Sam Brownback is holding a press conference this afternoon (3:45pm CST) in Topeka. I have a bad feeling about this, although there is no official confirmation that this will be about the end of a hopeful campaign. Perhaps it will be good news, perhaps bad, perhaps even the worst.
Even the far left-wing Nation is shedding a tear and expressing regret that the true principled conservative Republican is being forced out of the race, perhaps even through blackmail, by his RINO rivals. And I think they’re onto something.
Sam Brownback tried to be the Reagan conservative in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Unfortunately, he was a little too Reagan-like for George Bush’s GOP. A steady social conservative, “strong on defense,” “tough on spending,” he was right – way right — on the issues. And as a native Midwesterner who tended toward optimism, self-deprecating humor and flashes of humanity, he was in many senses the friendly face of contemporary conservatism.
The Nation seems to be taking note of the true humanity and humility of this great man, a little too late. The media has mercilessly painted Sam as a person he is not in an attempt to sabotage his campaign. Most of the time they kept the brushes in the paint box and didn’t bother to paint at all.
Too friendly. Instead of playing Idaho Senator Larry Craig’s bathroom bungle for points with the gay-bashing base, Brownback expressed concern for Craig and counseled giving the senator space to sort through some serious personal and emotional issues. Then Brownback proposed a Senate resolution apologizing for slavery and segregation. And when it came to the actual issues of the campaign, Brownback kept talking about how he would like to form right-left coalitions to address big challenges like extreme poverty in Africa.
More a man and less a politician. The media elites and GOP movers and shakers hate that. He’s dangerous to their vested self-interests. So Sam has been targeted for ridicule and crucifixion (see “Sen. Switchback,” a vile and inaccurate smear promoted by the angry and unhinged Michelle Malkin among others). Malkin is not part of my conservative Republican party.
The senator’s last major speech before ending his candidacy this week was an address at Boston University in which he embraced the goals of One: The Campaign to End Global Poverty. “Right now, we are witnessing humanitarian crises across the African continent: genocide in Darfur, violence in Northern Uganda, lack of access to basic health care, and a continent-wide AIDS epidemic that steals thousands of lives each month,” Senator Brownback said. “America is a great nation and we have a responsibility to continue to lead the fight to alleviate the unnecessary suffering of so many,” Brownback declared, with a rhetorical flourish that owed more to Reagan than Bush. “History will judge us harshly if we and other developed nations do not act quickly and compassionately to help the less fortunate.”
That kind of talk doesn’t play in George Bush’s GOP.
Expect to read a lot of braying by jackasses who care more about political power than political courage. These are the people to be wary of. The GOP will nominate a candidate who is indebted to the status quo and nothing will change. And they will happily stab you in the back. You can count on it.
Update: Regardless of what happens, support the write-in option, if you love America and want to renew the culture.
Outside the Washington conference, Brownback spoke with reporters, including The L.A. Times’ Peter Wallsten. The senator offered a bold prediction: The Republican nominee, he said, will not be former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
When asked why, Brownback replied, “He’s not pro-life.”
Update 4: It’s official, per Race 4 2008.
“I’m ending my candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination for president,” said the Kansas senator. “My yellow-brick road came just short of the White House this time.”
It shall be a long weekend. All the best to Sam Brownback and his family. Visionaries are often overlooked in their own time. This certainly seems to be true of Senator Brownback. In the running of the RINOs he was trampled, and so was the conservative movement. The GOP is dying, like a rotting fish. Principled conservatives no need apply. They’ll take your votes but won’t uphold your values.
The B4B Team will continue to fight the fight for true conservative values. We will not let you down, even if you, like me, are disappointed now. There will always be an authentic conservative voice out there. Who knows if it will come from the GOP or not. Time will tell.