Blogs 4 Brownback

March 14, 2007

Anatomy of a Smear

I usually do my best to ignore garbage like this, but when it’s dumped right in front of me and starts to smell, I can’t just let it lie.

Here’s the headline over at left-wing smear site [Don’t] Think Progress:

Brownback ‘applauds’ Pace’s homophobic comments.

Wow! That’s pretty exciting and damning. What a gaffe! So where did Sam Brownback “applaud” and what exactly did he say? Well…he didn’t really literally applaud. Notice the clever ‘single quotes?’ And what did the Senator actually say he “applauds?”

…we applaud General Pace for maintaining a personal commitment to moral principles.

Woah! Not much there. Well, I probably took that out of context. Let’s expand on that quote a little bit.

The question is whether personal moral beliefs should disqualify an individual from positions of leadership in the U.S. military? We think not. General Pace’s recent remarks do not deserve the criticism they have received. In fact, we applaud General Pace for maintaining a personal commitment to moral principles.

Well, gee, I thought Sam Brownback was applauding General Peter Pace’s “homophobic” remark. But no, he was not necessarily even agreeing with what Pace said, he was simply applauding the General for standing up for and maintaining his own moral principles. To thine own self be true.

There’s a little difference between the smear and the reality. The underlying story is that Sam Brownback doesn’t think “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” should be repealed. And he agrees with the General on this issue. But it’s much more exciting to leverage guilt by association to unfairly label Sam as “homophobic.” Despicable.

Don’t take my word for it. Read the full text of the letter that Senator Brownback circulated amongst his colleages. There are no grounds for this baseless smear in there. None whatsoever.

As usual, you have to read beyond the headline. Or, as far as [Don’t] Think Progress is concerned, don’t read it at all.

Hat Tip: Nashville is Talking.

Update: A Million Monkeys is outraged, clutches pearls.

Update 2: According to our friends over at Students for Brownback, here’s what Sam Brownback had to say by way of clarification:

“I do not believe being a homosexual is immoral, but I do believe homosexual acts are. I’m a Catholic and the church has clear teachings on this.”

That should clear things up.

Update 3: Read this excellent post by Randy Thomas: More on General Pace and Message to Struggling Military.

Update 4: See my next (and hopefully my final) entry on this issue: Picking Up the Pace.

Update 5: Although we were having a spirited and productive discussion, apparently got embarrassed and deleted their Brownback Mountain post. Pity. But it does prove one thing: have the courage of your convictions and take on the smear merchants. They will fold like a house of cards when they know you’re right.

Update 6: Apparently Brownback Mountain was only knocked offline temporarily by the Lord as a warning.  The comments disappeared, but the post was restored.

— Psycheout


  1. Well of course this is a “smear” to the person who wrote the article you cite. Anyone who does not fully support the strange beliefs of that crowd is the worst person in the world.

    I bet men like Mr. Brownback scare the pants off them because he’s a 100% straight shooter, unlike the people they favor. Therefore it should come as no surprise they’re trying to throw anything they can at him. Of course, they’re going to get pretty desperate if they’re looking for something to smear on him. Maybe they’ll find a tape of him sneezing and neglecting to say “Excuse me.” and make a fuss over that (joke).

    However, I try to look at it this way: For every minute they spend trying to drag down Mr. Brownback, that is a minute they have spent showing how petty they are. So let them talk, the only people they are hurting are themselves.


    p.s. Thanks for the bigger font, my wife has been laughing at me because I can NOT find my reading glasses.

    Comment by Alan R. — March 14, 2007 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

  2. I’m glad you approve of the larger font. I hope you also like the new look. Personlly, I’m conflicted, because I chose the micro font theme because I liked the colors and other features in it. But this one is growning on me.

    I also like the way you look at it. The more coverage Sam gets (even when it’s negative) the more real conservatives will realize he’s one of them, unlike the Three RINOs, Giuliani, Flipper and McPain.

    PS: Be sure to tell your wife how much pull she has over here at Blogs 4 Brownback! LOL.

    Comment by Psycheout — March 14, 2007 @ 9:24 pm | Reply

  3. Stink Regress is full of sh!t. I’m glad you called them on their bull sh!t. Isn’t that lame site run by a former Clintoon crony?

    Comment by Anti-Media — March 15, 2007 @ 1:24 am | Reply

  4. Okay, let’s see. Gen. Pace makes ugly, homophobic comments. Gets criticized for it. Brownback goes out of his way to issue a statement of support for the homophobic general, calls homophobia a matter of “personal moral conviction” and a “moral principle.”

