Sam Brownback’s Body

If you want a good historically contextualized look at the revolt against Gov. Sam Brownback in deep-red Kansas, check out the piece published at TNR today by John Judis. As John notes, the state has a history of religiously-infused radicalism, but also (probably as recompense) has a history of moderate leaders who reign in the extremists. That could be what is happening this year with the trouble Browback is suddenly in, and with the appearance of a viable independent Senate candidacy as well.

Judis is always fun to read, but he gets style points for mentioning the famous John Steuart Curry mural in the Kansas state capital that depicts John Brown dominating a landscape of war and natural disaster holding a rifle in one hand and a Bible in the other, and then concluding his essay as follows:

If the state’s voters are faced with a choice between a mild-mannered, cautious Democrat and a Republican crusader with a Bible in one hand and a check from Koch Industries in the other, history favors the Democrat.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.