It seems that all the non-crazy Republican nominees are imploding. McCain’s support among independents is cratering, Giuliani is the Titanic of political campaigns that is guaranteed to hit the iceberg that is his actions as Mayor of New York, and Romney is marginally more acceptable to the Republican primary voters than Dennis Kucinich.

Ordinarily, I’d be jubilant. Brownback seems like the type who’d lose to a tricolore dog. Unfortunately, a tricolore dog is still more electable than Hillary Clinton, who’s just formed an exploratory committee, and is very much a John Kerry without Howard Dean to take on him.

Now that Brownback has declared his candidacy, Pam’s rooting for him to win the Republican primary. She really shouldn’t. He’s like Feingold: someone who you’d think can’t possibly win, but will surprise you with his power. His style reminds me of John McCain’s back when he wasn’t yet a party hack.

Consider this: he’s moderate on Iraq. He says, “Much remains to be done, and I think we need a plan to turn this country over to its citizens.” If I were an extreme conservative, I’d be worried about having enough political capital for a global crusade; Iraq would be the absolute wrong place to start such a crusade.

Additionally, he totally eclipses Obama on Obama’s greatest appeal, his religiosity. Obama makes occasional pronouncements about the value of faith-based programs, just enough to piss secularists off and signal to the Sojourners that he’s one of them, but not enough to make it his defining issue. Brownback spent a night in prison with inmates telling them that all they need is love of God.

If Obama bears eerie resemblence to my book’s David Reynolds, Brownback is even closer to Joseph Reeves, the fascist Republican. Reeves is the Governor of Missouri while Brownback is a Senator from Kansas, and Reeves has Bill Clinton’s charisma and political instincts, but on actual issues – taxes, welfare, foreign policy, abortion, gay rights, religion – they seem identical.


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