It’s a serious mistake to be dismissive of Brownback as a contender in the Republican primary. The guy’s smart, he’s charismatic, and I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that he believes every single word that comes out of his own mouth. I can’t think of any other remotely viable candidate from either primary with that sort of conviction.

He’s also right some of the time, like when he’s talking about foreign aid, the death penalty, prison reform, etc.

I’m not opposed to forming strategic alliances with people who generally disagree with me when we happen to be together on the same issue. One of the things I admire greatly about freshman Senator Bernie Sanders, for example, was his ability to form bipartisan coalitions in the House on what were traditionally thought of as liberal issues. So if Brownback wants to see what America can do about the situation in Darfur, that’s fantastic, and one would hope that a lot of people would get together with him on that.

But none of that makes Brownback an attractive candidate to me. It’s difficult to get past the fact that he doesn’t believe in separation of church and state, and the myriad of other positions that go along with that. Brownback is the fundamentalist candidate and if he wins the primary he will owe it to an angry, combative base of religious zealots.

There are plenty of reasons to be worried about Brownback. Here are a few, for starters.

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