What did we learn in last week’s “Weekly Scott Brown-d Up”?
When the public conversation is about actual issues, Republican Scott Brown loses; so, Brown is desperate to distract from the issues at all costs. A disappointing lesson, indeed.
We saw this lesson play out as Republican Scott Brown’s attempted distractions couldn’t remove his harmful vote on the student loan interest rate and his discriminatory record on LGBT equality from the headlines.
To kick off the week, ProgressMass released a study of Republican Scott Brown’s voting record, looking at how Brown voted specifically in situations in which 50 or more Senators supported a measure – meaning it would pass on an up-or-down vote – but the Republican minority used Senate rules to block the measure by requiring 60 votes. Did Brown vote in a bipartisan fashion with the Senate majority to get something accomplished for the American people, or did Brown vote with his right-wing Republican colleagues in support of partisan obstruction.
Overwhelmingly, Brown voted in favor of partisan Republican obstruction. The key finding of the study:
Perhaps the most revealing finding of the study – the metric that best indicates how Republican Scott Brown will vote in the U.S. Senate in 2013 and beyond should he win re-election – is that, prior to the formation of Elizabeth Warren’s Senate campaign exploratory committee on August 18, 2011, Brown voted in support of Republican obstruction of measures with majority support a resounding 30 out of 32 times (93.8%).
When there is little political pressure on Republican Scott Brown artificially pulling him to the center, he votes with his right-wing Republican colleagues in support of partisan obstruction nearly 94% of the time. That is the Scott Brown voters can look forward to in 2013 if Brown is re-elected. A vote for Scott Brown is a vote for partisan Republican obstruction. This is the choice voters must contemplate. We’re very pleased that the study earned coverage in numerous media outlets, including the Boston Globe, Springfield Republican, Salem News, Harvard Crimson, Rachel Maddow’s MaddowBlog, and ThinkProgress.
Republican Scott Brown’s voting record in support of Republican obstruction was illustrated loudly and clearly on the vote to prevent the student loan interest rate from doubling. A majority of the U.S. Senate supported the bill to keep the rate from jumping from 3.4% to 6.8%. However, despite majority support, the Republican minority filibustered – joined by Republican Scott Brown – and blocked the bill. In other words, Republican Scott Brown voted to double the student loan interest rate. Local media declared that Brown “screwed college students” while national media warned that “Scott Brown will now gouge your kids’ tuition.” Yikes.
That vote is now part of Brown’s record, and he can’t Etch-A-Sketch it away if we don’t let him. Help remind your Facebook Friends by Sharing this graphic on your Facebook Wall – just click on the graphic – and encourage your Facebook Friends to share it, as well:
If you’re on Twitter, you can also Re-Tweet ProgressMass’ tweet of the graphic here.
In perhaps the single most cynical move of the campaign so far, at almost the exact same moment Republican Scott Brown was voting to double your student loan interest rate, his campaign was promoting more misleading distractions, further attacking his major opponent for her heritage. Not only was it a shamefully obvious ploy, but it has also led to numerous comparisons between Scott Brown and the fringe birther movement. Republican Scott Brown has chosen to cast his lot with political-dog-whistle virtuosos Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. If Brown is trying to convince voters that he is a moderate (he’s not, by the way), Limbaugh and Coulter are not the best company to keep.
Elected officials in Washington – from both political parties – did Brown no favors this week. When President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage equality, it served as the jumping off point to remind voters about what a lousy record Republican Scott Brown has on LGBT issues, or, as he notoriously called them, “pet projects.” He called two moms having a child “not normal,” he voted against marriage equality, he was the only member of the state senate to support Mitt Romney’s veto of the LGBT Youth Commission, and he supports the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) while opposing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
Further, House Republicans are doing Brown no favors by working to water down the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. House Republicans’ effort against the landmark agency only serves to give Brown’s major political opponent, Elizabeth Warren, more opportunity to remind voters exactly why she’s an invaluable advocate for middle class opportunity, for appropriate Wall Street regulation, and for overall economic stability, especially as JPMorgan Chase just announced $2 Billion in losses on high-risk investments.
ProgressMass also highlighted a series of Republican Scott Brown’s ethical lapses in recent weeks. Almost simultaneously, news broke of an ethics complaint being filed against Brown for one of the concerns ProgressMass outlined, Brown using official U.S. Senate staff and resources for political campaign purposes. Regarding these several ethical lapses, Brown has numerous questions to answer. With Brown still refusing to hold public town hall forums, we continue to rely on members of the media to go to the trouble of asking such questions.
Given his ethical failings, it should be no shock that Republican Scott Brown’s latest radio ad is disingenuous. Brown claims to fight for Massachusetts’ fishermen, but, very predictably, this claim is contradicted by Brown’s actual record. We should all remember that Brown had a chance to join the Massachusetts delegation in advocating for fishermen and their families, but bailed, and for purely political reasons. Another attempt at shaking that Etch-A-Sketch.
We also learned this week that Republican Scott Brown took in more donations from New York City than from Boston. (I thought his campaign roundly criticized out-of-state donations. I suppose that’s just more Scott Brown hypocrisy.) Maybe New York Yankees president and Scott Brown donor Randy Levine got more New York Yankees on board for Brown. Additionally, Brown refused to come clean about who comprises his New York fundraising committee. What (or who) is he hiding? Could it be more Wall Street donors? It can’t be much worse than one of Brown’s Florida fundraisers being accused of slave labor at his sugar company. Nevertheless, Brown isn’t coming clean; he’s just serving up more hypocrisy.
It seems highly appropriate that, rather than go to the trouble of writing his own life story, Republican Scott Brown used the Bush family ghost writer to spin those tales for the Brown autobiography, we learned this week. Hey, at least Brown paid the guy to make up original rhetoric rather than just plagiarize Elizabeth Dole again.
We have yet another week in which, when Republican Scott Brown is forced to talk about actual issues rather than offer distractions, he is roundly criticized by all corners of the Commonwealth. Expect that to become a trend as he continues to fall back on “hypocrisy and Republican dirty tricks.” Stay tuned for next week’s “Weekly Scott Brown-d Up.”