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Beatriz09 On June - 19 - 2014

walker

As Huffington Post just signaled, Scott Brown, former MA Senator turned into a NH candidate after MA voted him out, just released a new campaign ad:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/18/scott-brown-ad_n_5508328.html

In the ad, Brown’s sister explains what was already known (through Brown’s book): there was a lot of abuse in the home. However, Brown’s sister LeeAnn adds, “Scott was there to protect myself and my mom”. Just like so many brothers are doing each and every day in America. But somehow, having done so is exactly what according to LeeAnn is needed to become an outstanding Senator. When people ask her what kind of man Scott Brown is, she tells them: “he’ll be there for you like he has been for me”.

First of all, it has to be said: during his time in the Senate, Scott Brown indeed voted for a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. He even tried to convince Boehner and his mostly reluctant Republicans friends in the House to do so too.

It’s difficult not to see a parallel with Dick Cheney here: when it comes to LBGT rights, Cheney went against the overwhelming majority in his own party and told the media that he actually supported equal rights. He invoked the same kind of arguments Scott Brown just did: they knew the problem very well, because it was happening each and every day in their own family. In this case: one of Cheney’s daughters is a lesbian.

What this shows is that in general, Republicans, of course, aren’t ‘Bad Guys’. As soon as their OWN family is confronted with a problem, they’ll do everything they can to change the law in order to solve it and create a more perfect union. So yes, without any doubt, Republicans are ‘moral beings’ too. If they see injustice happening at their own breakfast table, day after day, they are capable of focusing on the issue and working hard to fight against it, even when that means taking your case to Washington and trying to change the law.

Unfortunately, Republicans often ONLY focus on what’s happening at their own breakfast table, and seem to be incapable to concentrate on any kind of injustice, as soon as it’s their NEIGHBOR, rather than a family member, who’s suffering from it.

Let’s take preexisting conditions, for instance.

Thanks to Obamacare, no American can no longer be refused by a health insurer because of preexisting conditions. This provision ALONE will save thousands of Americans lives a year. So it ENDS the violence and the abuses perpetrated by private health insurers under Congress’ watch for DECADES. Scott Brown nevertheless refused to vote for it when he came into office, even knowing that without his vote, the very first (and VERY centrist) comprehensive health care reform bill in more than half a century could die in the Senate. Thanks to incredible work of the President, Reid and Pellosi, and ALL Dems in Congress (Blue Dogs and progressives such as Kucinich included), Obamacare DID pass the Senate and was signed into law fourth months later. And today, know that MILLIONS of Americans are for the first time getting affordable health insurance, Scott Brown is fighting hard to … take it AWAY from them. So Scott Brown has been there for his own mom and sister, but he will NOT be there for millions of ordinary citizens who urgently needed health insurance, on the contrary, he absolutely want to use the government to violently intervene in the private health insurance market and destroy millions of insurance plans without replacing them.

Or let’s take the issue Americans are most worried about for the moment: jobs and the economy. Scott Brown came into office at the beginning of 2010, in other words, when for the first time in two years, the economy no longer became worse month after month, but was stabilized. Indeed, where a year before GDP was at -9%, it was at +6% when Scott Brown came in. And instead of shedding almost a million jobs a month (= when Bush left the Oval Office),  the economy was now adding an average of 150,000 new jobs a month, just enough to keep up with demographics – but … not enough at all to give the 9 million people who were fired during the Great Recession their job back. Analysts across the political spectrum were perfectly clear at the time: the first stimulus turned around the economy, but to start repairing the damage inflicted by the Great Recession, a second stimulus was absolutely needed. The Dems KNEW that, it’s why they already had a bill prepared when Scott Brown arrived in Washington. It was a common sense, centrist stimulus. Brown said NO. And he didn’t simply say no, he BLOCKED a vote on the bill by filibustering it, making it impossible for the 59 Senators who supported it, to send it to Obama’s desk.

Did Scott Brown learn from that first, horrible mistake? Did he start reading what economists were writing at the time? Did he start visiting the homes of MA families where both mother and father lost their jobs through no fault of their own, during the Great Recession, in order to FEEL what it means to have to struggle to make ends meet, and to have to explain to your kids that from now on, there will only be ONE meal a day?

