December 19, 2006
THE UNBEARABLE LAMENESS OF SAM BROWNBACK: I agree with Captain Ed:
A union ceremony breaks no laws and infringes on no one's rights. It involves two people celebrating their relationship without demanding any recognition from the government or special rights as a result. The two women invited family and friends to attend, and Neff decided to support her friend and help her celebrate a ceremony that would have taken place regardless.
No one expects Brownback to attend such an event. However, whether he did or not would have no bearing on his fitness for office. Unfortunately, even while allowing the vote to proceed, Brownback still demonstrates that he doesn't get it. He claims that Neff's attendance at this event merits an investigation as he would "like to know more factually about what took place." Since nothing illegal took place and Neff did not do anything in her capacity as a judge at the ceremony, it's none of Brownback's business what "took place" there.
I understand that recognition of marriages is a public policy and that the electorate should make that decision. However, that does not give the government any right to interfere or investigate relationships between consenting, non-related adults. The government does not belong in the bedroom, and the Senate has no business extracting pledges of recusals from judicial nominees for any reason. If Brownback doesn't understand these two concepts, then he has no business anywhere near the White House.
As with George Allen, I've always had the sense that Brownback is a bit of a dim bulb, despite the enthusiasm for him in some circles. And, as George Allen did, Brownback seems anxious to prove me right.