Yael T. Abouhalkah

Kansas GOP issues perfectly angry response to waitress’ snub of Sam Brownback

Kansas GOP Executive Director Clay Barker did not appreciate a waitress’ tip to Gov. Sam Brownback.
Kansas GOP Executive Director Clay Barker did not appreciate a waitress’ tip to Gov. Sam Brownback. From Chloe Hough

The story about waitress Chloe Hough criticizing Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s education policies has drawn a rebuke from Clay Barker, the state’s top Republican party official.

And it’s perfect — as in perfectly capturing just how dense the GOP can be when it comes to trying to defend Brownback’s policies and the damage they are doing to the state of Kansas.

Hough served Brownback Saturday night at Boss Hawg’s, then crossed out the space for a tip and wrote the phrase, “Tip the schools.”

It was an eye-catching, symbolic statement on Brownback’s policies that are changing school funding policies, causing some K-12 districts to close early this school year.

Barker, executive director of the Kansas Republican State Committee, first took to a TV station’s Facebook page, lashing out at Hough and the publicity she is getting for the stunt.

“So you are publicizing her arrogant stupidity and utter ignorance. Typical liberal KS media,” he wrote.

Barker later continued, telling The Topeka Capital-Journal by email:

“And yes it is perfectly in line with the party’s role — we get to say what everyone is thinking. Why would the Kansas media, well-known for its frequent liberal, anti-Brownback disposition, go to such lengths to highlight a rude comment from a single individual?”

Another Barker comment: “Where are the stories of the thousands of people who have said complimentary things about the governor?”

This line of reasoning completely ignores the fact that Brownback and his administration constantly ramp up state-paid attempts to get the word out about what they are doing.

Just recently, Brownback signed new welfare rules into effect, limiting how people could spend the money they receive from the state. The media dutifully covered the press conference — just as it does dozens of other events Brownback speaks at.

Another one last week: The media wrote that Brownback would be visiting four cities to re-sign an anti-abortion bill.

Plenty of people say nice things about Brownback. Plenty say mean things too.

It’s best when those things are said aimed at policies promoted by Brownback and his allies, so discussions can be had about how those policies are affecting Kansans.

Hough used three simple words to get her point across.

They angered Brownback’s supporters, who apparently will spend hundreds if not thousands of words in the next few days to whip up emotional responses to what she wrote.

Bottom line, Hough helped draw attention to a very real problem in Kansas — how the Brownback administration is treating funding for the K-12 school systems.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

Related stories from Kansas City Star