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Scott Brown (Betty Copeland/Dreamstime.com)
Sen. Scott Brown, proving how fake his independence is.

Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown voted with almost every other Republican in the Senate on Thursday for the Blunt Amendment, giving all employers the right to deny their employees birth control and other health services. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer makes the obvious point: "Scott Brown’s trying to portray himself as a moderate? Well, this vote shows he’s not very moderate."

Indeed, this is one weird-ass vote for someone trying to claim to be a moderate. Schumer alluded to one of the plausible theories of why Brown would do this, saying:

"I don’t envy the rank-and-file Republicans who walked the plank on this vote," Schumer said at a press conference. "I think it’s going to be awfully hard to defend it back home, especially in places like New England."
Maybe Scott Brown's masters in the Republican leadership just wouldn't give him permission to vote his political interests on this bill, as they so clearly have on several of the "independent" votes he's taken. Whatever the case, it's great for Democrats, particularly with Brown making weaksauce defenses like this:
Some Catholic Democrats in Massachusetts might support Brown on the issue, and his campaign pointed to a letter of support from Ray Flynn, a former Democratic mayor of Boston, to illustrate the point.

“I intend to tell anyone who will listen how you stood tall in protecting the human and civil rights of everyone,” Flynn wrote.

Um, yeah. That's the Ray Flynn who was last in office in 1993, has run unsuccessfully for the House since but otherwise been a professional Catholic activist with a special focus on opposing abortion, and endorsed George W. Bush in 2000 and Scott Brown in 2010. What a bombshell that that guy would support a Republican he already endorsed in voting for a bill to deny women birth control.

Please, contribute $6 to Elizabeth Warren on Orange to Blue.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:29 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Its almost like Scotty didn't get the memo... (7+ / 0-)

    that Snowe was a no-go. Had the GOP done their whip count and found to be short, they could have let Scotty vote no and "appear" moderate as well.

    This is a weird one. Perhaps Mass polling is showing a base of hard core conservative Catholic support for the freedom to use religion as an excuse to discriminate.

    •  I so want Warren to take this one (6+ / 0-)

      she is head and shoulders above Scottie.  I don't know how much conservative Catholic support there would be for this.  But we do know how many Catholic women use birth control.

    •  I am sorry but I am a little tired of the.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      susanWAstate, live1, supercereal, kamarvt

      Catholics thinking they can rule the rest of us.

      Republicans only care about themselves, their money, & their power.

      by jdmorg on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:07:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •   just "a little"? more like a lot i bet (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jdmorg
      •  It's almost as if the evangelicals (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jdmorg

        Are letting the Catholics do their dirty work for them, since they know these views may be unpopular with their congregations (or at least the female half of their congregations).

        There are only two kinds of Republicans: Millionaires and Suckers.

        by susanWAstate on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:09:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Catholics are being used here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JBraden, jennyp

        Not that I have a huge urge to defend my former faith; the hypocrisy is too strong to want to try.
        But don't fall for the trap the right wing has laid here.
        But this isn't really about religion any more than it's about a "War on Women", this is the reactionary right doing everything and anything to stop universal health care; the natural endpoint of the reforms initiated in 2010. This is the New Deal and the Great Society all over again, and those evil pricks remember very well what happened to them the last time Democrats acted like Democrats; they were out of power for 40 years.
        Religion is a tool for the Right like it has always been. The attacks on women's health and freedom are merely collateral damage, but collateral damage that can be bragged about in certain circles. Those circles aren't big enough to carry the day, so it becomes necessary to carpet bomb the discourse with bogus assertions about religious liberty and lectures about wanton women.
        Think about it; nowhere in this manufactured gas attack has it even been mentioned that this is of a piece with everything else the republicans have done since Obama signed HCR; it is another attempt to kill it before it kills their despicable party.

        Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

        by kamarvt on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:42:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is politics by the Catholic Bishops (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OldDragon, joe wobblie, jdmorg

        Essentially the celibate old men are attacking Obama and trying to reverse the modernization of society. The Bishops belong to another retrograde political organization.

