Thursday, January 26, 2006


Hallelujah, Our Very Own Prairie Populist

Here's a brief excerpt from a Rolling Stone article on Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback -- who is gearing up to run for president -- by Jeff Sharlet titled, "God's Senator: Who would Jesus vote for? Meet Sam Brownback:"

"He wants to be president," Bredesen tells the congregation. "He is marvelously qualified to be president." But, he adds, there is something Brownback wants even more: "And that is, on the last day of your earthly life, to be able to say, 'Father, the work you gave me to do, I have accomplished!'"

Bredesen, shrunken with age, leans forward and glares at Brownback. "Is that true?" he demands.

"Yes," Brownback says softly.

"Friends!" The old man's voice is suddenly a trumpet. "Sam . . . says . . . yes!"

The crowd roars. Those occupying the front rows lay hands on the contender. Brownback takes the stage. He begins to pace. In front of secular audiences he's a politician, stiff and wonky. Here, he's a preacher, not sweaty but smooth, working a call-and-response with the back rows. "I used to run on Sam power," he says.

"Uh-uh," someone shouts.

To quiet his ambition, Brownback continues, he used to take sleeping pills.

"Oh, Lord!"

Now he runs on God power.



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