In a sign of how deeply estranged Democrats have become from traditional American values and simple civility every single Senate Democrat voted against Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s nomination to be the nation’s at-large ambassador for international religious freedom. It took the vote of Vice President Mike Pence to break a 49-49 deadlock, two Republican senators not being present.
Brownback had served two unprovocative terms in that same senate. That did not stop former colleagues Dianne Feinstein of California, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Richard Durbin of Illinois, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York from voting against his nomination.
Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri tripped over herself trying to explain why she voted against the nomination. “I just think that it’s really important if you’re going to be the ambassador trying to promote tolerance that you show that kind of attitude,” said McCaskill. “And his difficulty with the question about using religion as an excuse to persecute or prosecute people who are gay, that was a disqualifier.”
Rarely has a candidate been as well qualified for a position as Brownback was. Said Sen. Marco Rubio during a confirmation hearing in October, “Governor Brownback has been a longtime champion of the issue of religious freedom, globally, and sought to ensure that America’s first freedom is infused into our U.S. foreign policy.” No one denied this.
More concerned with appeasing the gay lobby than with protecting religious freedom, Senate Democrats tried to trip Brownback up during that hearing with questions regarding LGBT rights.
“Is there any circumstance under which criminalizing, imprisoning or executing someone based on their LGBT status could be deemed acceptable because somebody asserts that they’re religiously motivated in doing so?” Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia asked.
“I don’t know what that would be, in what circumstance,” Brownback said. “I would continue the policies that have been done in the prior administration in working on these international issues.” That wasn’t enough for Kaine or McCaskill or their colleagues who, among them, have scarcely said a word about overt anti-gay hostility in Muslim communities worldwide. Nor have they protested a whit the vengeful, legal harassment of bakers and florists and the like for honoring Christian tradition on the question of marriage.
Harry Truman must be rolling in his grave.