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Please begin with an informative title:

Sen. Scott Brown had a very hard time in Monday night's debate, the second in his Massachusetts Senate race against Elizabeth Warren. His difficulty? Figuring out if he was a Republican or independent or what.

There was this astonishing moment when he stated that his model Supreme Court justice was the extremist Antonin Scalia.

Immediately recognizing his error (the gasps of horror from the audience probably clued him in), Brown had a Sarah Palin moment, desperately wracking his brain for the name of any other justice, finally throwing in Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and John G. Roberts, Jr. and Scalia's polar ideological opposite, Sonia Sotomayor. Pressed on his choices and asked to pick just one, the increasingly defensive Brown decided, again, that he's officially an independent. “Well, that’s the beauty of being an independent, David,” Brown said. “Well, I don’t need to pick one. We have plenty of justices up there, and I’m proud of the ones we have.” But the first name that came to Brown's mind? Scalia. The anti-choice, anti-woman extremist.

Brown had a same problem trying to explain where his loyalties lie when pressed on whether he's supporting Mitt Romney for president, and whether he'd vote for Mitch McConnell as majority leader, should Republicans gain the Senate. He finally concluded that he supported Romney on the economy, after protesting: “Listen, he is out campaigning all over the country. I’m running in Massachusetts.” As for McConnell, he says he's "already let it be very clearly known to Mitch McConnell that I’m completely disgusted as to what’s going on down there," but he didn't go so far as to say he'd declare himself independent for reals, and ditch Mitch. He can't. His out-of-state fundraising is too critical to him, and demands that he profess fealty to McConnell and obstruction.

Finally, Brown has a bit of a "character" problem of his own. That's the fact that he's kind of a liar. While he's been pushing for Elizabeth Warren to release any number of records from her personnel file at Harvard to her client list (which she released yesterday), Brown's refused to release his client list from when he worked as a real estate attorney, potentially working with companies committing mortgage fraud. Last night, Brown said that he had provided all those details already. He has not, beyond the vague "small banks, cooperative banks and a couple mortgage companies."

Goal Thermometer

Brown managed to do a little better containing most of his snottiness last night, avoiding a repeat performance of last week's nasty. But moments of it shone through, like the incessant use of "professor" when addressing Warren, and the snide and testy exchange over his voting record on jobs: "Excuse me. I'm not a student in your classroom. Please let me respond."

The more debates they have, the more Scott Brown's true nature (a nasty guy with a problem with the truth) and ideology (as extreme as Antonin Scalia) shows. That's going to be an increasing problem for Massachusetts voters.

Please donate $3 to Elizabeth Warren on ActBlue.


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Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 10:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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