Ironically, O'Connor is vice chair of the state's Senate Elections and Local Government Committee. And in a bizarre turn of events, the Pitch has discovered that, while testing a new electronic voting machine, O'Connor inadvertently posted several of her diary entries on the Internet. What follows is previously unpublished information that, finally, offers insight into the question everyone has been asking: What the hell was she thinking?
January 20, 2001 Deep in my heart of hearts, I didn't want to vote in November, but it was my duty and I did it. With rare exceptions, I've been voting in every election since I turned eighteen, and, except for the one for Ronald Reagan in 1980, I can't think of a vote I was more proud to cast than this one for George W. Bush. Now, praise the Lord, Bill Clinton is gone. Talk about women's suffering!
George took office today, ending such a dark time in our history. I have to say I'm not particularly impressed with the kid's past of illicit drug use and Lord knows what other types of immorality, but anything's better than what we had. And at least he's bringing back some of the people who made the 1980s such a time of enlightenment. If I close my eyes tight and think really, really hard, I can almost convince myself that the past eight years never even happened.
On the other hand, it really burned my cookies seeing Jean Carnahan go off to the Senate, even if John Ashcroft is getting ready to show her who's the boss. For the time being, anyway, the state of Missouri remains in the grip of yahoos. Bob Holden's $1 million inauguration on January 9 was absolutely horrifying: I don't know which was worse, his two Ralph Lauren tuxedos or Lori's bawdy gold-embossed strapless taffeta number. Or the fact that Anheuser-Busch, the AFL-CIO, Southwestern Bell, Monsanto and their ilk paid for most of it.
I so hate seeing Democrats act like good Republicans.
January 23 Glory, glory hallelujah! Little George has been in office only two days, and already he's starting to throw out all the proabortion rules! Oh, sweet victory. And I just loved seeing my colleague in Washington, Sammy Brownback, giving that wonderful, uplifting prayer to the sea of prolife demonstrators before they marched on to the Supreme Court building. I'm an old-fashioned woman, and I'm so happy we're getting back to old-fashioned ways.
February 2 The nerve of that woman! Carnahan had the gall to vote against Ashcroft's confirmation! I guess I expected as much from a Missouri hillbilly like her. I don't believe her for one minute when she says, "I hope he will take these votes of dissent as they are intended: not as acts of spite or recrimination, but as pleas for healing and harmony." Healing and harmony, what a pile of liberal hooey. At least she wasn't elected to office.
February 15 Today has been a very, very sad day. I couldn't even stand to toast Art's Pop Tarts and squeeze his tomato juice after I saw the headline in this morning's paper: "Emphasis on Evolution Adopted by Kansas Board."
Oh, sure, I'd seen it coming. I knew the lily-livered Kansas Board of Education couldn't stand up to all the Leno jokes. But it just breaks my heart to know that little kids will once again be forced to contemplate the Big Bang theory and ponder the age of the earth.
I'm trying to look on the bright side. This is yet another perfect example of why we need school vouchers. Parents need to be the ones making decisions about their kids' educations, dad gummit. Memo to myself: Call the marketing director at Parents in Control, my national nonprofit organization, and have him send out a fresh fund-raising letter.
February 24 Success has rarely tasted so much like a red-white-and-blue cupcake. Finally, after four years, the Kansas Senate has approved my "constitutional awareness" bill, 32-7. Actually, I'm shocked that anyone would ever have voted against it. All it does is make sure every elected and appointed state officeholder has copies of the Kansas and U.S. constitutions and the U.S. citizenship exam.
March 28 It's been a nasty month up in the ghetto. Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Carol Marinovich is running for reelection against a man -- several men, actually: Councilman Elmer Sharp, whoever it was who put up all those anonymous but entertaining "No More Marinovich" billboards and David Carson, that brave truth-teller who edits The New Observer. (He hasn't quite been able to get the property records for Marinovich's house in Shawnee -- or is it Prairie Village? Anyway, there's obviously some sort of conspiracy going on at the Wyandotte County assessor's office. They must be handing out fake records to the Star reporters who try to check the mayor's residence.) It's truly a shame they have to make such a big fuss over votes up there. Where I come from, you just say how you feel, and you get elected.
April 3 Marinovich got reelected. There she was, with her husband, judge Ernest Johnson, swearing her in. Then she gave him a hug and a kiss, as if it were a favor he'd just done her. Their relationship just seems all wrong. In my marriage, I'm the heart but Art is the head. With those two, I can't tell who's who.
I will say one thing and one thing only for Marinovich: I can't wait until Nebraska Furniture Mart opens out by the racetrack. Art and I have been looking all over the place for matching plaid La-Z-Boys.
April 23 Shocking developments in the Kansas City school district today, as if anything from that public-school cesspool could surprise me anymore. First the board fires Superintendent Benjamin Demps; then Judge Dean Whipple issues a court order reinstating him. Now, today, the weenie resigns. There he is, weeping on television. Well let me tell you, bub, I have no sympathy. This whole thing wouldn't be going on if kids just had vouchers.
Note to myself: Have Parents in Control send out another fund-raising letter.
April 24 Poor Elma Warrick. Her quotes have obviously been misrepresented. Nobody could be so stupid as to call Missouri Reps Tim Van Zandt and Marsha Campbell "rural, rednecked racists." Elma knows Van Zandt and Campbell aren't rural rednecked racists; they're Brookside communist twinkies. Now everybody thinks she should resign, but at least she's holding her ground, letting everyone know she never said such a thing. I can't believe the media in this town.
