Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Steve Rose lets voters know who he's afraid of in the 3rd District

Well, our old buddy Steve Rose is at it again. Johnson County's self-appointed king of high-minded moderates has let his dwindling collection of readers know his initial thoughts on the 3rd District Congressional race. Just today, mailboxes across the county were filled with his weekly "Memo" entitled "It's Too Early to Write This".

As we have discussed in the past, this "Memo" is right out of the Steve Rose Column Playbook. Basically, it's the same column he keeps in a template on his computer and always writes when he pontificates about politics:

The "memos" are always based on one solid underlining point -- in this case, as Rose puts it, "Dennis Moore may be vulnerable, perhaps like he has not been in many years. Twice before, Moore won by only about a percent." Rose goes on to point out the fact Moore's record is full of liberalism -- voting for Cap and Trade, voting for Card Check, and plans to vote for the health care bill.

From there, like usual, Rose turns into a blowhard. He never seems to be able to resist diving into a mess of empty analysis that is often devoid of facts and contradictory to other points he makes in his own column. He also, without fail, always takes a shot at a conservative -- in this case, former State Representative Patricia Lightner. By the end, it's clear that either Rose is either playing dumb and putting out a silly, useless, and false information on purpose -- or he's in serious need of a political science class. Sometimes, however, he through his "protesting too much", reveals a window into his real thinking.

In this particular Memo, Rose's facts are so far off that he's actually spreading falsehoods within other falsehoods, which makes it particularly difficult to dissect, but we'll do our best.

Let's start with the fact-deficient empty analysis. In blasting Patricia Lightner as a "hard right conservative" (which we'll get to in a moment), he says that she "would be another cakewalk for Moore. He would be thrilled if she got the Republican nomination, given his record of trouncing right-wing candidates."

Hey, Steve, do you even read the column you are writing? Just a few sentences later into the same editorial, you make the point that Moore has won by 1% twice. Did you forget that one of those narrow victories was against Phill Kline, who is probably the most "far right" candidate we've ever run for Congress, whom you have spent quite a bit of ink blasting over the past two decades? The only "far right" (using Steve's words) candidate was Kris Kobach, who got 44% and nearly won Johnson County!

Then later in the same piece, he praises both Kevin Yoder and Steve Reintjes, inferring both would are affable, respected, and as Rose puts it, would "straddle the lines between moderates and conservatives". While both are good men, what Rose is inferring here is both are essentially similar candidates in philosophical profile and approach to Nick Jordan -- who was largely regarded by experts such as Mr. Rose and others in the establishment as the best candidate the Republicans had ever fielded, so much that he avoided a primary.

Problem is, unlike the far right Phill Kline, who barely lost to Moore district-wide and won Johnson County, Nick Jordan didn't get close. Unlike the so-called "far right" Kris Kobach, who got 43% and almost won Johnson County (losing by 6,000 votes, 50-48%), Nick Jordan didn't even get in the ballpark. To use Steve Rose's own words, the affable, likeable, line-straddling, pro-life yet not-far right Nick "trounced", not even cracking 40% of the vote District wide, and only earning 44% in Johnson County.

So much for that analysis.

What's funny in this is that in his description of both Patricia and the other two potential candidates he mentions -- Yoder and Reintjes -- he again misses the facts.

First of all, though indeed a strong conservative, one would be hard to find a person outside of the most liberal who would describe Patricia Lightner as "hard right". If anything, she has a record and reputation of yes, a conservative voting record, but one of independence as well. One need go no further back than 2004, when she ran in the Congressional primary against the "far right" Kobach. One need only take Politics 101 to realize that didn't exactly make most conservatives happy at the time. While her views are indeed socially and fiscally conservative, Rose has nothing really to base his "far right" tag other than the fact she's not part of his establishment-clan and that represents a threat to Rose and his country club ilk.

Second of all, what's also funny is his description of Yoder as somehow well to the left of Lightner. This might have been true 7 years ago. But, in the last couple of sessions, Yoder has consistently voted with House conservatives on both fiscal and social issues. While he's not with them on everything, the fact is his record is not all that different from Lightner's when she was in the House,. So, while his analysis that Yoder is respected by both moderates and conservatives is true, his record is pretty conservative, particularly lately.

Finally, in describing Steve Reintjes,he praises him as being Catholic, failing to mention that Lightner is also Catholic. Whoops, someone might want to call the Publisher to correct this oversight. Oh wait, Steve Rose IS the Publisher. Rose also refers to Reintjes as being "extremely affable". What the heck does this mean? Was Nick Jordan just affable and now Reintjes is "extremely affable"?

Of course, despite this odd, fact-lacking, empty analysis, Steve Rose's central point is this -- he claims Moore would "trounce" the "far right" Patricia Lightner because Moore has a history of trouncing right-wing candidates, despite the fact Kline got the closest to beating Moore and Kobach almost won Johnson County -- and then he goes on to promote two candidates who he believes would be a serious threat to Moore because they are, in his opinion via his description, are in the mold of Nick Jordan, despite the fact he wasn't even close to the numbers Kline and even Kobach got.

Steve Rose is one of the three:

- Politically clueless and bad at math.
- Seriously must believe that his readers are so loyal that they won't check the facts.
- Has an ulterior motive.


- All of the Above.

We're opting for Option 4 -- he doesn't understand politics nor political history, but also has an ulterior motive he knows most of his readers won't realize.

So what is that ulterior motive?

In our opinion, Steve Rose has done his classic "protesting too much" as he often does. By labeling Patricia Lightner, a candidate who has been out for about two weeks, a candidate who "can't win" because she's "far right", Rose has clearly let us know who he, a liberal, is most afraid of politically -- who he knows represents the biggest threat, so he is trying to undermine and destroy her before she gets out of the gate. And that person is Patricia Lightner.

In short, Steve Rose is saying this:

"Patricia Lightner is an attractive, aggressive, experienced, pro-life, economically conservative candidate who is already out campaigning everywhere, has a compelling web video, and has a real shot of tapping into the grassroots tea party and town hall movement that is captivating the nation and is the reason why Moore may be vulnerable in the first place -- but because she's not part of my little club, isn't in someone's back pocket, and isn't in politics just to get along -- she's a threat to my power base and therefore, I'm going to call her "far right" to scare away voters who might find her message, background, and personality appealing in these times."

In short, Steve Rose is afraid of aggressive candidates who promote economic and social conservatism.

In short, Steve Rose is afraid of anyone who doesn't go to the same parties he goes to.

In short, Steve Rose knows she can win.

In short, Steve Rose is afraid of Patricia Lightner.

And in our view, that's a huge reason to SUPPORT Patricia Lightner.