The one thing Elizabeth Warren has to do in Monday evening’s debate is make sure Scott Brown leaves the stage as a Republican. He wants to be “independent Scott Brown” or “bipartisan Scott Brown.” Just as he likes to call her “Professor Warren,” she should call him “Republican Scott Brown.”
Republican, Republican, Republican: Republican Brown supports Republican Mitt Romney for president, a point she wasn’t able to make in the first debate. Republican Brown votes consistently with Republican senators and receives millions of dollars from Republican millionaires and Wall Street high rollers. Republican Brown’s first vote in the new Senate will be for Republican Mitch McConnell for leader of the Republican Party.
Brown promised to obstruct Obama: In a fundraising email that probably went to Republican donors outside of Massachusetts, Republican Brown signed a letter in April that indicated he’ll block President Obama’s efforts in a second term. “I know there are several other GOP campaigns to support,” he wrote, “but this race is THE battleground for the United States Senate — the only sure hedge to a potential second term for President Obama.”
Missed Clint: Republican Brown may have attended the Clint Eastwood convention in Tampa, but was probably hiding in the men’s room to avoid cameras. Rather than constantly trying to avoid being seen as a Republican, why doesn’t Republican Brown simply endorse Obama?
Mo Better: Republican Brown said Republican Todd Akin in Missouri should’ve stepped down as a candidate for Senate after his comments about “legitimate rape.” But Akin will be on the ballot. Warren should ask Republican Brown, “If you lived in Missouri, would you vote for Republican Akin or Democrat Claire McCaskill?”
Warren has already scared Brown: Before Warren became a candidate, Republican Brown voted with his Republican colleagues over 93.8% of the time (30 out of 32 votes). Since then, he backed off to 75% agreement with his GOP colleagues.
Imagine 100 Scott Browns: Republican Brown made fun of the prospect of 100 Warrens in the Senate. What would 100 Republican Browns be like? No one would ever get any work done, (as if the Senate works). They’d all be driving around in pickup trucks, shooting hoops, wisecracking with jock radio hosts, hangin’ with “regulah” guys, directing staff in proper tomahawk chops technique, and then heading home to fold laundry.
Do we need moderate Republicans? I doubt it, but it’s not Warren’s job to fall on her sword so that Republican Brown can pretend to be one.
Dan Payne is WBUR’s Democratic analyst. For more political commentary, go to our Payne & Domke page.
This program aired on September 29, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.