Pat Roberts’ retirement is a generational shift in Kansas politics. What comes next? | The Kansas City Star

kansascity | 1/4/2019 | Staff
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Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas was pretty clear Friday in explaining his decision to forgo another campaign in 2020.

“I just think it’s time,” he told reporters in Manhattan.

Course

He’s right about that, of course.

Four decades in Washington is long enough. There’s a thin line between helpful experience and atrophy, and Roberts has approached it on more than one occasion.

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On Friday, Roberts pointed with pride to work on eight farm bills during his time in office. Eight? Do farmers really need that much help? Is there a better way to protect the food supply?

Roberts - Guy - Answers - Questions - World

Roberts isn’t the right guy to provide answers to those questions. In his world, there have always been farm bills, and there will always be farm bills. Congress just fills in the blanks.

That isn’t what America will need from its government in the years to come. Fresh eyes will be essential and welcome.

Eyes - Jeff - Coyler - Kris - Kobach

Who will provide those fresh eyes? Jeff Coyler? Kris Kobach? Mike Pompeo? A Democrat?

Kansans can relax: The race will sort itself out in the months to come. For now, it seems more important that someone will replace Roberts, someone who can offer new answers to old questions.

Replacement - Process - Senate - Campaign - Issues

Finding that replacement will be a better process if we all agree now to a real Senate campaign, based on real issues and real answers. Real debates. Real people.

That means trashing political postcards with meaningless, audience-tested themes. It means ignoring silly television ads and fake news on social media. It means conversations with friends and family —...
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