Brownback has some cross-over appeal. Anti-war, big government Christianism has a real constituency. ~Andrew Sullivan

Brownback may or may not have crossover appeal.  He is a U.S. Senator, after all, which does require, even in deepest Kansas of paranoid liberal myth-making, some support from people beyond his core partisan supporters.  But whatever crossover appeal he does have, be it on his cockamie “compassionate conservative” message, his “save Darfur” do-gooding or his support for amnesty, has nothing to do with his views on the war.  His general views on the war, as I have been saying again and again, place him squarely in the mainstream of Republican opinion.  He continues to support the war just as fiercely as ever–it is only the profound confusion of surge proponents and opponents that has made Brownback’s position on this one plan make him appear to be some sort of antiwar Republican.  Nothing could be more wrong.  Here, again, is his statement on Iraq from his presidential campaign announcement:

We are a nation at war. I just returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Our troops–the finest, most courageous people our nation has to offer–are fighting for the cause of liberty in places that have never known her. It is a long fight. We will win. We cannot lose our will to win! We must win to redeem our troops’ sacrifice. Let us resolve to have a bipartisan strategy for the war. We need unity here to win over there. This is not the time for partisanship on any side. Lives–and our future–are at stake. 

In any case, the Sullivan remark quoted above would be from the same clever political analyst who has determined that the “big-government Christianists” (who, in reality, do not exist) and the “fundamentalist” mentality they possess were the chief moving forces behind the Iraq war.  The point is not that his prior claim is correct (it is ludicrous), but that he cannot really expect us to view the “Christianists” as the force of utter malevolence he has made them out to be if they are also now forming a real constituency against the war. 

The reality is somewhat different from both fantasies that Sullivan has come up with: most Christian conservatives, who are not “big-government,” supported the war out of their sense of patriotism and (surely misguided) deference to the President, and they continue to support it for these same reasons.  There are in any case very few “antiwar evangelicals,” as Sullivan has called them, and Sam Brownback is neither antiwar nor is he any longer an evangelical.  Once again, opposition to the surge is not opposition to the war, and being anti-surge is not being antiwar.  Everyone who can read a newspaper, except apparently Hugh Hewitt and Andrew Sullivan, understands this.