Editorials

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s greeting to USDA newcomers in KC: Hello, swamp creatures!

As much as we love welcoming newcomers to Kansas City, the reason the U.S. Department of Agriculture is moving some of its employees here is nothing to cheer about.

This is part of the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to disperse scientists and disassemble science. So far so good, since as expected, 90% of those tagged for the move have left the USDA rather than uproot their families, which is always complicated and often impossible.

Predictably, the pushback has been characterized by Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley — a former academic who studied at Rockhurst High School, Stanford University, spent his junior year abroad at the University of Oxford and a gap year teaching at St. Paul School for gifted boys in London before entering Yale Law School — as more evidence of the elitism he sees everywhere except in the mirror.

Those who are coming here have also gotten a less expected kick-in-the-pants greeting from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who tweeted, “I’m glad to see that @realDonaldTrump is fulfilling his promise to drain the D.C. swamp. This is a move that has never been done before and it’s because of the hard work we are doing to make Missouri a great place for opportunity.”

In other words, Welcome, Swamp Creatures! Slither or crawl on in! Are you as fast as an alligator?

If that’s what these researchers are — denizens of drainage from the cesspool — why would we want them here?

We do, of course, so much, in fact that local taxpayers will for reasons that elude us be subsidizing the federal government’s relocation of some 550 jobs.

But official attacks on these soon-to-be constituents are neither Midwestern nice nor very smart. Who’d want to move here and be called names?

We expect better of Parson, who became governor after Eric Greitens resigned in ignominy. Now, Parson is running for election next year, and he’s campaigning against “the rise of socialism,” as well as against Democratic state auditor Nicole Galloway.

As that contest approaches, is it too much to expect him to stay truer to himself than to the Trump Party playbook for the former GOP?

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