Sam Brownback Ends Quest to Become Even Vaguely Interesting

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There was a very brief time—right before his volunteers shouted down Mitt Romney's attempts to talk with a child at CPAC—when I thought Sam Brownback had a chance to impact the GOP primary. Three months ago Brownback was the only Republican candidate who was both amenable to citizenship for illegal immigrants and opposed to the Iraq surge. But since then he's walked back his anti-surge comments and, now, his immigration stance.

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Sam Brownback said yesterday he no longer supports the immigration overhaul bill that he helped pass in the Senate.

"I would not vote for the same bill," Mr. Brownback told reporters yesterday morning, saying that after the bill passed the Senate he had a chance to study its effects and decided it led to too much immigration.

It's a major reversal for a man who is listed as one of seven original sponsors of the bill, along with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, who spearheaded the bill.

This is just weak. Brownback never used to nitpick about whether a bill had the right safeguards and gimmicks to legalize immigrants—he just wanted them legalized already. He said so with what sounded like great sincerity.

At the turn-of-the-century, critics said that Italians and East Europeans would never become Americans. Today, the same arguments are made against Latinos, Asians, and other immigrants. Behind the rhetoric, the critics' arguments boil down to this: Immigrants aren't good enough to join us and America is not strong enough to absorb them. History teaches us nothing could be more wrong.

When the Pilgrims set out for America they sought a land where they could work hard, pray in peace, and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Nearly 400 years later, the same can be said of today's immigrants.

C'mon: Either that can be said or it can't be said. Is there really no room in the GOP primary for a candidate who holds the majority viewpoints on immigration and the war?

NEXT: So It Turns Out We Do Have a First Amendment

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  1. When the Pilgrims set out for America they sought a land where they could work hard, pray in peace, and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

    Of course, the Indians might wish they’d been enable to enforce a slightly more restricting immigration policy.

  2. That should be “restrictive”.

  3. I thought Sam Brownback had a chance to impact the GOP primary.

    Do you mean “make an impact”? Because impact is not a verb.

    /needless, but relevant pedantry

  4. Because impact is not a verb.

    It is, according to Merriam-Webster.

    Main Entry: im?pact
    Pronunciation: im-‘pakt
    Function: verb
    Etymology: Latin impactus, past participle of impingere to push against — more at IMPINGE
    transitive verb
    1 a : to fix firmly by or as if by packing or wedging b : to press together
    2 a : to have a direct effect or impact on : impinge on b : to strike forcefully; also : to cause to strike forcefully

  5. The participle of the verb form is where we get the medical term “impacted colon”

  6. *turns so colon is pointed away from tarran*

    *backs slowly away*

  7. What is all this about brownbacks and impacted colons? Oh, that’s right. Nobody cares about the Senator’s hokey campaign.

  8. The majority want less (or same) immigration, not more. That is not exactly the same as the legalization argument, but it is closely related, since everyone understands that legalization boosts immigration.

  9. If I were allowed to ask Brownback several questions in a public forum I could end his political career. For instance, not too many people are concerned about ImmigrationInGeneral, yet that’s what he’s pretending. He is, in other words, lying. I’d help point that out. Then, I’d ask him if he sees any differences between PastImmigration and the current variety, which largely involves people coming from a country right next door which used to own part of our country and a majority of whose citizens think they rightfully still own part of our country. I’d use that to show he’s a lightweight promoter and not serious about the safety of the U.S.

    To see what SamBrownback supported – and appears to have been involved in – check this out:

    cis.org/articles/2006/back606transcript.html

    The first one that I want to talk about is one that I’m pretty sure was not included in the estimates that Senator Sessions’ office did on the numerical impact of this bill, and I know that it wasn’t included in Robert Rector’s estimates, and it was actually in the committee markup by Senator Brownback. It’s mislabeled “widows and orphans,” but what it says is that – and I’m going to read you the actual language here because it’s too good to pass up – it essentially invites any alien outside the United States who’s determined by a consular or immigration official to be a minor under the age of 18, “for whom no parent or legal guardian is able to provide adequate care, who faces a credible fear of harm related to his or her age, who lacks adequate protection from such harm and for whom it has been determined to be in his or her best interest, to be admitted to the United States, or who is determined by such official to be a female who has a credible fear of harm related to her sex, and a lack of adequate protection from such harm to come to the United States as a non-immigrant,” to get refugee cash benefits and then adjust to legal permanent residence pretty much immediately.

