My Beautiful Wickedness

Sam “Doubleback” Brownback
May 31, 2007, 8:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I already thought this guy was not my cup of tea…

But this NYT op-ed strikes me as hilarious. The set-up: in a recent debate, he raised his hand as a guy who doesn’t believe in evolution. It’s pretty well established that he doesn’t and I don’t think that his answer surprised the four people who actually watched the debate. If the assembled candidates had stampeded any farther to the right, the entire platform would have collapsed (which, come to think of it, would have saved us all a bunch of bother and may serve as a metaphor of what’s going on in internal GOP circles).

Now Brownback (who has moved from mainline Methodism to evangelical Protestantism to Opus Dei Catholicism) feels the need to nuance his position so as to…what? Not alienate those hardcore Catholic cultural conservatives who comprise his base? To bring in under his very small tent the hardcore Protestant cultural conservatives? What exactly is his point? Just to get his name out among NY Republicans, who are swinging to Rudy the Shark?

I am guessing he felt some pressure from his Opus Dei friends to be more explicit about the Catholic Church’s doctrinal teachings on this point, as the op-ed reads like it was written by Pope Benedict the Disapproving.

To be fair (and balanced), I think his religious convictions give him some moral clout on issues that I care about like Darfur. He’s been in the forefront of trying to do something and has been highly rated by the Genocide Intervention Network for his behind-the-scenes diplomatic work. Unlike some conservatives, he’s been a staunch supporter of stem cell research (if conducted with cord blood and not embryonic blood) and ivf — possibly because he has adopted a couple “snowflake” children. (Ok, so the “snowflake” analogy is so racist as to make me queasy.) He’s a rare voice speaking out against the international trafficking of women as sexworkers. He’s attempted some measures that suggest a restitutional sense — introducing a measure to apologize for the systematic butchery of American Indians, working to find museum space on the Mall for both the NAIM and the African-American History and Culture Museum. So he’s not a total disaster.

But why I call him “Doubleback” is that he’s always trying to tack on the political winds to advance himself. He’s strongly pro-life but only mildly critiques capital punishment. He opposes NSA wiretapping by the President but believes there’s no Constitutional right to privacy. He wants campaign finance reform but he’s been investigated for violating campaign financing laws. He’s Mr. Strong Borders but he also has enough experience in ag-related industries and policy-making to know that American food production is heavily dependent on illegal immigrants transported into places like his home state of Kansas by third-party coyotes (allegedly) employed by ADM and IBP.

What would I call a guy like that? Vice-President.

Yep, while I think he’ll be an early victim in the primary system, I am betting he will wind up as someone’s choice for running mate (especially if that someone is already from the South…like Action Fred), so don’t overlook him.


2 Comments so far
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Didn’t you just feel a chill watching four would-be Presidents holding up their hands to say “Why no, I do not believe in science, logic, evidence, or reason … so where’s them nuke codes?”

Ahhh… Fred.

“I’m a lawyer, no I’m an actor, no I’m a politician, no I’m an actor again – and on to the White House!”

The last time I can remember the GOP being this fractured was 1976, although it is still early days. Maybe the Dems won’t be able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory this time?

Comment by grbosch

I’d be about as comfortable with Brownback a heartbeat away from the presidency as I am with Cheney–that is, 0% comfortable.

Comment by Nick Dupree

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