Massachusetts Daily Collegian

What the midterm elections mean for Scott Brown

By Shane Cronin

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While Tea Party candidates and the Republican Party flooded the nation in an anti-incumbent tsunami last week, Massachusetts “weathered” the storm. In the state’s congressional delegation, Democrat incumbent after Democrat incumbent after Democrat incumbent held onto their seats with widespread support among the voters. This can mean only one thing: bad news for Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown.

The Mass. congressional races were particularly telling. For example, the congressional delegation is comprised entirely of liberal Democrats. All of them voted for the stimulus bill. All voted for Obamacare, save for Steve Lynch the second time around, and all voted for cap-and-trade. In all their years, these congressmen and woman from Massachusetts never met a tax increase or a spending spree they didn’t like. The only reason all 10 of them weren’t reelected is because one of them retired: pension double-dipper Bill Delahunt. He actually thought he wouldn’t be reelected by voting “Aye” for Obamacare, but his closely-knit congressional comrades are proof that he could have died in office like it appears the rest of his colleagues plan to do.

So what does this all have to do with Scott Brown?

It means that a Democrat will be elected 99 percent of the time no matter how much his policies eschew the Commonwealth’s best interests. A University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll predicted as much in June. Although only 28 percent of respondents viewed incumbents favorably, 42 percent planned on casting Democratic ballots in the midterm elections.

Another John Kerry will come to prominence to oppose Brown next year as he seeks his first full term. It wouldn’t hurt if this candidate’s last name was “Kennedy,” but it looks as if Ted’s widow, Vicki is not in the running. Some speculate that Representative Michael Capuano, the runner up in the 2009 senate primary race, is a natural contender. He is the most recognizable potential candidate and caters to Massachusetts’ most liberal base. Other low profile politicians, inspired by Brown’s underdog triumph, are sure to throw their hats into the race too. However, keep in mind that Brown is far from the polarizing conservative his detractors paint him to be.     Although the state’s many committed moonbats don’t know this, Scott Brown is a liberal – albeit wealthier than the barn coat and old truck routine would lead one to believe. He rejected Sarah Palin’s and the Tea Party’s endorsement last year. He refused to appear with them on Boston Common in the spring for fear of ostracizing Massachusetts largely anti-Tea Party electorate. The UNH poll resonated with Brown’s calculation. In addition, he fully supports many liberal causes. These include legal abortion and the 2006 Romneycare initiative, which essentially required that all Bay State residents secure health insurance – privately or through the state. He also split with his party to vote for President Barack Obama’s financial reform and jobs bills earlier this year. Although creating minor ripples over the former issues once elected, Brown skillfully negotiated appeasing conservatives, moderates, as well as enough liberals to run a successful campaign. He also had three other things going for him: his good looks, heavy out-of-state financing and an embarrassing opponent in Marsha – excuse me – Martha Coakley.

While Brown avoided stepping on any toes, Coakley broke every one she could. Remember her slew of gaffes? She is on the record saying she doesn’t like to shake voters hands in the cold. She doesn’t think Catholics should work in emergency rooms, and her foreign policy experience is predicated on visits with her sister who lives overseas. Her overt display of voter distain was unusual even by Massachusetts Democrats’ standards, and therefore the woman lost this particular race. (Coakley handily won a second term as Attorney General last week)

The question is worth asking, do we want a senator who totally avoids stepping on toes? What has Scott Brown done for Massachusetts since elected almost one year ago? Other than the symbolism of telling Washington that America didn’t want Obamacare, we haven’t seen much out of him. Essentially, Brown is keeping a low, uncontroversial profile. Two years isn’t enough to quench his thirst for higher office. I have little doubt that he has White House aspirations, and upsetting blue voters before he secures a full six-year term is not on his agenda.

Brown has sponsored five under-the-radar bills since taking office. The senate has taken virtually no action on any of them to date. Of the 41 bills he’s co-sponsored, many of them are commemorative: recognizing natural disasters, honoring the death of Senator Robert Byrd and expressing sympathy to Poland after the plane crash that took its president’s life.

Despite his lack of distinction as a legislator, after personally meeting Brown over the summer, there is no question why he still enjoys a large margin of favorability among his constituents. A professional crowd pleaser, he’s all smiles and quick with a compliment. The UNH poll reported that 55 percent of respondents viewed him favorably – 13 percent were neutral. Interestingly, respondents were much more likely to view Kerry unfavorably (37 percent) than Brown (18 percent). As a familiar Democrat, voters repeatedly send him back to Washington.

Brown may be quietly cruising now, but a formidable liberal opponent with a “D” after his or her name may be enough to cut Massachusetts’ senatorial republican streak short.

Shane Cronin is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]

1 Comment

One Response to “What the midterm elections mean for Scott Brown”

  1. Reaganite Republican on November 15th, 2010 12:45 pm

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