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Crowson: The Moonflower State

When are we here in the Sunflower State going to bow to reality and change the Kansas nickname? After all, the “sun” in “sunflower” connotes bright, open light: “Ah, the Sunflower State! Why, this must be a place where a plethora of sunshine permeates the plains with perpetual political openness!”

Um…no. This is a place where cowering legislators are perfectly happy to make decisions about who can wee-wee where, and yet leave puddles in their own chairs at the thought of making tough budget decisions.

It’s a place where trembling lawmakers shakily pass a state budget, quivering beneath the cover of darkness at 1:30 and 3:00 a.m. It’s a budget that leaves the decision-making about specific cuts, whacks and slashes to the guy who’s not running for reelection: Governor Brownback. And if you think Trickle Down Sam is going to let the common Kansan have a say in his budgetary decisions, well, I’ve got some ocean front property in WaKeeny, Kansas, I’d like to sell you, pal.

It’s not about sunniness in Kansas these days. So let’s ditch the pretense of calling ourselves the Sunflower State. I propose we make it the Moonflower State. After all, Moonflowers bloom in the dark. They grow in poor soil. They’re sometimes seen in pastures where you-know-what else abounds.

Perfect metaphor for our secretive, darkness-craving Kansas government these days.

Richard Crowson is not only a editorial commentator for KMUW. He's also a cartoonist, an artist and a banjo player.