1--Obama approaches Roberts and Brownback and says, "Unless you pledge not to oppose the Sebelius nomination, I will not nominate her."To a strident pro-lifer, the Sebelius nomination must be horrifying. The political support she has given late-term abortion doctor George Tiller, who boasts of having terminated more than 60,000 fetuses over 24 weeks old from 48 states and several countries in his 35 year career, allows Kansas to stay near the top of a list that, as socially conservative and reliably red, it would putatively be expected to land at the bottom of. As of 2005, the Sunflower state's annual per capita abortion rate is the sixth highest in the nation, behind only New York, Florida, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Nevada*.
2--For Roberts, this is a no-brainer. He just got re-elected. He has no particular reputation as a pro-lifer.
3--For Brownback, it is tough. If he goes along his reputation will suffer.
4--If he opposes, Obama does not nominate and leaks the fact that anti-choice ideologue Brownback has undone the nomination of this still unsullied Kansas governor.
5--Sebelius uses Brownback's "betrayal" of a fellow Kansan to mobilize the Dems and the dumb center for her 2010 Senate race.
6--That same force elects a pro-choice Dem governor.
7--For Brownback it is lose-lose-lose.
8--Politics is an unholy business. Give'm a break.
To an immigration restrictionist who finds educational romanticism incalculably damaging, it is hardly bad news, however. From the time she was elected in 2002, Sebelius has vociferously proclaimed that increasing educational funding is her top priority. The state budget has grown by more than 8% each year since 2005, with two-thirds of total spending going toward education. Consequently, Kansas has enjoyed the dubious honor of sharing the limelight with California, running into a cash flow problem so acute that state employees were unsure of whether or not they'd receive their next paychecks and residents did not know when their income tax refunds would be mailed out.
Meanwhile, with Sebelius out of the picture, Sam Brownback is a shoo-in for the governorship in 2010. That means one of the GOP's firmest open borders supporters will be out of the Senate. (How about Senator Kobach as a successor?)
While he's not as conspicuous a target for restrictionists as John McCain is, Brownback co-sponsored the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill that went down due to spectacular public opposition. Despite polling at 3% during the Republican primaries, he was given a prime speaking role on the last day of the RNC's nominating convention (an event in which the only words on immigration came from Rosario Marin, who celebrated herself as the "first immigrant of America", and McCain himself, who spoke of the "God-given" rights of a "latina daugther of migrant workers"). Americans for Better Immigration puts a "D" on Brownback's lifetime immigration gradecard--the same letter grade it gives McCain, although the Arizona Senator actually scores a point higher than Brownback does!
As governor of a white state in the middle of the country, Brownback will not be able to influence US immigration policy as he has during his 12-year tenure in the Senate.
* California and New Hampshire have not reported statewide abortion statistics in a decade. More recently, Louisiana has also stopped doing so.