Generally, he’s received no coverage at all of his votes selling out women and the middle class, while the press falls all over itself sending out his spin of himself as a “moderate” charting his own course. Yesterday we found Brown back in the limelight – the real hub of his career. He releases a statement suggesting his support for Planned Parenthood – a statement in complete contradiction to his voting record, and that may not even mean what he’s suggesting.
He may have gone a little too far this time.
First folks like Jed Lewison at Daily Kos (MA-Sen: Scott Brown says he's against the Planned Parenthood cuts that he voted for) called him out for his record of voting against Planned Parenthood funding. And then Joan Vennochi in today’s Globe zeroes in on him in (Brown being Brown). Joan, God bless her, put it front and center:
Confused? [Brown] wants you to be. It’s part of a pattern.
Brown was against the extension of jobless benefits until he voted for a budget that extended them.
He was against repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” until he voted for it.
He was for defunding Planned Parenthood, until he was against defunding “family planning” – which may or may not be the same thing as being against defunding Planned Parenthood.
You see, even his statement is still trying to pull the wool over our eyes. But this time, he may have been too cute by half, as even the conservative Weekly Standard is calling him out:
So does Brown really just oppose defunding Title X? Or does he also oppose defunding Planned Parenthood? Despite emails and phone calls over the past 24 hours requesting clarification, Senator Brown's spokesmen have not replied to THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
What's going on here? One possibility is that Senator Brown and/or his staff simply confused the two proposals. Another possibility is that Brown and/or his staff deliberately issued a statement that the media would interpret as a comment on Planned Parenthood, while pro-lifers would see it as merely a statement on Title X.
You think? This is the game Brown plays, voting one way, and talking both ways. But the business of a Senator is to vote, and his votes show a good GOP soldier in D.C., doing the bidding of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. He’s smart enough to know that this is the way to get to the big money, and to pay homage to the GOP lobbyists and power brokers. He also knows that these votes won’t get him the attention he craves and the obfuscation he seeks, so he prances around in the spotlight to dazzle the press and fool the electorate with statements that directly contradict his voting record.
He’s being called out about it now, but the initial press – as seen in yesterday’s Globe – went exactly as he planned. Case in point:
Senator Scott Brown said yesterday a Republican plan to cut all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the women's health service provider, is too drastic and a compromise for partial funding should be reached. […]
Brown's break with GOP leadership on the issue was praised by NARAL Pro-Choice America.
There it is: a big and tasty “break with the party.” Perfectly timed, after other GOP Senators have already signaled that the same break. It does no harm to the party, and even his earlier hypocritical vote is framed with a nice dose of the Scott Brown party line. Brown soaks up the attention for a few days and gets some praise from NARAL, which is the only part most voters hear about and retain, and then he can go back to his votes for the GOP.
Scott Brown prefers to keep his record fuzzy, but it’s clear to me: pushing for extra bonus tax cuts for the rich that will explode the deficit, while pitting programs for the middle class against each other for a dwindling amount of funds. It's the typical GOP plan, but that's because he's a typical GOP politician.
This time, he may have been just a little too cute about it, but he got the first day stories he wanted. Will he get as much attention for the reality as he got for his spin?