Pat Roberts epitomizes fear of primary challenges by GOP extremists
The fear of the extreme conservative wing of the party by mainstream Republicans is astonishing.
What else besides fear can explain Sen. Pat Roberts’ glowing endorsement of Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas? Just after bowing to the powerful anti-tax lobby in Washington to vote against the Main Street merchants of Kansas on Internet sales taxes, Roberts released a gushing statement praising Huelskamp in his run for re-election next year.
“I am proud to endorse Tim Huelskamp for re-election to Congress. Tim is a farmer from Fowler, and he has done a fine job representing the most productive ag district in the country,” Roberts said last week.
Huh? Would this be the same Huelskamp who voted against and helped stop an ag bill in the House that Roberts helped author and get through the Senate last fall? A “fine job”? Really?
Continued Roberts about Huelskamp: “He has distinguished himself not only as a fighter for our Kansas values in Washington, but also as one of the leading conservatives in the entire Capitol. Tim is not afraid to stand up for what we believe and is truly making a real difference in Congress.”
Yeah, Huelskamp is making a difference all right. He has distinguished himself as part of an obstructionist group of extremists – so much that he was kicked off of two key committees – and one who cares more about being the poster boy of the tea party than getting anything done in Washington.
Meanwhile, if anyone can feel comfortable in his re-election from a challenge within his party, it is Roberts. He’s never had much of a challenge in his campaigns. And he seemed to clear the deck of potential competitors when he announced his honorary campaign committee for 2014 with Huelskamp on the list, along with conservative firebrand Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Could it be Roberts sold his soul to keep Huelskamp over in the House for now? If so, a similarly flattering endorsement of Kobach’s next election conquest is sure to come.