I blogged a while ago about President Obama’s selection of pro-choice Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius as HHS secretary, and even mentioned that Kansas Senator Sam Brownback — an ardent supporter of the Religious Right and all it stands for — ironically supported her selection. In so doing he ran counter to his own faction’s ideology and has been criticized for it. I had figured he was motivated by a “let’s get along with Obama” philosophy. US News & World Report, however, has found a much more devious and subtle motive:

[T]wo sources tell me that Brownback’s people have been making the case to antiabortion groups—especially those in Kansas—that there’s a strong political rationale for installing the Kansas governor in Washington. The move gets her out of Kansas, Brownback’s argument goes, heading off her expected run for the Senate in 2010. Which means the Sunflower State Senate seat that Brownback’s vacating for a gubernatorial run is likely to stay in Republican hands, since the Kansas Democratic Party doesn’t have another candidate who is half as popular as Sebelius. And that’s good for the antiabortion cause, according to the reasoning.

Of course, USN&WR goes on to say that pro-life groups are still not satisfied. Even so, clearly Brownback is not as quiescent as it may appear. Clearly, losing the Republican presidential nomination has not humbled him or taught him to rethink his own politics.

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