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Enough, Mr. Huelskamp

Ex-lawmaker doesn't know when to let up

By The Mercury

Tim Huelskamp, who once represented Kansas in Congress and hopes to do so again, needs more to do. He also could benefit from an attitude adjustment, but that’s been true for about as long as he served in public office.

Mr. Huelskamp represented Manhattan and the rest of the 1st Congressional District until he lost last November to Roger Marshall, who might be almost as conservative as Mr. Huelskamp but is vastly more likeable.

When the new congressman was sworn in, his son, a teenager, pulled a stunt that almost certainly led to a conversation later with his father. The youth’s stunt involved striking a pose popular with athletes and celebrities.

Mr. Huelskamp found it necessary to exploit the gaffe for his own purposes. So he issued the following statement — in a fundraising letter, no less: “You probably saw it. Roger Marshall’s high school senior embarrassed Kansas by ‘dabbing’ during the official swearing in photograph with Paul Ryan. A little more class, please. This is Congress — not senior skip day.”

We’d like to think the young man learned his lesson. If so, he’s a much quicker study than Mr. Huelskamp, who repeatedly embarrassed himself and his state when he was a member of the House of Representatives. Were it not for his inane defiance of authority and his need to bring attention to himself, a Kansan would still hold a seat on the House Agriculture Committee. Mr. Huelskamp threw that prize away while scoring points among his tea party comrades.

Regaining that seat is one of Rep. Marshall’s priorities. We’re confident that if he gets that opportunity, he will make the make the most of it.

As for Mr. Huelskamp, he is intent on returning to Congress, perhaps from this district in two years or perhaps by persuading Republican precinct members in the 4th Congressional District to choose him to serve the unexpired term of Rep. Mike Pompeo. Rep. Pompeo has been nominated and is expected to win confirmation to be CIA director.

Mr. Huelskamp theoretically could replace him because a candidate does not need to live in the district to seek the office. We hope the folks in the 4th District realize they can do better than Mr. Huelskamp.

It’s clear that Mr. Huelskamp has no intention of leaving gracefully, but he would perform a rare service for his fellow Kansans if he would just go away.

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