Hand Over The Heartland

by Chris Bodenner

In my hometown paper I just came across this quote from Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson (D), who opposes the Fort Leavenworth transfer:

The stigma of what Guantanamo Bay has come to represent must not be attached to the Heartland. That stigma would be a weight around the neck of our state’s national image.

What about our national image to the world? Also, as The New Yorker's Amy Davidson notes:

New York is as much Heartland as his state is.

If Parkinson is going to play the "Real America" game, he should acknowledge this: Kansas overwhelmingly voted for Bush and Cheney in 2004, when detainee policy and torture allegations were widely known. If any region is "attached" to the "stigma" of Gitmo, it's the "Heartland." Also, if Parkinson is really worried about stigmas, he should try to avoid headlines like this:

Guantánamo Detainees: Kansas Scared, Michigan Says Bring ‘em On