April 26 Never mind. Apparently Elma was that stupid. She ought to know that, as an elected official, every little thing she says will be scrutinized to death.
May 24 It's another dark day. Kansas State University scientists have cloned a calf. That's just one more scientific advancement.
June 21 Mayor Kay Barnes should have known better than to ask the Kansas City city council for a strong-mayor form of government. Led by that big teddy bear Ed Ford, the council members made quick work of her idea today. I'm happy that a man's good sense is prevailing over there.
July 30 Lord in heaven, what was Barnes doing in Westport in the middle of a Saturday night? She said she was observing the crowd, but doesn't she know women have absolutely no business being out that late?
August 7 Kansas Citians voted down light rail, as well they should have. What a colossal waste of taxpayer money that would have been. Besides, if women absolutely must go to work -- and circumstances often force them to, I know -- they can just take the bus.
And didn't we conservative women know how costly the Equal Rights Amendment would be? Even without the ERA, Kansas City must pass a sales taxes to provide women firefighters with special sleeping quarters and bathrooms in firehouses! Supposedly, those old, falling-down buildings were infested with cockroaches and mice, but if those women had been doing their jobs down there with dust mops and Lysol, they never would have needed that sales tax. What a mess!
August 20 It's been a terrible day. George W. is in town to talk to senior citizens in Independence tomorrow, but tonight it was all a hush-hush private dinner at the Peppercorn Duck Club with those moderate bluebells Bill and Linda Graves.
Why wasn't I invited?
August 29 I was disappointed this morning to read that the Kansas City Zoo is about to lose its accreditation. One of the big reasons is because its ape house is falling down. Just seeing those monkeys' pictures on the front page reminds me yet again of the Kansas school board's evolution debates. I don't ever want to see my state being the butt of Jay Leno's jokes again.
September 11 Holy smokes! Can't think of much else to write today.
September 12 Somehow I have this feeling that if our morality hadn't been flushed down the toilet, if the homosexuals and feminists and League of Women Voters types hadn't taken over, all this might not have happened. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.
September 18 Read in the Weekly World News today that a frog baby was born to a Kansas woman! Maybe there's something to that evolution business after all.
September 23 So Chiefs fans expressed their deep patriotism today by singing the National Anthem properly. As if it were just that simple to reverse years of disrespecting one of the greatest songs ever written simply by singing "home of the brave" instead of "home of the Chiefs." I wonder how many of the folks in that stadium could have passed my Constitution quiz?
September 28 Oh, for Pete's sake. That moron from the Star thinks I said I don't believe in my own right to vote.
October 1 This is getting ugly. People are actually believing those lies the Star printed about me -- even though nobody believes anything else that's ever published in that raggedy butt-wipe. (Hate to use unladylike language, but I'm mad.)
Now I'm getting calls from The Washington Post and Fox News!
This whole affair is simply ridiculous. I have always supported women's right to vote and have encouraged women to exercise that right. Why would I, during five elections, go door-to-door asking literally thousands of women for their votes and then turn around and oppose their right to vote?
Maybe I ought to write all that down and send it in. Maybe they'll run my picture with that little "As I See It" column.
This whole thing is nonsense. When that ding-dong asked me if I would have voted for the 19th Amendment, I answered, "Yes, in today's society this is something that women need." Then he asked me if I would have voted for it in the 1920s, and I replied, "I don't really know. I wasn't alive then and I am not an expert on that issue during that period of time."
And that's how I honestly feel about it. What's so wrong with that?
October 2 Now I'm really steaming. The Star says it wants to "edit" three paragraphs of my response. I'll be damned if I'm going to let them put their filthy mitts all over my stuff.
October 30 The Oz theme park is dead. As much as I'm an old-fashioned woman and love The Wizard of Oz for that wonderful black-and-white imagery of the Kansas farmstead, I thought that whole plan was about as realistic as flying monkeys. Unfortunately, I've got much bigger things to worry about these days, with everyone thinking I'm some kind of wicked witch. Must run.
November 1 Memo to myself: Write a nice note to Ingrams and K.C. Jones for publishing Jack Cashill's piece defending me. I love his line about how, even after raising six children and having thirteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, Art and I "still hold hands when they think no one is looking." Brings tears to my eyes.
November 27 Ha! Looks like I have the last laugh. I don't know what those floozies thought they were pulling off by secretly videotaping that little exchange between Art and the recall petitioner who knocked on our door, but we filed a lawsuit. Nobody messes with Kay.
November 30 I'm laughing even harder today. Read in that loathsome Kansas City Star -- yes, I still read it; I can't help myself -- that the recall petitioners are having a hard time collecting enough signatures to throw me out of office. They should have known better. After all, people in Olathe love me.
December 10 A very, very difficult year apparently isn't going to get any better before it's over. Tonight the Lenexa Republican Central Committee asked me to resign. This from my own people. It just proves that the battle for the soul of the Kansas Republican Party has been won by the squishies. We may be winning the war in Afghanistan, but soon enough, we're going to have to regroup for the one on the home front.
Well, I've fixed myself a hot bubble bath, and now I'm soaking in it, drinking a nice glass of apple juice. Just need to relax. Get a little rest. I know one thing: They're not going to get rid of Kay so easily.
I have never been a quitter.