Lest we forget the real face of the Republican social agenda and are blinded by the smiling faces of the moderates who appeared during prime-time last night, here's some of what was said at a private, invitation-only meeting for the evangelical crowd earlier in the day.
At a closed, invitation-only Bush campaign rally for Christian conservatives yesterday, Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas called for a broad social conservative agenda notably different from the televised presentations at the Republican convention, including adopting requirements that pregnant women considering abortions be offered anesthetics for their fetuses and loosening requirements on the separation of church and state.
But it was Mr. Brownback who laid out more specific policy goals. On the subject of opposition to abortion, Mr. Brownback argued that many women who choose abortion were unaware of what he said was the pain the procedure caused a fetus. His call for women contemplating abortions to be offered anesthetics for the fetus referred to a bill, "The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act," that he has discussed introducing in Congress. "We are going to keep moving this agenda forward," he vowed.
Mr. Brownback argued the importance to the culture of appointing more conservative judges, asserting that courts have conducted "a 40-year assault on the Constitution." Courts, he argued, had wrongly overstretched "separation of church and state" to mean "removal of church from state."
Paging Roy Moore and the 10 Commandments; we'll meet you in that back alley.