        What I don't understand is why no one is using the real argument against the government playing nice with the retrograde celibate male (need I add patriarchal?) Bishops. There is no constitutional clause stating that the government will enforce the demands of the Church hierarchy.

        The freedom of religion in the first amendment is the freedom of each individual to practice the religion of their choice. It does not authorize the government to enforce the decrees of the Church hierarchy. The decrees of the church hierarchy have no legal effect. They are advisory and must be legal under secular law.

        If freedom of religion meant freedom for the church to avoid the requirements of secular law then the Native American Church would be using peyote in their ceremonies and the Mormons would be practicing polygamy today. Here is Scalia on the secular prohibition of Peyote in church services.

        If the church is going to provide health insurance as part of the remuneration for employees, then that insurance must meet the requirements set in secular law. The celibate old men can then use their influence on employees not to use the contraception, but that influence rather clearly is not adequate for even most Catholic women. That is not the government's problem. Providing adequate regulation of health insurance is the government's only problem.

        Freedom of religion is an individual right, not the right of religious organization to dominate their flock and get government  to enforce their decrees.

        Democrats stand for Liberty, Security, Support of Families and Opportunity Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

        by Rick B on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:48:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yup. Which is why Casey was allowed to (0+ / 0-)

      go off reservation.  Reid had done his whip count and knew that he didn't need the vote.

      Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

      by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:29:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  or he's (0+ / 0-)

      on a short list for VP?

  •  Scott Brown is a douche, but so is Schumer. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo, Rick B

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:50:54 AM PST

  •  No, he knew something we didn't (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thomask, skyounkin, kamarvt, Ellid

    He took the lead over Warren once he made this stand.  There are some otherwise pro-labor Catholic voters in this state, particularly women, who can't think far enough ahead to realize that this amendment would have allowed Scientologists to ban their Prozac or Christian Scientists their ambulance transport.

    They believe Brown when he says that it isn't about other religions or other issues than the hormonal pill, because their bishops are lying to them as well.

    Their bishops aren't even revealing that this is a MOOT point in Mass, because of legislation that Scott Brown and Mitt Romney supported several years back.

    The Massachusetts Bishops are a bunch of bitter men.  They closed Catholic Charities rather than allow gay couples to adopt, and they sold Caritas hospitals to help pay for their damages money from lawsuits (and because they had to provide services they didn't like, even though the nuns in the Catholic Health Association had no problem with it).

    And not to offend anyone's religion here, but what they are doing from the pulpit is lying in order to advocate for their position.  They have convinced rank-and-file parisioners that Obama is infringing on their religion, when Mitt Romney already made the move six years ago.

    For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

    by Ptolemy on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 08:33:07 AM PST

  •  What else would anyone expect from Scott Brown.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden, OldDragon

    he is the guy upon his acceptance speech for winning the Senate seat -- announced his daughter was "available" for marriage.
    Basically, as if she was one of the marital assets to be sold to the highest bidder.  He doesn't respect women, even his own daughters for having a say so in their lives.  Asshole aplenty, that's what he is.  Craven pol.

    Republicans only care about themselves, their money, & their power.

    by jdmorg on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:06:10 AM PST

  •  I cant help but think that limbaugh has hurt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo

    brown and probably a few moderates who were backing the blunt
    the whole birth control issue has kind of exploded on them.

    also wonder what this does to the catholic church.
    do they keep on  pretending this birth control issue is about religious freedom or do they just bide their time?

  •  "one weird-ass vote" from "one weird-ass"/nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    dangerous voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:10:26 AM PST

  •  seemed like the GOP was positioning him to win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    against Warren.

    Well.. this vote sinks him. I think I just heard the sound of him getting thrown out of office.

  •  Ed Rendell on MSNBC: Scott Brown just killed the (6+ / 0-)

    little chance he had to win re-election in MA in a presidential year

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:11:45 AM PST

  •  What it shows is that Scott Brown (0+ / 0-)

    is a frickin' idiot.  I hope he truly enjoys Elizabeth Warren mopping the floor with him . ..

