Barbara Bollier is just what Kansas needs in the United States Senate. And just what the United States Senate needs.
The former moderate Republican turned centrist Democrat has campaigned on a platform of bipartisanship and problem solving.
For the most part, and especially compared to her opponent Roger Marshall and outside groups supporting him, she’s stayed above the usual tropes and distortions during the campaign silly season.
The state Senator from Johnson County aims her appeal more directly at kitchen-table issues than partisan politics. More than 75 current and former Republican elected officials in Kansas have endorsed her, including former U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum.
That’s not to say Bollier isn’t hammering away at Marshall. The big contrast she’s making is about her approach to protecting and expanding the Affordable Care Act instead of dismantling it.
And it seems to be working. Bollier has a legitimate chance to become the first Democratic Senator elected from Kansas since 1932, and the first-ever female physician.
She is taking the COVID-19 pandemic more seriously than Marshall (also a doctor) and says passing another relief package in Congress is a priority.
All the Boogeyman scare tactics about Bollier being too radical and extreme are baloney. She doesn’t support Medicare for All. She’s against the so-called Green New Deal. She won’t come for your guns, blah blah blah …
And she’s proven her independent streak by bucking her former party. We can see Bollier as the Democratic version of Republican Lisa Murkowski, the Alaska senator who has maintained a level of independence that is increasingly rare but refreshing, and who holds outsized influence to strike deals and forge bipartisanship consensus.
Marshall, despite hopes to the contrary, hasn’t demonstrated much independence. As a U.S. Representative, he has voted with the president 98.3 percent of the time (per fivethirtyeight.com) and has failed to stand up to the worst parts of Trump.
Bollier’s problem-solving, reasonable approach to government is better reflective of Kansas values and needs, and would be a welcome break from the past.
— Publisher David A. Seaton