So let us introduce the one and only Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican who makes the religious right weak in the knees when it imagines him running for president in 2008.
Brownback last week introduced a "Bill to Fight Assisted Suicide," saying "society's moral guidelines are blurred" when the law permits killing. His measure would prevent doctors from prescribing federally controlled substances to patients for assisted suicide.
Uh, Senator, haven't we been down this road before? Challenges to Oregon's voter-approved Death with Dignity Act have repeatedly failed. And a bill filed as Congress enters "let's go home" mode before the November elections is likely to suffer a similar fate.
Kathryn Tucker, director of legal affairs at Compassion & Choices, the Oregon group that works with patients seeking assisted suicide, says Brownback is "the lone horseman in the Senate" on this issue. She doesn't think other senators will join his cause after experiencing the backlash from last year's Terry Schiavo case.
"Most of them learned an important lesson, that people don't want politicians intervening in this very private arena," Tucker says.
But Brownback's efforts do serve to rally the conservative base in this election year, and reassure such voters that he's ready, sword and Bible in hand, to run as their presidential candidate in 2008.
We know Brownback isn't taking advice from the Rogue desk, but we'd be remiss if we didn't suggest that he channel conservative icon Nancy Reagan the next time he's tempted to pull such election-year stunts: "Just say no."