Kansas politicians are chasing each other in circles in their eagerness to protest the idea of detainees from Guantanamo Bay being transferred to Fort Leavenworth.
The state Senate this week passed a resolution notifying Washington that terrorism suspects are not welcome in the Sunflower State.
That prompted the Kansas Democratic Party to note that the Senate vote was a rousing affirmation of a stand taken by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts congratulated legislators for saying the same things he had been saying. The Kansas House added its voice to the chorus. U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback congratulated the House, noting it was he who got the ball rolling.
Is someone available to congratulate Brownback? Tag, you're it.
Never let it be said that Kansas politicians can't present a united front. The stand against the Gitmo detainees is the second recent instance of Republicans and Democrats joining forces.
The first was the all-out blitz to win the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility. Manhattan, Kan., was chosen among dozens of contenders to be the site of a $650 million federal laboratory that will work to assure the safety of the nation's food supply.
The laboratory will bring certain risks to Kansas. Release of the wrong pathogen could be deadly for residents and wipe out a large portion of the Midwest livestock herd.
But that’s a worst-case scenario. Kansas leaders rightly have confidence that the engineers and scientists who will build and operate the laboratory will keep it safe.
So where is the faith that the U.S. military can protect the public while confining some of the 250 detainees who are to be moved out of Guantanamo Bay in a year's time?
Not in Kansas, Toto.
Politicians oppose Fort Leavenworth for the detainees whether they agree that Guantanamo should be shuttered (as Sebelius does) or want it kept open (the preference of Brownback and Roberts).
Their arguments assume that every worst-case scenario will come to pass.
Leavenworth will become a terrorist target. Economic development will screech to a halt. Military families won't want their children attending school in such a "high-risk" environment.
And this: Officers from Muslim nations will boycott the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth if detainees are housed nearby.
That would be their loss. Leavenworth is a charming town and home to some of the brightest minds in the U.S. military.
But Leavenworth is a prison town. It's home to a federal penitentiary, a privately run corrections facility and the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, the Department of Defense's only long-term, maximum security lockup.
OK, the place might not be in move-in condition to handle the Guantanamo inmates. What place is?
Opponents claim the barracks is unsuitable because it lacks the proper external security features and a medical facility.
So build them. They would make excellent economic stimulus projects. Throw in a new community center for the residents of Leavenworth while we're at it.
The not-in-my-barracks drumbeat of Kansas politicians insults the military and the justice system by implying that neither is up to the task of handling terrorism suspects incarcerated on U.S. soil.
And the parochial opposition ignores the global yearning to be rid of Guantanamo, a symbol that has come to stand for the abuse of U.S. power and act as a rallying point for the recruitment of jihadists.
But the protests of Kansas leaders are consistent with the way much of America has approached the war on terror. Everybody’s for it, as long as somebody else does the heavy lifting.