Through sheer force of will and/or idiocy, he’s managed to stretch his vote Thursday morning on cloture into a three-day, Kerryesque fiasco. Yesterday he said he’d intended to switch from yes to no all along. Today, a more nuanced explanation emerges.

Exactly the type of man we need in the White House right now.

Though some on both sides of the issue accused Brownback of “flip-flopping” once he saw that he would end up on the losing side of the debate, the senator suggested that it was again compassion — this time for a general public deeply divided over how to deal with immigration — that drove his mid-vote change.

Brownback told Congressional Quarterly’s CQToday, “I just concluded as I was on the floor that the country is just not ready.” He added that the issue “just needs to rest for a while.”

More specifically, he concluded this while he was on the floor after he’d already voted and the bill had already gone down to defeat. So his insight into what America is “ready” for is basically of the same order of profundity as a kindergartner who can count successfully up to the magic cloture-busting number of 40.

Meanwhile, the Times is startled by the “heated rhetoric” and verbal “pollut[ion]” of the amnesty debate. Not the Nazi jibes and slavery analogies and relentless, shrieking accusations of bad faith and racism directed at amnesty opponents from Bush on down, but rather by Jeff Sessions’s remark that illegals had “broken in” to America by running past the National Guard. Which of course, they have; hence the term “illegals.” We Nazis will pay dearly for such incendiary invective at the polls, the Gray Lady warns. Exit question: Is the fact that the Times considers him an official Reasonable Voice the final nail in the coffin of Lindsey Graham’s credibility?