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:12:07 AM PST

  •  I just wonder if the Insurance Company (0+ / 0-)

    Lobbyists were pushing this amendment in some HUGE way.  Senator Snowe had to resign to be able to vote no - maybe there was really big money pressure to get this passed.  It certainly would have gutted ObamaCare.

    There are only two kinds of Republicans: Millionaires and Suckers.

    by susanWAstate on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:13:44 AM PST

  •  heh. scotty, we hardly knew yeh. eom (0+ / 0-)

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:14:11 AM PST

  •  Look at your own caucus first... (0+ / 0-)

    Cough

    Joe Manchin
    Bob Casey
    Ben Nelson
    Clarie McCaskill

    Cough

    •  McCaskill (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBraden

      Voted against the amendment.

      Nelson is gone and Manchin is always going to be an idiot.

      Bob "Trans-Vaginal" McDonnell...just saying...again ... and again....

      by NCJim on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:26:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They REALLY need to have a Democratic opponent (0+ / 0-)

      Well, one is not running, but the other three. Can't we get someone to stand up.  We did get rid of Lieberman (although it took 6 years longer than it should have), and Blanche Lincoln got rid of herself (result not quite satisfactory, Bill Halter might have won).  Even if a challenge is not successful, it might shake things up a bit.  

  •  Not exactly a blistering attack from Schumer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoJoe, JBraden

    A teabagger who took Ted Kennedy's seat votes to cut birth control and put a women's health at risk, and the best he can come up with is "he's not very moderate"?

    Warren and the DNC better step it up, I put nothing past this guy and his backers at this point, not to mention Massachusetts voters.

  •  Pandering? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden

    You betcha!

    Scott Brown knows that Massachusetts is a close third behind Rhode Island and Connecticut in terms of the number of voters who, as a percentage, are Catholics.  

    Polls were showing him making gains against Elizabeth Warren before this vote came up...so, clearly, he is presumptively pandering to the voters whom he considers to be the source of his strength.  

    His problem in this regard is the vast majority of 2008 voters
    who failed to show up at the polls in 2010, in Massachusetts, are minority voters who will turn out in large numbers to support Mr. Obama in November.  Short of bulleting their votes for the president they will give Warren a huge boost when the vote Row A.  FWIW, many of the aforementioned voters use pre-paid cell phones so their numbers are not recognized in any of the polls measuring Brown's support among voters in the Bay State, despite what the pollsters otherwise claim.

    •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

      Go read my blog and Blue Mass Group on this. Maybe he THINKS this'll win some liberal/moderate Catholic votes (it's still unclear why he doubled and tripled down on this) but it won't work.

      Catholics who aren't diehards are either already #1: Republicans/vote-R indys, or else #2: really old (and see #1).

      One of the polls that showed Brown in the lead was questionable in its methodology. Anyway, Warren is still largely unknown (believe it or not) while most people have made up their mind on Brown one way or the other, or will very soon.

      I am rubbing my hands gleefully thinking about the debates...I've SEEN Warren debate...she will wipe the floor with him.

      •  And I still think (0+ / 0-)

        This is more about attracting out of state donors, and revving up the base to make sure they show up in November.

        Actually, what I think is that Brown totally got caught with his pants down around his ankles on this, and NEVER expected it to be an issue. It's plain that as soon as he was getting flack for it that he was grabbing at straws to explain himself. Once he started to explain himself (with unfactual bullshit that was shot down as soon as he spouted it), he then could not back down on it, having already doubled down.

        The NECN interview with Jim Braude is effing PRICEless. The next one should be really fun...if Brown deigns to ever give an interview again. LOL

  •  It shows how desperate Mitch The Turtle was (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thomas Twinnings, a2nite

        They needed Brown-nose's vote, and left him swinging in the wind.  Elizabeth Warren won't neglect this line of attack on the hypocrite.

  •  Free campaign assistance from Brown to Warren (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thomas Twinnings, a2nite

    Thank you Scott Brown.  You just created the content for one more ad that will help defeat you in November.  

