Will the real Scott Brown please stand up?
Scott Brown’s election to the U.S. Senate in 2010 made national news not only because a Republican had won what was Ted Kennedy’s seat, but because he would be the 41st Republican in the Senate. That meant that Republicans had 41 votes and could block all Democratic initiatives, especially the Affordable Healthcare Act. The newly elected Senator Brown so embraced his role as the 41st Republican vote, that he signed autographs, “41.” And, at a press conference after his swearing in ceremony said, “I’ll be the 41st vote.”
Fast forward to the current senate race with Elizabeth Warren and Mr. 41 has become Mr. Bipartisanship. Brown’s transformational feat would leave even Superman, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter, green with envy. Here’s how:
Mr. Bipartisanship is “A Fighter for Jobs,” according to his website and TV ads, while Mr. 41 voted against three jobs bills that would have brought more than 30,000 jobs to Massachusetts.
Mr. Bipartisanship is pro-choice. But Mr. 41 co-sponsored an amendment that would have allowed employers to stop insurance payments for birth control.
Mr. Bipartisanship is for Equal Pay for Women. Just ask his wife and daughters. But Mr. 41 voted “No” on the Paycheck Fairness Act twice. In fact, in 2010 he was indeed the 41st and deciding vote against bringing the Paycheck Fairness Act to the floor of the Senate where it would have become law. So when it came to equal pay for women Brown fulfilled his obstructionist mission as the 41st vote and killed it.
And just to prove he can be consistent, Brown voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act again in 2012.
Mr. Bipartisanship is all for transparency and demands it from his opponent, saying, “Clearly she is not what she says she is.”
But Mr. 41 voted against the Disclose Act, which would have required that organizations sponsoring political ads disclose who paid for the ads. Brown was the 41st and deciding vote here, too, and voted against this bill twice also.
Last, Senator Brown as Mr. Bipartisanship has made much of the People’s Pledge, an agreement between Warren and him not to accept third party advertisements from organizations like Karl Rove’s superpac, American Crossroads.
But it turns out that none other than Karl Rove’s American Crossroads is now paying for nasty anti-Elizabeth Warren direct mail and robo-calls. One might think this is a violation of the People’s Pledge, but maybe not. Because even though we know that Scott Brown met with Rove during the Republican National Convention, what we don’t know is whether it was Mr. 41 or Mr. Bipartisanship in the meeting. So we don’t know who will respond to Rove’s actions.
Maybe it will be neither of them. Maybe a whole new persona will emerge from Brown: Mr. I Have Nothing to Do With It.