No.

And his moral imagination was too limited to be able to understand this kind of violence without visiting families that don’t resemble his own home. So he decided to continue to block votes on crucial job bills, time and time again. He was even still doing so two years later, when a majority in the Senate supported the American Jobs Act, bill that according to the calculations of the independent, REPUBLICAN leaning agency Moody’s would have added 2 million jobs in less than a year (mostly private sector) – without adding to the deficit. Scott Brown didn’t merely oppose the bill, he used his legal power to BLOCK a vote on it. So by the end of 2012, TWO MILLION American families were unemployed ONLY because Scott Brown didn’t understand a lot about economics and was lacking the moral imagination necessary to understand suffering that is NOT happening at your own breakfast table. Scott REFUSED to be there for those two million Americans who wanted to no longer depend on the government and vitally needed a job.

He wasn’t there for them neither when it was part of his job to extend food stamps, which would at least allow the children of those Americans he refused to allow to go back to work, two meals a day.

So WHEN was Scott Brown actually there when the people of his state needed him?

He did vote with the Dems once in a while. His vote was essential to get DADT repealed, for instance. Maybe being a victim of sexual abuse allows you to at least understand that people shouldn’t be punished for their sexual orientation … ?

Anyhow, the conclusion here is obvious: Scott Brown, like SO many Republicans today, is lacking the basic moral imagination needed to understand those problems of his constituents he didn’t go through personally. That’s why you cannot possibly believe that he will be able to REPRESENT the needs of the majority of the people living in his state – or whatever state he decides to go to in order to run for office. It’s also why progressives, moderates and conservatives in this country should work very hard to prevent him from being elected in November.

For those who are interested, here’s his voting record as a U.S. Senator:

http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/18919/scott-brown/?p=1#.U6H5bKiJc7A

English: Scott Brown, Republican U.S. Senator ...

 

36 Responses so far.

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  1. kevinbr38 says:

    Great article Beatriz, (as usual).
    I’d make one little change though..
    Replace the word Imagination with Integrity in the title.

  2. RSGmusic says:

    Beatriz09 yes this artical is very very good. Yes i hope you remember me from HP, RSGmusic. Very glad to see you here writing articles.

    ” Empathy is the dealings of issues that you have not been thru.”
    Sayings of the Child of nature.

    Republican officials have lost there way on empathy!

  3. gyp46 says:

    Ya have to admit, simple is easier. Black is black and white is white, no shades of grey, I forget is it ‘gray or grey’ for colors, oh well back to being simple. I have been retired for about 11 years now and in the course of that time I have determined that for me doing nothing is the goal. I mean really, nothing. But in life that is a near impossibility as I and many others have discovered. Yet there seems to be a faction in America who believe we can actually have a country that does ‘nothing’ for it’s people. Having been on the other side of the fence for over 35 years, (employer), and wanting all to work for the least amount necessary, it finally dawned on me the Henry Ford was right, you do need to pay enough for your employees to have a decent life if you want to get ahead. Well I digress , again, happens with old age, anyway what I have determined is one ‘simple little fact’ the left cares, and the right does not. Nuff said!!

  4. sillylittleme says:

    Very well written. Hysteria is now a part of the R makeup. They are so confused by the changing world and how the upcoming generations think and interact. It isn’t just their moral compass that is lacking.

  5. monicaangela says:

    These people Brown, Cheney, and others, republicans and some democrats are only empathetic when they have experienced a life altering incident that helps them relate to others.

    Physical and mental abuse in the case of Brown, and mental refusal to believe he can make a mistake or sire a daughter who might have what some would consider a defect in the case of Cheney, therefore he, Cheney can immediately understand and empathize with other parents who have children that are gay. Also, in Cheney’s moment of empathy, he has to attempt to improve the lives of others in order to try to improve the life of his daughter.

    Of course, if neither of these two men had the past history they have, I can almost guarantee you they would not care about the plight of others as in the case of Health Care or Jobs, the cases you sight in your article where Brown or Cheney appear to be unable to relate. It is all about Empathy for these two and many others. If the problem does not effect these types personally, they are unable to empathize with those who are affected.