    Elizabeth Warren's campaign will hang this vote around your neck and show it to the voters over and over again.

  •  Wait just a minute... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thomas Twinnings

    Are Democrats playing a little Political HardBall?

    Very nice, keep it up!

  •  Flynn was the (0+ / 0-)

    papal ambassador to the Clinton Administration (well, actually, he was Clinton's Ambassador to the Vatican, but if frequently became hard for him to distinguish between the jobs).

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:27:58 AM PST

  •  Brown's Vote For The Amendment Was A Cynical (0+ / 0-)

    move to win the approval of SOME Massachusetts Catholic voters. Brown knows that Massachusetts has a high Catholic population. Even if he loses some female votes over his support of this amendment, he figured he could make up the loss by snagging some (mostly male) blue collar voters that would usually vote Democratic. For want of a better term, these are the "Reagan Democrats" that he was appealing to with this vote - they usually support Dems, but have conservative social views. He wants to make sure he's got these voters in his back pocket. I'm just hoping he loses a lot of "independent" voter support over this vote.

  •  Does It Matter? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden

    He's through anyway come November, he might as well just toe the party line and line up his post-Senate lobbying job.

  •  Two words for Scott Brown- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden, a2nite

    "Power is a fleeting thing. One day your souls will be required of you." Bishop Peter Storey---Central Methodist Mission, Johannesburg, June 1981

    by lyvwyr101 on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:34:51 AM PST

  •  New MA polls (0+ / 0-)

    do make me nervous though, even if they're suspect.

  •  Finding a 'moderate' Republican these days (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    is pretty much like finding a 'moderate' serial rapist.

  •  He's checking for his next gig. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Maybe internal polling isn't that great and he wants a job on Fox after this? Or he wants to run for national office and show that he went down swinging, a truly "severe conservative"?

  •  Scott "Took one for the Team" (0+ / 0-)
  •  A good point... (0+ / 0-)

    someone else raised that I hadn't seen written about regarding the Blunt amendment:

    So if this isn't about contraception then the ramifications are far worse.  How about if your employer is anti-vaccine, anti-alternative medicine, anti-HIV, etc.  Or worse how about if your employer is a Jehovah Witness and doesn't believe in blood transfusions, etc.

    By making it a more broad amendment then that makes the ramifications far more significant.

    These questions should be thrown right back in the face of every Republican who supported that amendment.
  •  Laura, I support Elizabeth Warren. She is a class (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden

    act that defies a party label, imho.  

    Mr. Brown, reminds me of a Quintin Tarantino flick, "Reservoir Dogs".  

  •  tipped & rec'ed Laura (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:48:04 PM PST

  •  He's running ads here in MA (0+ / 0-)

    comparing his views to Ted Kennedy's.

    It's gross.

    This diary reminded me to donate to Elizabeth Warren. So I did. She has my vote and my $$, too.

  •  Ray...Flynn...?? (0+ / 0-)

    The MIND BOGGLES.

    Brown tried co-opting Ted Kennedy, and when that failed utterly, now he's pulling out obscure long gone politicians??

    Oh, bloody hell.

    STOP MAKE IT SO EASY FOR US! It's making me nervous. Like there's a shoe to drop, and you're lulling us into a false sense of optimism about running against you with all this baggage...

    Brown will not, inexplicably, let this DIE. Once this blew up in his face, you'd think he'd quit while he was behind and hope to god everyone forgot about it.

    It's like watching a lemming about to walk off a cliff. You think, but doesn't the lemming SEE the cliff??

  •  Ray Flynn has been an ardent RTLer (0+ / 0-)

    for many a year.  In the 1970's he was half a duo in the Statehouse, from Southie(?), who gave their names to the Doyle-Flynn law, one of the first state restrictions on abortion funding post Roe v. Wade..  

  •  and schumer's point is? (0+ / 0-)

    i don't care if brown is a moderate or not. he's a Republican which automatically makes him untrustworthy and ultimately useless in my book. elizabeth warren belongs in his senate seat, end of story

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