Skip to comments.2008 Watch: Senator Sam Brownback
Posted on 12/21/2004 7:58:10 AM PST by crushkerry
Is this Kansas Senator Sam Brownbacks moment to shine? It may be starting to look that way. The conservative Senator may become the anti-Specter on the Senator Judiciary Committee; not a bad launching pad for a prospective presidential candidate desperately in need of an image.
If Frist has his way, Sen. Sam Brownback and Dr. Tom Coburn will be making Chairman Specter's life miserable for the foreseeable future, a not wholly unappealing prospect for conservatives.
Brownback's placement on Judiciary presents him with an opportunity to further burnish his social conservative bona fides, as he ramps up what is expected to be a toe-dipping into presidential politics in 2008. The conservative, Roman Catholic convert from Kansas joins one of the most conservative committees around, with Cornyn, Kyl, Sessions, Coburn, and Graham sitting with him.
As early as 1996, Brownback was recognized as a potential rightwing rising star.
A farmboy turned lawyer, Brownback served for six years as secretary of the Kansas Board of Agriculture and as a White House fellow in 1990 - 91 -- long enough to convince him the Federal Government is much too big.
His 1994 run for Congress, his first attempt at elective office, was against Democrat John Carlin, a former two-term governor. Embracing the Contract with America, Brownback won 66 per cent of the vote and carried every county in his district.
Brownback ignored Sam Rayburn's advice that House newcomers should be seldom seen and never heard. He quickly formed the New Federalists, 14 rookie Republicans dedicated to slashing government.
By the time Dole resigned from the Senate this June, Brownback had become disillusioned with House Republican leadership. He now had a shot at a Senate seat in a new kind of Senate -- with Trent Lott as Majority Leader and conservatives such as himself replacing the Doles and the Hatfields.
But first he had to face what he calls "The Machine" -- the Kansas Republican establishment. Gov. Bill Graves, a moderate, pro-choice Republican, filled the Dole vacancy by naming his lieutenant governor, Sheila Frahm, a dependable organization politician who is pro-choice and anti-term-limits, and who refused to sign a federal no-tax-increase pledge.
Mrs. Frahm began the primary campaign with a huge lead over Brownback. But Brownback, strongly supported by religious conservatives, tapped voters newly converted to the Republican Party and won -- easily.
Next he faced a formidable opponent with the most prestigious Democratic name in Kansas: Jill Docking, who ran as a fiscally conservative businesswoman appealing to establishment Republicans who were turned off by Brownback's support from the Religious Right.
When Mrs. Docking led in some polls, a number of political reporters were prepared to deplore the Republican folly of losing a safe seat by turning to an extremist. But Brownback won -- again, easily. Kansas has its first bona fide conservative senator in four decades.
Brownback is the United States Senates most vociferous opponent of human cloning, having written in National Review:
To describe the process of destructive human cloning as therapeutic, when the intent is to create a new human life that is destined for destruction, is misleading. However one would like to describe the process of destructive cloning, it is certainly not therapeutic for the clone who has been created and then disemboweled for the purported benefit of its adult twin.
I, along with the president and the vast majority of Americans, do not believe that we should create human life just to destroy it yet that is exactly what is being proposed by those who support cloning in some circumstances. However they might name the procedure whether they call it nuclear transplantation, therapeutic cloning, therapeutic cellular transfer, DNA regenerative therapy of some other euphemism it is simply human cloning.
Brownback is also a fearless defender of traditional marriage. Says Brownback:
Social science on this matter is conclusive: Children need both a mom and a dad. Study after study has shown that children do best in a home with a married, biological mother and father. And the government has a special responsibility to safeguard the needs of children; the social costs of not doing so are tremendous. As Child Trends, a mainstream child-welfare organization, has noted, "research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes... There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents."
Giving public sanction to homosexual "marriage" would violate this government responsibility to safeguard the needs of children by placing individual adult desires above the best interests of children. There is no reliable social-scientific data demonstrating that children raised by same-sex couples (or groups) do as well as children raised by married, heterosexual parents. Redefining marriage is certain to harm children and the broader social good if that redefinition weakens government's legitimate goal of encouraging men and women who intend to have children to get married.
Finally, Brownbacks terror war bona fides are second to none. He is the chief go-to guy for the Iranian-American pro-democracy movement in the US Senate.
Brownbacks biggest obstacle maybe his relatively low profile among party regulars. But a plum seat on the Judiciary Committee may change all that.
I think this fact helps him greatly with social conservatives.
Robert Novak tapped him as the GOP's rising star..
That sentence says it all right there. He is a "rightwing rising star." He may run for President in 2008, but I don't see him winning the nomination. Think about the 2000 primaries. Assuming there are no other right wing candidates, Brownback would be able to garner the support that Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes had. He would be able to build upon that slightly since he is an elected official. However, I don't think he could gain enough support to win the nomination.
I say all of this having nothing against the guy. I just don't believe he will be the nominee.
Brownback pummeled Boxer here.
Coburn, an obstetrician, has advocated the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions. Last year, Brownback introduced the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, which would have required a woman seeking an abortion to be told that the fetus might feel pain and that it could be given an anesthetic.
He's not the greatest, but I like Sen. Brownback, but if he thinks he's got a snowball's chance in Hell of becoming President in 2008, he's a god-damned fool.
