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Thursday, January 25, 2007
posted by jason | 8:56 AM | permalink
Townhall's Matt Lewis Rounds up some old friends of Brownbacks. I give you 4 quotes Lewis used in his piece:

1.“Kansas Republican Party Chairman Tim Shallenburger said he remembered having a conversation with Brownback in 1994 when Brownback was running in the GOP primary for the U.S. House. After the conversation, Shallenburger said he left with the impression that Brownback “was not pro-life.” Link

2. “David Gittrich, development director for the state’s largest anti-abortion organization, Kansans for Life, said when Brownback first ran for Congress in 1994 'he was ill-informed.' Gittrich added, 'He didn’t know whether he was pro-life or pro-choice.' … Gittrich said he had heard from others that Brownback simply didn’t understand the issues at the time." Link

3.“As recently as 1994, the year of his first campaign for Congress, Brownback was a member in good standing of the moderate Republican establishment.” Link

4. “… as primary day approached, (Brownback’s opponent) noticed a change in his opponent's language. Brownback never used to mention abortion on the campaign trail. Now he was publicly pronouncing himself an abortion opponent.” Link

The problem here (as Lewis notes) isn't Brownback's Conversion- as a social conservative myself I am more than happy to see a new face in the crowd- it's the inherent hypocrisy of his past when coupled with the recent statement by Brownback concerning Romney's conversion:

"I think you'll have to look at where he stood, and at times, he's said different things on these issues. I think that's all going to come out during a long campaign.

...I do think that when you get out on the campaign trail and the campaign really gets fully engaged, there's going to be a lot of discussion about where people actually stand on the issues.” Link

Now if this was the only area of "only I can convert" conversion one might be willing to give him a pass. Unfortunately it is not. While perusing the Internet I found this old article on a munitions plant in Kansas. Back in 2005 apparently Brownback had decided that tucking a $10 million dollar appropriation into a large defense bill was for the good of his constituency. From the AP:

The Pentagon, President Bush and the Base Closure and Realignment Commission all agree the southeast Kansas plant is expendable. Even so, Sen. Sam Brownback got the extra money tucked into a defense spending bill before the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which he sits, approved it this week.

"Normally you don't spend money on a facility that's about to be closed," said John Pike, a military analyst with in Alexandria, Va. "It's basically doing an end-run around BRAC."

Only a few months later in April of 2006 we get this:

We have to get spending under control,” said Brownback. “Congress needs to show the American public that it is capable of fiscal

The Road to Damascus is for the chosen few...
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You know... I'm getting tired of this issue. I'm 100% in it for Mitt Romney. I just am tired of talking about who is more stalwart and true on the abortion issue.

The vast majority of Americans are at least a little bit ambivalent about abortion. Conservatives believe abortion is wrong. What about in the case of rape or incest? What about if the life of the mother is in danger? Even before Roe vs. Wade people were allowed to get abortions, they just had to go through committee first.

So to put it bluntly, I don't care about Mitt Romney's evolving opinion on abortion... or Brownback's!! I've had an evolving opinion myself. I grew up in a fiercely pro-life family, but when one of my children was conceived, I didn't feel like we were ready for another child, and desperately wished there was a way to make it all go away. But when I had to wrestle with the issue up close and personal, I (and my wife) came down on the side of life.

I am not going to insist on some sort of stringent historical standard of purity, and I don't think America will either. Mitt Romney has said enough on this issue, and so has Brownback. Brownback needs to shut up and quit henpecking Romney, and Romney fans ought to do the same for Brownback.

I would much rather listen to Romney talk about Iran, healthcare, the emerging asian threat, or any of a million other issues. Abortion is a dead horse.

One other thing... I think we Mitt fans ought to take the approach of: "Anything _____ can do, Mitt can do better."

Brownback might have a decent (if blemished) record on fiscal restraint - But Romney has a better one.

Giuliani may have a lot of charisma - But Romney has more.

McCain may talk straight, but Romney talks straighter, more forcefully, and with greater clarity and precision.

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