    I enjoyed your article Beatriz09, sorry I am late commenting on it…I have been really busy this week. Looking forward to reading your next effort. :)

  6. phoenixdoglover says:

    Beatriz, I think you captured the essence of Mr. Brown.

    That lack of moral imagination might also be called lack of empathy. In almost all circumstances in life, except perhaps in the heat of battle, empathy is a good thing, enhancing the bonds between people, and making a group of people more effective than the individuals alone.

    Yet empathy became a four letter word when Obama used it in describing the qualities desired of a Supreme Court nominee. He went on to say,

    “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook,” he said. “It’s also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives — whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation.”

    Yes, Scott Brown lacks moral imagination (I personally think he lacks imagination in general), but he is part of a movement that sees empathy as a bad thing when it might lead to betterment for all people, and not just your own.

    And then there is this:

    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    • monicaangela says:

      My sentiments exactly phoenixdoglover. I feel that empathy if understood by the masses could solve many of the problems we have in this world. Those who understand what empathy means, and learn to use it in order to try to understand others will undoubtedly become a much better human being, and understand life much better than his fellow man who does not understand the meaning of empathy and why he/she should try to apply it to every situation where applicable.

  7. Beatlex says:

    Yes,but they check their morals at the door when it comes to doing the right thing.Doesn’t much matter if they are moral or not

  8. SearingTruth says:

    “Perhaps profit should be the least of our concern.

    And humanity the most.”
    SearingTruth

    A Future of the Brave

    • RSGmusic says:

      HI SearingTruth.

      Yes all humanity share the same earth. A small place in just this solar system.

      ” Clouds that travel on place called earth, have judged us now are is in a rage of fear. To turn the tables in a world of fables, changing the patterns of estiblished cradles.

      the times are passing us bye, each day that passes will we developed
      our minds, will humanity create a new design. ”

      long life and still on your wing just a little higher in altitude!!

  9. MilesLong says:

    I suppose one could characterize Brown’s current state of political affairs as a Lack of Moral Imagination, however a closer inspection finds him instead to be a Feckless Ideologue.

    feckless: adjective
    lacking initiative or strength of character; irresponsible

    ideologue; noun

    an adherent of an ideology, especially one who is uncompromising and dogmatic.

    The disappointment in Brown is not his self-discovery of issues when they are visited on him or his family, it’s his inability to think on his own, gathering his moral, ethical and political self from his Party instead a strong sense of self or community.

    It has become a strangely collective, pathological position for members of the Republican Party born of graphic ignorance and the clinging to superstition rather than reasoned through science, or reality even. This, my friends, is your Republican Party, the lapdogs of America’s Oligarchy.

    Sadly there’s no cure owing to a dependence on cash which has replaced any sense of morality though they claim to be the party of Family Values, Wholesome America Values which are strangely absent from their Party’s Platform.

    America will not be truly safe until they are all placed in captivity where they can do no harm. Please, Americans, let’s shelter these morally-challenged creatures where they may flourish together and at the same time, do no further harm to our beloved country.

    Miles “Brought To You By Citizens For Taking America Forward…
    …Not Back” Long

    • monicaangela says:

      I understand exactly what you mean in regards to captivity for those in the republican party who are lap dogs for those oligarchs who have seized control of the U.S. government and many others for that matter. We have laws, and many of those laws are being broken by these people. There is a term in law that states: At law, an accomplice is a person who actively participates in the commission of a crime, even though they take no part in the actual criminal offense. For example, in a bank robbery, the person who points the gun at the teller and asks for the money is guilty of armed robbery. However, anyone else directly involved in the commission of the crime, such as the lookout or the getaway car driver, is an accomplice, even though in the absence of an underlying offense keeping a lookout or driving a car would not be an offense.

      I say politicians, many of them republicans are guilty of this crime, and should be removed from polite society because of their wrong doing. We use our laws in this country to place in captivity, the mentally ill, the drug addicted, the transient who can’t afford a home etc., etc., but those who are really breaking the laws and causing harm to millions of us continue to go free. Yes, by all means, we need to face the truth about what is happening in government and begin holding people accountable.

