News Columns & Blogs

How Brownback will be missed

When Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., recently gave a remarkable floor speech mentioning "one good thing" about each of the 16 retiring senators, this is what he said about Sen. Sam Brownback (in photo), R-Kan., now the state's governor-elect: "During the health care debate, I often said that everyone who voted for the health care law ought to be sentenced to serve as governor for two terms and try to implement it. Well, Sen. Brownback voted against the health care law, but he's going home and he'll have the opportunity to enjoy all those unfunded mandates on Medicaid and see how Kansas deals with it. But what we'll miss about Sam Brownback here, in addition to his extraordinary kindness as a human being, is his devotion to human rights, giving voice to the oppressed millions in North Korea and being an outspoken critic of genocide in Darfur." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently gave his own lengthy floor tribute to Brownback, calling him a "born leader," an "ardent defender of life and the protection of the unborn," a bipartisan crusader for human rights around the world and an "example of principled leadership to us all."