Archive for May, 2007

What I Think About Sam Brownback

May 31, 2007

In today’s New York Times, Kansas senator and Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback explains, in an op-ed titled, ‘What I Think About Evolution,’ his stance on Darwinism.

“In our sound-bite political culture,” he begins, “it is unrealistic to expect that every complicated issue will be addressed with the nuance or subtlety it deserves.” Ironic, considering Brownback is the hardcore, pro-life, anti-gay, ‘rebuild the family’ candidate on the right, a veritable sound-bite in a starched shirt, but understandable as the senator gaffed earlier this month in Green Bay, his own sound-bites going awry (turns out, dissin’ Brett Favre in Packerland won’t earn you any points).

Though Brownback composes an intelligently designed op-ed, muddying the waters of random mutation, natural selection and divine intervention, seeming at times to agree with the postulates of Darwinism while suggesting that God still plays a role, the devil is most certainly in the details. To use a Brownbackian football reference, the senator employed a bend-but-don’t-break defense, at last revealing his goalline stand:

“Man was not an accident and reflects an image and likeness unique to the created order. Those aspects of evolutionary theory compatible with this truth are a welcome addition to human knowledge. Aspects of these theories that undermine this truth, however, should be firmly rejected as an atheistic theology posing as science.”

Translation: anyone who says we descended from monkeys is a Godless liberal working to supplant Christian ideology with scientific mumbo-jumbo. Mr. Senator, the Natural History Museum is literally one mile from the Dirksen Senate Office Building and, as your federal-tax-paying constituents are footing the bill, admission is free. Go there; check out the Chimpanzee skeleton; that’s great grampy Brownback.

Chimpanzees are patriarchal troop hunters. Unlike their egalitarian Bonobo relatives, the Chimp is autocratic and fiercely territorial. They are war mongering and are often engaged in combat with rival tribes. Do Chimpanzees ‘reflect an image and likeness unique to the created order’? Of course not. Their image, likeness and behavior are similar to that of a Conservative Republican.

Unfortunately, politics is just that. Instead of working to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, make prescription drugs and college more affordable, fix our broken democracy, bring healthcare to the 46 million people without coverage or ensure that our troops have the funding, equipment and leadership they deserve, our elected officials are looking out for number one. Nancy Pelosi only cares about being the Speaker of the House two years from now. John McCain would speak at the groundbreaking of the Guantanamo Bay testicular-electrocution ward if it meant being elected President. And Sam Brownback will continue to pander to the ignorant dregs of Conservative America, inspiring a race to the bottom.

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