Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) is considering endorsing Rudy Giuliani for the GOP presidential nomination and will meet with him Thursday in Washington to hear his views on abortion. ~The Hill

Via Noam Scheiber

Now I was pretty sure that Brownback wasn’t going to endorse Huckabee, and his loathing for Romney has been obvious for a long time, but I confess that this option hadn’t crossed my mind.  That was because, despite all my criticism, I still retained some shred of respect for Sam Brownback.  I assumed that the protection of human life was, as he has so often claimed it to be, one of those non-negotiable principles that animated and guided Brownback’s entire view of the world.  His conclusions and policy recommendations might drive me up the wall in many cases, but I still assumed that there were some deals he would not be willing to strike.  This meeting has some remarkable symbolism to it: one of the leading pro-life politicians in the party will seek an audience with Giuliani.  That helps make this outcome, which ought to be inconceivable, much more plausible. 

Update:  Brownback has been taken in by Giuliani, but perhaps not enough to win an endorsement:

Sam Brownback said he was reassured about the abortion position of Rudy Giuliani after meeting with the pro-abortion rights former mayor for over an hour this afternoon. But the Kansas Senator, who last Friday abandoned his White House bid, said he was not yet ready to offer his endorsement.

Standing just outside his Senate office suite next to Giuliani, Brownback, an ardent abortion opponent, said twice that he was “much more comfortable” with his former rival’s stance on what he called the issue “of life.”

Even Brownback expressing his increased “comfort” with Giuliani makes it that much easier for social conseratives to buy into the “we must stay united to defeat the she-demon” rhetoric that is daily coming from the various leading presidential campaigns.  It’s much easier for these voters to sell out in the name of unity if one of their leading figures gives them a pretext for believing that they aren’t really selling out their principles.