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:
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?
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: