Missouri’s Meltdown: A Political Lanscape In Flux

In this humble publication’s previous post, it discussed the unfortunate situation Jon Diehl had found himself in. 24 hours later, he has resigned and will return to his law practice. Which wasn’t surprising, other than most people suspected a quiet weekend resignation. However, that was made impossible by the eagerness —that’s being kind— of the Missouri political journalism class. Intrepid young reporters roaming the capital looking for dirt and wonking out on policy. They tend to lean towards a more progressive agenda, but I digress. 

What made this story really odd was what Jessica Lussenhop reported after the resignation. You can read her work here. In it she notes, that Diehl went out and had drinks with his colleagues, even some on the other side of the partisan fence. Which, isn’t all that surprising if you follow DC politics. This incestuous paradigm is, I’m sure, all too common in all 50 of our states capitols. What did raise a train eyes eye brow, was a savvy political move by republican candidate Cathrine Hanaway, who had been all but written off after the suicide of her opponent, state auditor Tom Scweich. Hanaway took the young, put upon 19 year-old under her wing, so to speak. To what end, remains to be seen. Theories exist, but nothing clear at this point. 

It’s been a grueling year for the state of Missouri — Akin reemerging with a book and then the tragedy of Tom Schweich. In between those two difficult moments for the state GOP, are the many scars of Ferguson that occurred and were inflicted upon the whole state, our piece of flyover country was not accustomed to such national scrutiny. Now, Jason Kander’s entry into the senate race to oppose the incumbent Roy Blunt has assured our political landscape will remain in the national spotlight for sometime to come. It is a politcal landscape in flux. 

Strange bedfellows and major money pouring in, it’s got everything political junkies love. With these recent events, I don’t see Missourians catching a break anytime soon. I don’t know that we can ever return to “normal”. To be frank, it was always weird, it just can’t be hidden any longer, and neither can the fact that the epicenter of the weirdness is clearly Jefferson City. Flanked by two metropolises, Kansas City and St. Louis, both on the far ends of the state, that provide the bodies, for the lack of a better term, to keep the strange charade going. Perhaps, that is why many have high hopes for Jon Diehl’s replacement, Todd Richardson. From neither flanking metropolis, he is from a small town called Poplar Bluff in the southern part of the state. He, and many others, have a hefty task of restoring some semblance functionality and credibility to the state. He seems to be off to a good start by addressing the intern program in Jeff City. I wish him well, because as Ms. Lussenhop so eloquently put, “Jeff City is weird”, he’s gonna need more than well wishes. We shall see… 


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