Senators don't get elected; they only prevent their fellow party members from getting elected. No Senator has ever won an election, except by beating another Senator.
Senator Kennedy beat Senator Nixon. Senator Nixon beat Senators Humphrey and McGovern.
Brownback's career makes a good illlustration of why good senators are lousy candidates.
Brownback is no Specter or Bauer--you're mistaking ideology for profile.
Brownback has actually been elected to office, he's not a nut, he's a subcommittee chairman who knows how to raise money, etc.
There will also be too many moderates in the primary, which could work to the benefit of conservatives.
"As noted before, the Supreme Court did not invent abortion. There might be plenty of abortion, perhaps authorized or permitted by state laws, even without Roe and Casey. Moreover, the Court is, arguably, not directly responsible for the wrong moral choices of individuals that the Court's decisions permit. Finally, the Court is not responsible - cannot be responsible, consistent with its constitutional role - for correcting all injustices, even grave ones. But the Court is responsible for the injustices that it inflicts on society that are not consistent with, but in fact betray, its constitutional responsibilities. To the extent that the Court has invalidated essentially all legal restriction of abortion, it has authorized private violence on a scale, and of a kind, that unavoidably evokes the memories of American slavery and of the Nazi Holocaust. And by cloaking that authorization in the forms of the law - in the name of the Supreme Law of the Land - the Court has taught the American people that such private violence is a right and, by clear implication, that it is alright. Go ahead. The Constitution is on your side. This is among your most cherished constitutional freedoms. Nobody ought to oppose you in your action. We have said so.
The decision in Casey, reaffirming Roe and itself reaffirmed and extended in Carhart, in my view exposes the Supreme Court, as currently constituted, as a lawless, rogue institution capable of the most monstrous of injustices in the name of law, with a smugness and arrogance worthy of the worst totalitarian dictatorships of all time. The Court, as it stands today, has, with its abortion decisions, forfeited its legal and moral legitimacy as an institution. It has forfeited its claimed authority to speak for the Constitution. It has forfeited its entitlement to have its decisions respected, and followed, by the other branches of government, by the states, and by the People. The enthusiasm of liberal intelligentsia for the Court's abortion decisions, the sycophancy of the law professorate, of the legal profession, and of our elected officials, and the docility of the American people with respect to our lawless, authoritarian Court rivals the pliancy of the most cowardly, servile peoples toward ruinous, brutal, anti-democratic regimes throughout world history. We suffer people to commit despicable acts of private violence and we welcome - some of us revere - a regime that destroys popular government for the sake of perverted, Orwellian notions of "liberty." After a twentieth century that saw some of the worst barbarisms and atrocities ever committed by humankind, at a time when humankind supposedly had progressed to more enlightened states, we still have not learned. The lesson of the Holocaust - "Never Forget" - is lost. We fail to recognize the amazing capacity of human beings to commit unthinkable, barbaric evil, and of others to tolerate it. We remember and are aghast at the atrocities of others, committed in the past, or in distant lands today. But we do not even recognize the similar atrocities that we ourselves commit, and tolerate, today."Michael Stokes Paulsen, The Worst Constitutional Decision of All Time, 78 Notre Dame L. Rev. 995, 1003-1007 (2003).
"If the opinion of the Supreme Court covered the whole ground of this act, it ought not to control the coordinate authorities of this Government. The Congress, the Executive, and the Court must each for itself be guided by its own opinion of the Constitution. Each public officer who takes an oath to support the Constitution swears that he will support it as he understands it, and not as it is understood by others. It is as much the duty of the House of Representatives, of the Senate, and of the President to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution which may be presented to them for passage or approval as it is of the supreme judges when it may be brought before them for judicial decision. The opinion of the judges has no more authority over Congress than the opinion of Congress has over the judges, and on that point the President is independent of both. The authority of the Supreme Court must not, therefore, be permitted to control the Congress or the Executive when acting in their legislative capacities, but to have only such influence as the force of their reasoning may deserve." The Avalon Project : President Jackson's Veto Message Regarding ...
I never said he WAS Bauer (and I think you mean Keyes, instead of Specter). In fact, if you read my post, you'll see that I said he would have more support than those two guys put together because he is electable, at least on a Senatorial level.
There will also be too many moderates in the primary, which could work to the benefit of conservatives.
There are a lot of names being tossed around right now, but that's because it's still 2004. When exploratory committees are formed and some find they don't stand much of a chance (especially in the fundraising department), the field will be whittled down to only 5 or 6 serious contenders . . . as it is every year. After Iowa and New Hampshire, at most there will only be three candidates. More likely only one or two.
Skimming very quickly, it looks like a good explanation of an opinion I hold very strongly. What's your purpose in posting it, though?
No Senators for President (even one from my State.) It's an executive position. Only Governors need apply...
Aren't the Demo frontrunners for 2008 Senators Kerry and Clinton? If so, then application of your theory would indicate that his chances are much better than you stated.
Brownback is OK-but I like Mark Sanford!!!!!!
Get the hint...
Senators and Congressmen MAY be OK for running mates if the Pres candidate is strong.
There is one Senator that might pull it off - George Allen, only because he was recently a Governor (in VA).
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