It begins. Warren has agreed to a third TV debate with a media consortium that includes Globe, NECN, WCVB-TV, WGBH-TV, WHDH-TV, WBUR, and WGBH radio. We’re waiting on Brown to agree; I have to imagine it’ll be worked out. And if we’re lucky, we’ll get some radio debates as well. Brown’s camp has suggested one moderated by Dan Rea; I haven’t heard Rea’s show recently, and he’s fairly conservative, but at first blush I don’t hate the idea.
What I’m really hoping for is a chance for true voter education — to really get into policy differences, and the consequences of votes that Brown has taken and where Warren would vote differently.
And as Scot Lehigh explored yesterday, Senate process itself is a big issue. How does Scott Brown feel about the filibuster, which thwarts majority rule?
Brown did not consent to an interview. By e-mail, spokeswoman Marcie Kinzel said that “Senator Brown respects the rules of the Senate but he also believes there is too much gridlock in Congress, and that is why he is proud to have the second-most bipartisan voting record in the Senate.” Brown, she added, “has a proven record of crossing party lines to end filibusters and move the process along.”
This, folks, is a steaming pile of crap. High-density BS. True, Sen. Brown did vote to confirm Richard Cordray, Warren’s fill-in at CFPB, on which he was given a freebie by Mitch McConnell since he knew Cordray didn’t have the votes to break the filibuster. And even on Dodd-Frank, where he was the 60th vote to end filibuster, how did he use his leverage? To weaken the law, add loopholes, protect banks ability to take risks, at the expense of the stability of the banking system as a whole.
He’s used the filibuster on a jobs bill he co-sponsored; on preventing the doubling of the student loan interest rate; indeed, he ran on filibustering the health care law — gotta love that 41-59 majority! For all his claims of bipartisanship, he sure does love to stop the elected majority from passing important legislation. According to the Kill the Filibuster website, Brown has voted 43.8% of the time in favor of filibusters, just under Mitch McConnell’s 43.9%.
He simply cannot claim that it’s always how the Senate has been run: That claim is thoroughly debunked here by non-moonbat scholars Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein (of the American Enterprise Institute!).
“Most bipartisan” among this group of Republicans is an honor that amounts to a bucket of warm spit. And because Brown is in a position of such high leverage, more of the blame falls upon him for the Senate’s current dysfunction.
Let the filibustering begin — on the airwaves.