This is something I’ve been wanting to comment on since Senator Brown’s vote for cloture on the jobs bill yesterday (and his vote in favor of the bill itself today) started prompting chants of “turncoat” and “RINO,” but Glenn Beck pretty much sums it up in the below video:
Apparently, more than a few people got the mistaken impression that Scott Brown was a small government conservative during his campaign against Martha Cho-, I mean Coakley. Where they got this idea, I’m not sure, because his record in the MA state legislature is decidedly mixed at best. Not only that, but two words should have summed it all up for any who were unsure: Massachusetts Republican.
Prior to his election, numerous conservative writers, including myself, called attention to the fact that Brown was no diehard conservative and predicted that he’d be a Republican in the mold of a Susan Collins and/or Olympia Snowe. But, even knowing that, he was endorsed by many of us primarily for three reasons: 1) his solid opposition to ObamaCare (restated today), 2) his stated pro-tax cut anti-pork stance, and of course 3) we wanted the seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy because we knew that if a Republican could win there, they could win anywhere – and in the process shock the nation and send the Democrats scurrying for cover.
I was never under any pretense about who Scott Brown was/is. I don’t think he’s a big government liberal, but he’s certainly not a small government conservative. He’s in the dreaded “middle” of the road, which is going to infuriate us sometimes, while other times he’s going to make us stand up and applaud – like he did when he verbally smacked down our Gaffetastic VP Biden last week on the issue of military law as it relates to terrorist detainees and military tribunals.
This isn’t to say that people shouldn’t complain about the way he votes. Quite the contrary. My point is, though, before anyone starts the “RINO” and “turncoat” chants, they ought to remember that Scott Brown repeatedly talked about “bipartisanship” and “working with the other side” during his campaign – and in his victory speech, in fact, and those are code words to most of us for “I’m going to vote with the other side sometimes, and you’re not always going to like it.”
Related to all this, I think the MSM duped themselves into believing Scott Brown was some dyed-in-the-wool conservative during the campaign, because since his vote for cloture on the jobs bill, all sorts of articles have popped up at sites like the AP, WaPo, the NYT and the Boston Globe all giddily reporting about an “independent streak” that they apparently weren’t aware he had. Well, as I wrote on Twitter yesterday, had the MSM been paying more attention during the campaign and done even the slightest digging on his record – instead of trying to carry water for the imploding Democrat candidate while at the same time painting Brown as some raging right winger – they might have figured out that Tom Coburn or Jim DeMint this guy ain’t.
And never will be.
Does that make him a bad guy? No. But I do think it’s important to try to put things in perspective amidst all the backlash surrounding his support for the jobs bill this week. Moderate? Yeah. Turncoat? No.