    • SearingTruth says:

      Yikes gentle friend MilesLong!

      I agree with everything except the captivity part. That’s a bit harsh … :)

      But that was one heck of a load of truth and humanity. Thank you.
      ST

      “How tragic that any human would think they needed any leader, other than themselves.”
      SearingTruth

      A Future of the Brave

  10. MurphTheSurf3 says:


    You and Rachel: Great Minds thinking alike!

    You build a strong case for disqualifying him from his race….well…anywhere….

    Just like Rachel does.

    Great summation: Scott Brown, like SO many Republicans today, is lacking the basic moral imagination needed to understand those problems of his constituents he didn’t go through personally. That’s why you cannot possibly believe that he will be able to REPRESENT the needs of the majority of the people living in his state – or whatever state he decides to go to in order to run for office. It’s also why progressives, moderates and conservatives in this country should work very hard to prevent him from being elected in November.

    • EXFANOFARIANA says:

      His name belongs -- and IS -- properly placed as a brand of toilette paper.First he auction his daughters but he makes a good -- the only job he is fit to deliver -- four page centerfold at a rag mag….
      Yes this toilette paper is manufactured by the Koch brothers.

  11. EXFANOFARIANA says:

    Psychopathy Checklist:
    Glibness/superficial charm
    Grandiose sense of self-worth
    Pathological lying
    Cunning/manipulative
    Lack of remorse or guilt
    Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric)
    Callousness; lack of empathy
    Failure to accept responsibility for his or her own actions
    The problem, of course, is that psychopathy is being normalized to the point that no one, including mental health professionals, are able to recognize it for what it is. (Not that mental health professionals are taught to screen for any type of character disorder -- they aren’t, which is why most of them, and most of us, are woefully ignorant on the subject.)
    Unfortunately, we as a society are not far enough ahead of the psychopaths to be able to stop their current rampage. They will, as has been done throughout history, be the cause of much misery and destruction, until they ruin everything around them.Personality disorders like this aren’t readily treatable by mental health professionals by anything but behavior modification, and narcissists/sociopaths/etc aren’t technically insane because they can alter their behavior when someone is watching. They are evil, but they are sometimes able to be clever about it. They don’t get the excuse that they are insane. They are just venal assholes who need to be stopped now, not unfortunate people with neuroses and psychoses which need to be treated. I don’t want to try to cure them; I just want to keep them from having control of anything but their own bowels. They can’t get well, and they refuse to get better. Negate their ability to affect anything. They can’t be saved, but we can save ourselves from the results of their psycho-pathologies.
    Scott Brown? CHECK

  12. EXFANOFARIANA says:

    “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” PLUTARCH

  13. Great article Beatriz! It’s really nice to see another talented writer here at the Planet. Kudos!

    I think Brown, like so many of his fellow Republicans, sees people who need help as “takers.” It’s the old “bootstap,” fallacy that so many of them cling to, as you say brilliantly, unless it’s one of their family members or close friends.

    Republicans completely ignore the idea of “promoting the general welfare,” as promised in the preamble to our wonderful constitution of the people of these United States.

    They constantly crow about being “real patriots,” while they sneer at the idea of making their country a better place for all. They don’t seem to want “a more perfect union!”

  14. Nirek says:

    Beatriz,I’m from Vermont, next door to NH, and we don’t care much for “carpetbaggers”. Vermont had one and he got $hitcanned real fast. Thought he could come here and win a senate seat. Wrong! I am betting that S. Brown will suffer the same fate over in NH. They are similar to us and will see through this guy.

    • sillylittleme says:

      I live on the northern border of MA, about two miles from NH. Talked to an elderly gentleman standing in line at Market Basket. He leaned in and stated quite loudly ( I was looking at the newspaper headlines) that NH was set to reclaim the state for the Ds that know how to run a successful government. There were quite a few “here, here”s from people standing in other lines. Brown is going down, no cahpetbaggas (especially R ones) welcome…


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