The title of the 1960s tune It's My Party And I'll Cry If I Want To might well summarize the feelings of many Democrats in light of last week's elections, both in Missouri and nationwide. The federal government will be in GOP hands next year. Missouri will be under Republican control in both the governor's office and the legislature. Thirty-two state legislatures are coming under GOP control and thirty-four states will have a Republican as governor. How do Democrats start to revitalize their party? What are the implications? Should the Democratic Party move to the left or to the right? Is the "Clinton era" now over? Who should become DNC chairman?
Republicans in the Kansas Legislature and Governor Brownback are facing even more bad news about the state's budget. New figures suggest the state will end fiscal 2017 with a budget deficit of $345 million; the 2018 estimate is $582 milllion. The problem may be compounded when the State Supreme Court acts on the school finance controversy. Experience suggests the court will rule for the plaintiff districts and the decision may require the state to spend another $500 million on K-12 education. Is there any way out of this that doesn't include tax increases? How did Kansas get into this situation? Was it just the Brownback tax cuts? If they are rescinded, what's the reaction of taxpayers? Will they readily accept the hike?Should the court ameliorate its upcoming school finance decision because of the financial problems? There are rumors that Governor Brownback may be offered a seat in the Trump Cabinet. Does he owe it to Kansas to stay in Topeka, work on the deficit problem, and complete his term?
In the waning days of the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton and her supporters worried that Donald Trump and his backers would not accept the legitimate outcome of the presidential race. Ironically, in light of the Trump victory, it seems that Hillary backers are the ones unwilling to accept the people's verdict. We've seen demonstrations on Kansas City streets and in big cities across the country protesting the result of the race. The battle cry appears to be "Not My President." While people certainly have the right to protest, what exactly do they want done? What will make them feel better and stop protesting? Does this all become more complicated because Mrs. Clinton will likely win the popular vote? Some people argue that the popular vote, not the electoral tally, should decide presidential races. Does that have merit? Why do we use the electoral system? Should the president ask the demonstrators to stop? How about Hillary? Will these displays gradually disappear?
Ruckus offers viewpoints on top stories from four different panelists each week. The Ruckettes, who are public newsmakers and officials, provide a diversity of opinion through debate and discussion on issues affecting the Kansas City metro. Moderator Mike Shanin leads this ensemble of conservatives and liberals who provide lively round table talks about issues that face our community today.
Watch Ruckus Thursdays at 7 p.m. Join the conversation at @KCPT by using #RuckusKC and KCPT.
Mike Shanin’s been hosting Ruckus since the program’s debut in 1995 and in recent years, has also served as Managing Editor. A veteran Kansas City radio broadcaster, Shanin has worked as a talk show host, political analyst, news anchor and in management. Since leaving radio in early 2012, he’s done freelance pubic speaking and commercial radio and television projects. A graduate of both Northwest Missouri State University and Park University, Shanin’s academic emphasis was on Political Science, Social Science, and Public Administration. He served in the U.S. Army as a Broadcast and Information Specialist between1968 and 1970, stationed initially at Ft. McPherson, GA., and later with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam. @MikeShanin
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