It's further proof that the universe is insane and ultimately entropic -- a guy makes an immense fortune peddling crappy pizza, and then uses that fortune to push his pet fascist causes in various ways. Political influence is just one of those ways.
This is a guy who is too Catholic even for most Catholics. His weird little Florida dystopia has a host of tight strictures; the community owns all the land and the houses, and thus retains the "right" to push around anyone dumb enough to want to live under this guy's thumb. Every business that comes into town will have to abide by Monaghan's imposed moral code, which means no birth control sold at pharmacies, certain channels not allowed on cable or satellite systems -- real control-freak shit.
Tom Monaghan, if he had his way, would impose these views on the entire nation. He hopes to do so with Brownback. Now, you can look at this and say, "Well, Brownback has no chance, so let Monaghan waste his money." That might be true, but a lot can change in a year or so. In 1998, people laughed at the idea of a lunkhead Texas goober, whose only talent was being the wastrel son of a one-term president, running for the nation's high office in 2000.
Brownback is positioning himself to be the mouthpiece for a lot of aggrieved busybody christofascists, who do their damndest to live down to Mencken's old saw that a puritan is someone who is mortally terrified at the thought that somewhere out there, someone might be having fun. They've always been leery of Saint John McCain, and they'll never vote for a hedonistic sybarite like Rudy Giuliani. There are mild signs that some of these mega-congregationalists, humbled somewhat of late by their gay dope-fiend preachers coming out of the closet, but they live to moralize, and all they're waiting for is for someone to speak to that base tendency for them.
That someone is Sam Brownback, and he's being bankrolled by a loony billionaire. Some system, eh?
It's been a while since I've taken a serious poke at the God Squad, but I never understand their ability to believe that they are the ones being persecuted, when in fact it is they that have sustained a de facto tyranny of the majority for so long. Now that they're organized and mobilized, they are even more insufferable, and more aggressive than ever in their recruitment and money-raising tactics.
Nice, huh? These guys have their own little inside club. They harass Jews at the Air Force Academy, they go on public speaking tours in uniform and spray the crowd with their "my god can beat up their god" idiocy, they go to teen religious revivals in stadiums in full gear and exhort the kids to be warriors for Christ.
On the good foot, they're not burying gays up to their waists and stoning them to death, nor are they organizing death squads to ferret out Episcopalians and Presbyterians and other heretical sects. Awful large of them to exercise restraint. But they are abusing their appointed authority, and they need to be called on it.
I think these people need to be explicitly asked why church is not enough for them, why they have to organize and proselytize at their jobs. That is bullshit; if they tried that at a private sector job they'd be out on their asses in a heartbeat.
Tom Monaghan is not a philanthropist so much as a control freak; General Catton is a character out of Seven Days In May practically. Neither of them should be treated with kid gloves, and both should be explicitly asked exactly why it is that they can't just live their lives, and let everyone else live their own lives, and let this God that they can't stop talking about sort it all out for Himself.
This nagging, bullying crap is exactly what they whinge about when they grind their "nanny state" axe. This is no different.