This piece from The American Conservative dovetails nicely as a response to some of the nutsy-ness that came out of the mouths of Jim Ryun & Lynn Jenkins last night:
Last summer, I noted the numerous references to Nancy Boyda’s abrupt departure from an Armed Services Committee hearing featuring testimony from Gen. Keane. War supporters kept flogging this as evidence of antiwar Democrats’ intransigence and inflexibility in the face of new evidence. Never mind that Boyda’s frustration with administration spin on Iraq was, is, widely shared, and her gesture, while a tad dramatic, was actually appreciated in many quarters. Now Politico has dredged up the episode in its profile of five at-risk Democratic incumbents (most of whom are freshmen elected to traditionally Republican-leaning districts in ‘06) as one of the reasons why Boyda’s re-election is at risk. At the heart of this sort of analysis is a very much inside-the-Beltway assumption that someone’s opposition to the “surge” will prove to be a major liability for Democratic candidates. Just as I am doubtful that obsessing about the “surge” will aid McCain, I very much doubt that opposition to it is going to hurt House members.
One small problem that I see with Politico’s analysis is that it seems to pay no attention to the opinions of the actual people in Kansas’ 2nd District. At last glance, Boyda was leading former Rep. Jim Ryun by 17 points in a poll last month (and she was leading her alternative Republican challenger by 30), and her approval numbers were quite good. As Reid Wilson reported:
68% of respondents in her district said she was doing an excellent or good job, while just 21% had a negative impression of her job performance. 54% said they would definitely or probably vote to re-elect Boyda, while just 35% said they would give someone else a shot.
68% approval is usually a good sign that a House member is going to be returned to office. If these numbers are any indication of how Kansans are responding to Boyda’s performance, those predicting or hoping that anti-”surge” Democrats in “red” districts are going to lose because of their prominent opposition to the “surge” are going to be proven wrong.
In the end this "incident" is anicent history, and simply will not overwhelm all the good Boyda has managed to accomplish during her two years in office.