Thursday, October 18, 2012


 If I sound harsh, forgive me. It’s only because the stakes are too high for us to make a mistake voting for Senator next month.

Senator Scott Brown is a nice guy. We can all agree on that. As far as his vision goes as a politician, we only really know two things about him. At some level he supports Republican doctrine enough to belong to the party. Secondly, he’s running for reelection based on the fact he plays nicely with others.

Ask Scott Brown why any of us should vote for him and he immediately points to his bi-partisan voting record, which by the way has him voting for core Republican positions almost every time, and alongside Democrats on the really tough political fights, like naming post offices or codifying rules of behavior for National Parks.

The nation’s two most important economic issues don’t seem particularly interesting to Mr. Brown. On the widening gap between rich and poor, he’s shown a surprising bent for siding with the wealthy and the powerful. On the destruction of the middle class, he mouths platitudes, but does little or nothing to help.

What does Scott Brown stand for, besides getting himself re-elected? Can you think of one issue meaningful to our lives that he has articulated or even slated for political action?

Elizabeth Warren has risen to challenge Brown exactly because she does stand for something. She’s a fighter for the middle class and, more important, she’s a defender of our rights against the very same entrenched interests Scott Brown and the Republican Party represent.

If you observe Scott Brown’s behavior in the Senate you’ll notice he’s very calculating about taking his “bi-partisan” votes. Most times he will only vote after the outcome is decided. Thus giving himself maximum time to see which way the wind is blowing, but also to devise a plausible reason to explain his vote. When Brown votes with Democrats it’s almost always on issues where his vote is next to meaningless and has little impact on our lives. I admit, he did vote for Dodd-Frank Financial Reform, but almost immediately tried to weaken its provisions.

And Mr. Brown always has a plausible explanation (read ‘excuse’) for his lock-step Republican votes. He’s never without a reasonable explanation for abandoning the middle class. On voting against cutting the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy, he rotely explains now is not the time to tax the ‘job-creators’. On voting against fair-pay for women, he argues the bill had too many unintended legal consequences. On protecting tax loopholes worth billions to the oil companies, he claims eliminating tax loopholes would only result in higher prices at the pump.

All reasonable, plausible explanations! But forgive me, I don’t think they pass the smell test. Rather than honest explanations they seem like thinly veiled political shields meant to hide a voting record that favors the high and mighty at the expense of the poor and unprivileged.

But what makes Scott Brown immensely regrettable is his taking up a space in the Senate that can mean so much to the lives of everyday Americans. Not every Senator can be a Teddy Kennedy or a Daniel Webster. But those are the footsteps in which Scott Brown walks, and it’s time he proved himself worthy of being there. It’s not enough for Scott Brown to rest on his laurels as a make-believe liaison between Democrats in the center and the crazies on the right. Nor can he expect to coast to a victory by defaming an opponent who has already accomplished more on a national level than he could ever hope to achieve.

Scott Brown makes a lot of claims in explaining a short Senate career filled with meager accomplishment. He claims that kings and other royalty confer with him regularly. He claims his 2-week summer rotation in Afghanistan qualifies as “doing combat duty in Afghanistan.” He claims Elizabeth Warren lied about being part-Indian and then spends half a debate regretting he has to bring the issue up.

Worst of all, Scott Brown claims to be protecting our interests while all the while giving cover to the whackos and billionaires who assault our interests every day.

Scott Brown may be a nice guy, but as our Senator from Massachusetts he doesn't deserve your vote; he deserves to be an ex-Senator.

NOTE: The original title of this essay was "Scott Brown Is A Total Waste Of Space." Upon serious reflection, I decided that statement was far too harsh and personal, so I changed the title. I apologise if anyone was offended by my previous title, or confused by the current one. PSS


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