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Monday, January 18, 2010

What They Think Brown Can Do For Them

When information came out recently that Scott Brown voted against aid to be given to rescue responders to the attacks on Sept, 11th, the conservative Right was quite literally silent about it. And their silence spoke volumes, as always. His response was, quite literally, that it simply wasn't a priority:

As Think Progress reports, it seemed that Brown's "priorities" lay with his masters in large corporations and their ability to leisure activity space:

During the same month Brown was voting down efforts to support 9/11 rescue workers, he was pushing a bill to appropriate a tax-subsidized bond to build a golf course in Norfolk, a city in his district. “Priorities,” indeed.

Also during the same period, he was busy fighting for tax subsidies for corporate interests. According to a 2002 article in the Lowell Sun, Brown scored a perfect pro-corporate tax subsidy rating in the months following his anti-9/11 rescue workers vote.

But this isn't the only blemish on Brown's record that conservatives are overlooking - and hoping the Massachusetts voter will as well.

The structuring of his campaign staff is quite unusual, as they are listed as "consultants", not traditional employees. This is a psuedo-clever - albeit apparently legal - way to remove Brown from the liability of payroll taxes and offering health insurance.

As stated before here, Brown is largely supported by Wall Street interests and big corporations. They have, after all, filled his campaign coffers more than anyone else. In normal electoral situations, this would set off a firestorm of criticism within the conservative movement. But, this is no normal election Massachusetts is facing tomorrow. And to that end, it would appear that conservatives are willing to have a puppet take the place of the late Ted Kennedy simply so they can have one opposition vote on one bill.

But who's to say that this version of reality that conservatives are banking on is what will really happen. It's dangerous to put all your chips on one number in just one game.

bob Cesca quotes John Chait on how a Brown win might not be so bad after all.

1. Finish up the House-Senate negotiations quickly and hold a vote before Scott Brown is seated. Republicans will scream, but how could they scream any louder? It's a process argument of murky merits that will be long forgotten by November.

2. Get the House to pass the Senate bill, and maybe use a reconciliation bill (which only needs a Senate majority to pass) to implement as many House-Senate compromises as possible.

3. Go back to Olympia Snowe. I have not seen any persuasive reporting, or even conjecture, about what Snowe is actually thinking. Her substantive demands have been met.

While I agree with the first two, the thought of going back to Snowe makes little sense to me. But that's another issue for another time.

And while conservatives are more than willing to ignore Brown's character, casting him as the iconographic figure that has broad populist support, the reality of this race is that Brown is to the left of Dede Scozzafava, the Republican woman that conservatives attempted to push aside by endorsing Doug Hoffman - and we all saw how that turned out. Once Hoffman finally made up his mind on concession ( after three times ) he was largely removed from any and all conservative discussions. To them, he was dead.

If Brown loses, and right now that's a fairly big "if", he's got a lot of work to do if he's going to make conservatives happy. And this has little to do with the state he's allegedly running to represent. He's got the entire conservative movement breathing down his neck. Not to propose anything but to obstruct everything. It's not really a difficult task, as Republicans have been marginally successful at it since January of last year. The question that conservatives and tea-baggers need to ask is this - are Scott Brown's priorities going to stay the same if he wins?

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