I hadn't realized that Father McCloskey had added another power-broker to the Opus Dei cult in Washington: Senator Sam Brownback. This profile is a must-read about the shifts within Republicanism over the past decade or so. There are plenty of interesting nuggets - not least of which:

"Pat got me elected," [Brownback] says, referring to Robertson's network of Christian-right organizations.

Off-message, Sam. Money quote from the profile:

[Brownback] tells a story about a chaplain who challenged a group of senators to reconsider their conception of democracy. "How many constituents do you have?" the chaplain asked. The senators answered: 4 million, 9 million, 12 million. "May I suggest," the chaplain replied, "that you have only one constituent?"

Brownback pauses. That moment, he declares, changed his life. "This" - being senator, running for president, waving the flag of a Christian nation - "is about serving one constituent." He raises a hand and points above him.

And so conservatism slowly dies in America, replaced by religious fanaticism.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.