Senator Brownback: Sign of a Softer, Gentler GOP

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican presidential contender and conservative darling, inched ever so slightly toward the center with the announcement that he would no longer discriminate openly against gays and lesbians.

Well, that’s not exactly what he said. Neil A. Lewis writes in the Times:

Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, who blocked the confirmation of a woman to the federal bench because she attended a same-sex commitment ceremony for the daughter of her long-time neighbors, says he will now allow a vote on the nomination.

Mr. Brownback, a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, said in a recent interview that when the Senate returned in January, he would allow a vote on Janet Neff, a 61-year-old Michigan state judge, who was nominated to a Federal District Court seat.

Mr. Brownback, who has been criticized for blocking the nomination, said he would also no longer press a proposed solution he offered on Dec. 8 that garnered even more criticism: that he would remove his block if Judge Neff agreed to recuse herself from all cases involving same-sex unions.

Continue reading here. My, how far presidential contenders will go so as not to appear too extreme …

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