[S]ome Democrats seem surprised, at the very least, that Brown didn’t topple like a rotten tree at the first sign that he’d have a serious opponent. Those sentiments vastly underestimate Brown’s strengths…. Democrats ignore the reality that no one is really angry at Brown other than liberal activists.
Hmm. I don’t know which “surprised” Democrats Dan has been talking to, and he doesn’t tell us. Nobody around here, it would seem. Pretty much everyone here has been saying that Brown will be hard to beat no matter how good his opponent is. He has a ton of money, he’s a likable guy, and he is generally a savvy politician – his bewildering decision to back the crazy Blunt amendment notwithstanding.
Also, I have no idea whether I qualify as a “liberal activist,” but I will say this: I’m not “angry” at Scott Brown. I find Brown to be disappointing, particularly in his failure to lead. I find some of his stances deeply puzzling (the Blunt amendment being Exhibit A). And I disagree with him on a lot of policy matters – but he’s a Republican, so that’s not really surprising.
If Brown had campaigned on a particular issue and then flip-flopped on it once he won, maybe I’d be angry. If he had suddenly become a strident right-wing tea-partier, maybe I’d be angry (again setting aside the mysterious Blunt amendment issue). If he had become an effective advocate for deeply destructive policies such as those backed by others in his party, maybe I’d be angry.
But he hasn’t done any of that. He’s still more or less what he’s always been: an affable, somewhat bumbling, mildly conservative fellow who, through a peculiar series of coincidences, wound up way over his head in a job that he’s not very good at. His major accomplishment in office has been to complain about how mean the Senate’s kool kidz are to him. I mean, he thought those bin Laden photos were real, for God’s sake. It’s hard to get angry at someone you can’t take seriously.
Don’t get me wrong: I take him seriously as a candidate. I think he could win, and I always have. I certainly hope he doesn’t, and I’ll do what I can to keep that from happening, because I think Elizabeth Warren has the potential to be a truly great Senator. But angry? No. Warren won’t be able to rely on anger at Brown to win. She needs to make the affirmative case that she will simply be a much better Senator.