    That isn’t “applauding” intolerance?

    Don’t kid yourself: Brownback definitely isn’t saying “To thine own self be true.” You can’t stick up for someone’s right to be intolerant without sticking up for intolerance itself.

    Comment by Rob — March 15, 2007 @ 6:49 am | Reply

  5. Well, Rob. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. Better yet, find me a quote that demonstrates that Sam Brownback is endorsing General Pace’s “homophobia.” I don’t think you’ll find it. Sam doesn’t call “homophobia” anything.

    A question for you: is this minor issue the only thing about Sam Brownbback that you have a problem with, or are you just looking for excuses to bash him (since you already don’t like him anyway, for whatever reason)?

    Comment by Psycheout — March 15, 2007 @ 7:19 am | Reply

  6. First of all, I resent your use of quotes around “homophobia.” Gen. Pace’s comments were objectively homophobic. Second, the statement itself endorses Pace’s homophobia — and specifically the “do not deserve the criticism they’ve received” line you quote is just pretty straightforwardly an endorsement.

    To answer your question, I think Brownback is a mixed bag. I respect his decision to publicly oppose Bush’s troop increase in Iraq, though I don’t think Brownback has done much to back up his stated position. I also respect his views on Darfur, the environment and some other issues. But this? Far from being a “minor issue,” intolerance like this just sort of sticks in my craw.

    Comment by Rob — March 15, 2007 @ 7:44 am | Reply

  7. I think homophobia is synonymous with patriotism. Homosexuality is one of the termites gnawing away at the foundations of American culture. I envision an America where such behavior is actively discouraged, and hopefully recriminalized.

    I find it sickening that public schools now endorse and embrace this perverse agenda. My children will be home-schooled, thank you very much. But it still affects me in that my tax dollars are squandered on waht basically constitutes a homosexual recruitment drive.

    Personally, I find Brownback’s willingness to stand up for the moral beliefs of others to be extremely refreshing. I am convinced that, should a Democrat win the White House, opinions such as mine will one day garner me prison time under some vaguely worded and unconstitutional “hate crimes” statute. At least I know Brownback will stand up for my rights under the First Amendment, which is more than I anticipate from the Presidency of a Hillary “Darth Vader” Clinton.

    Comment by Sisyphus — March 15, 2007 @ 7:52 am | Reply

  8. Oh, come on Rob. I quoted “homophobia” because you introduced it into the discussion. Sam never used the word.

    As to General Pace, he stated his opinion that he thought “homosexual acts are immoral.” Sam doesn’t have to agree with the statement to ‘applaud’ him for standing up for what he [Pace] believes (right or wrong).

    You’re just looking for something to get upset about.

    Comment by Psycheout — March 15, 2007 @ 7:58 am | Reply

  9. Sisyphus, check out this story: District gags 14-year-olds after ‘gay’ indoctrination. It’ll shake you to your core.

    If this isn’t the ultimate argument for home school, nothing is.

    Comment by Psycheout — March 15, 2007 @ 8:00 am | Reply

  10. That’s the worst thing I’ve ever read, Psycheout.

    I’m beginning to think General Pace didn’t go far enough with his comments. If any criticism were to be leveled at him, that should be it. Deerfield, IL has some school officials who belong in prison.

    Comment by Sisyphus — March 15, 2007 @ 8:19 am | Reply

  11. I don’t think that homosexuality should be criminalized. But, I also don’t agree with the current culture that doesn’t even allow one to vocally disapprove of homosexuality without being punished for it. Being a bit of a libertarian bent, I’m inclined to not particularly care what other consenting adults do behind doors. But I don’t appreciate the prevailing attitude that if one doesn’t stand up and cheer for homosexuality, then it implies some horrible flaw of character. Some people are into hardcore S&M, and what they do behind closed doors is their business. Does that mean that I’m a horrible person for not applauding, should I see someone walking their sex partner down the street on the end of a leash?

    Comment by lyssie — March 15, 2007 @ 9:41 am | Reply

  12. […] out Anatomy of a Smear at Blogs 4 Brownback and see if you don’t agree that TP is something unpleasant when it sticks to […]

    Pingback by I'll Give You This, Psyche Commentor Dude « The Sound of EmCeeKhan — March 15, 2007 @ 7:19 pm | Reply

  13. […] the unfair attack on Sam Brownback by the far left smear site [Don’t] Think Progress in Anatomy of a Smear. Naturally they mischaracterized General Pace’s original comments in an earlier post in an […]

    Pingback by Picking Up the Pace « Blogs 4 Brownback — March 15, 2007 @ 9:16 pm | Reply

  14. Sisyphus –

    I respect your opinion.

    should a Democrat win the White House, opinions such as mine will one day garner me prison time under some vaguely worded and unconstitutional “hate crimes” statute.