    So we’re talking about women at risk of harm in the world and children without someone to adequately support them in the world coming here. Well, if women are just over half the population of the world, we can exclude: the United States, Canada, Australia, most of Western Europe, and then I hit a blank. You know, you could argue that women in just about the rest of the world have a credible fear of harm. So, that is a provision that is mind boggling, the impact that that could have, and I have not heard word one about this…

    I can understand why libs would like someone who’d insert such a provision, but 99% of Americans wouldn’t.

    Extra: take my Political Quiz.

  10. Problem is Brownback, like everyone else, is scrambling to appease the fringers (e.g. the “seal the borders” types) who are the ones who really make a difference in the primaries.

    Kinda makes me nostalgic for the days of selecting our leaders in smoke-filled back rooms…

  11. If I were allowed to ask Brownback several questions in a public forum I could end his political career.

    That’s probably why presidential candidates don’t hold town halls in loony bins.

  12. That’s probably why presidential candidates don’t hold town halls in loony bins.

    ho ho ho ho ho ho!

    But, seriously, you’d think libs could get behind the idea of demanding that “reporters” ask real questions rather than the puffball variety. The questions which are asked have the impact of entrenching the BipolarEstablishment; one would think someone like Nick Gillespie could do a Lessig (lessig.org/blog/archives/003755.shtml).

    Given the large numbers of lawyers online, you’d think some of them could come up with AdversarialQuestions, yet most are PartisanHacks just like AlmostAllBloggers.

    What say Reason? Want to start your own petition?

  13. TLB,

    Is your running of words together a semi-allusion to 1984 or do you do it for some other reason?

  14. bzial,
    Don’t make him self-conscious about it. I feel it adds some snap to his comments and I fear he will stop.

    TLB,
    I took your quiz the other day!
    ?Ay caramba! You do not want to know the results, although I doubt I could disappoint you.

  15. High#!

    por favor! please do try to disappoint him! He gets really cute when he spittles at the screen!

    (this was typed using offshored labour)

  16. Oh, I was just honestly curious. Not trying to irritate him or anything.

  17. “Given the large numbers of lawyers online, you’d think some of them could come up with AdversarialQuestions, yet most are PartisanHacks just like AlmostAllBloggers.”

    That’s a serious misunderstanding of what lawyers do.

    “Given the large numbers of lawyers online, you’d think some of them could come up with AdversarialQuestions, yet most are PartisanHacks just like AlmostAllBloggers.”

    There are no lawyers online, only people who aren’t but claim to be, people who are but deny it, those who admit it and aren’t believed, those who lie about it and aren’t believed, and non-lawyers and lawyers who just can’t believe their career choice. None of these people, for your purposes, is ever online.

  18. I never thought his campaign had much of a chance to be impactful anyhow.

  19. VM,

    I am a very affectionate person. I have grown to like the Lonely Whacker. I think he’s absotively wacko, but, hey, he lays that right out there for ya.
    I believe he and I have an understanding: I get to tease him and he thinks I’m destroying the country. I think we’re way past me being able to upset him.

  20. Well done, sir!

    May a labrador curl up at your feet this evening (may she look at you and snort contentedly. If you or the Missus or the minimus are allergic, may the labrador be non shedding).

  21. Of course, the Indians might wish they’d been enable to enforce a slightly more restricting immigration policy.

    That should be “restrictive”.

    I think it should have been “been able,” too, Seamus. Weekend starting a bit early this week?

    (I keed, I keed!)

  22. My understanding has always been that “impact” IS a verb but that it is only correctly used for the actual physical IMPACT, like “striking forcefully.”

    A person, especially Brownback is never going to actually impact something, like a colon.

    it’s about real force, not imaginary force.

  23. Since Reason isn’t taking the lead, here’s my non-partisan petition demanding real presidential debates. Hopefully no one here will have a problem signing on and telling their friends about it.

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