nor with collecting, nor with shooting sports), but is enshrined in the Bill of Rights as a deterrent to government tyranny.

I find that endorsement not just puzzling, but embarrassing, since I am an NRA Life Member.  But I have often remarked that the NRA is just a bit too liberal for my taste.  And in what strikes me as a prime example of the old adage that "politics makes strange bedfellows," Jeff Colyer has also been enthusiastically endorsed by the ACLU (an organization that's never been in the NRA's cheering section)!

Donald Trump carried Kansas handily in the 2016 election, garnering over 56% of the vote (Hillary received a mere 36%).  Establishment Republicans like Bob Dole now seem more concerned with defeating Kris Kobach than with ensuring that Kansas has a stalwart conservative as its governor.

Stu Tarlowe has had well over 100 pieces published by American Thinker.  His personal pantheon of heroes and role models includes Barry Farber, Jean Shepherd, Long John Nebel, Aristide Bruant, Col. Jeff Cooper, Rabbi Meir Kahane, Hunter S. Thompson, Ed McMahon, G. Gordon Liddy, and Rin Tin Tin.

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