    And this attack and intolerance on a group of people who’s sexual orientation is different than heterosexuals is going to rebound back. People in power with their personal beliefs setting a precedent for people with the opposite beliefs.

    If you oppress what you see as inappropriate and criminal – based on your opinion and personal belief system – and I guarantee it that should the homosexual culture, or the abortion culture, or the anti-Christian culture, etc. should get any type of power and they will use the precedence to get even. This is what happens in dozens of cultures all over the world that causes civil strife, oppression and bloodshed – the continued overstatement of morality in an attempt to prove that one side is better or more right than the other.

    I think we give too much power and credit to the homosexual culture. “They eat away at the foundation of America …” Oh please. They’ve been around since the founding of this country and we’re still here. They’re in the cultures of European and Asian nations that have been there for many centuries and they are still there, still intact. By trying to criminalize the homosexual culture, we give them the power to control those who are against it. Mostly, if we educate our kids and co-exist without shining a giant spotlight on things we don’t disagree with, society will continue to operate within decent parameters and things will stay peaceful.

    Pace should have approached this as an issue of legality, not morality. Stick to the legal points. Subjectivity does not help Pace’s or Brownback’s point, it only enrages the opposition against them.

    Comment by mcclaud — March 15, 2007 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

  15. Welcome, mcclaud. I’ll let Sisyphus address your comment. But we always appreciate an exchange of ideas. That’s part of Blogs 4 Brownback’s mission.

    Comment by Psycheout — March 15, 2007 @ 10:42 pm | Reply

  16. I’m seriously not trying to undermine the people who don’t agree with homosexuality. I’m trying to point out the flaw of using terminology that’s more reserved for casual or non-legal discourse. No matter what your belief in something is, if you use too strong or a wrong word, you give the opposition a chance to paint a big bullseye on your head if they ever get a hold of the gun.

    Better to reserve moral judgement for the Creator than to try and pass it upon others. Lest we get judged ourselves.

    Comment by mcclaud — March 15, 2007 @ 10:56 pm | Reply

  17. I think our very own Lyssie B. will agree with your sentiment. I hope you’ve seen my follow up post: Picking Up the Pace. Perhaps it explains at least my position better.

    I cannot speak for the entire Blogs 4 Brownback team, only for myself.

    Comment by Psycheout — March 15, 2007 @ 11:25 pm | Reply

  18. Does the phrase “distinction without a difference” mean anything at all to you?

    Comment by Bitter Scribe — March 16, 2007 @ 2:56 pm | Reply

  19. “Although we were having a spirited and productive discussion, apparently got embarrassed and deleted their Brownback Mountain post. Pity. But it does prove one thing: have the courage of your convictions and take on the smear merchants. They will fold like a house of cards when they know you’re right.”

    Apparently not. It’s still up, and has always been ( But why let facts get in the way of a good smear?

    Comment by sarabeth — March 23, 2007 @ 3:01 pm | Reply

  20. Update 5: Although we were having a spirited and productive discussion, apparently got embarrassed and deleted their Brownback Mountain post. Pity. But it does prove one thing: have the courage of your convictions and take on the smear merchants. They will fold like a house of cards when they know you’re right.

    ay yo: we didn’t delete anything. we got knocked offline and restored our database 10 minutes later. the post has always been there. the day i fold to morons like you, you’re welcome to everything i own. and i’ll be happy to wash your feet for you, just like your hero.

    Comment by matt — March 23, 2007 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

  21. sarabeth, matt, you will be glad to know that there is now an update 6 which corrects the record. You’ll have to admit that we at Blogs 4 Brownback will correct errors when they are pointed out.

    When I last checked (Update 5), the post was gone. Today I now see it has since been restored. Good work! Too bad the discussion disappeared. Oh well.

    Comment by Psycheout — March 23, 2007 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

  22. […] of course. And he’s absolutely right. He outlines other candidates’ reactions to General Peter Pace’s comments about homosexuality and then comes to Sam Brownback: The sole exception […]

    Pingback by Vision America on Sam Brownback « Blogs 4 Brownback — March 24, 2007 @ 7:30 pm | Reply

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