Apparently I’m not the only conservative confounded and disappointed with Sen. Sam Brownback (R.-Kan.) for his alignment with liberal Democrats on immigration reform.
Today the Washington Post writes about conservatives’ frustration with Brownback for his disappointing vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee for a flawed Teddy Kennedy-endorsed amnesty bill. He joined Republican Senators Arlen Specter (Pa.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Mike DeWine (Ohio) — all either moderates or mavericks.
Here’s an excerpt from the Post’s article:
But Brownback’s support for a dramatic restructuring of the nation’s immigration laws, including a version that emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, has angered many conservatives.
"Brownback Can Kiss ’08 Run Goodbye," blasted the journal Human Events. The National Review online warned: "Conservatives will long remember his vote for this reckless proposal."
Some of Brownback’s GOP colleagues believe his view of illegal immigration is simplistic and fails to take into account problems posed by a porous U.S. border with Mexico. "We ought to make sure our borders are secure first," said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah). "Then we’ll see what we can do to be compassionate, and solve those problems."
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), the head of the House Immigration Caucus and a champion of the law-and-order approach embodied in the House-passed version of the legislation, accused Brownback of being "an extreme opponent of getting tough on illegal immigration."
Earlier this week, the Associated Press carried a similar article with a similar tone. Here’s an excerpt:
Brownback broke with many of his conservative allies last week in voting for a bill that gives a path to citizenship to 11 million undocumented people living in the United States. He was one of just four Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to join Democrats in supporting the measure.
Despite criticism from conservative publications like the National Review and Human Events, Brownback said he doesn’t think his position will hurt his chances of gathering support for a possible presidential bid in 2008.
”I am in a position similar to where (President) Reagan was, and he’s about as good as a conservative light as you can have,” Brownback said.
This marks the third round of an ongoing feud between Brownback and HUMAN EVENTS. It started with my original post — "Brownback Can Kiss ’08 Run Goodbye" — and continued the next day on Larry Kudlow’s TV program when my colleague, Terry Jeffrey, was paired against Brownback.
I’m glad Brownback’s position is getting attention. If he’s serious about running for President in 2008 — and apparently he is — then his stand on immigration reform must be widely documented. Despite his long-time support for pro-life and social conservative causes, it’ll be hard for GOP primary voters rectify where he stands on immigration.