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Conservative conundrum on Scott Brown Mass. senate race

Conservatives have a conundrum on the Massachusetts Senate race January 18. The race is not about ideology, the media-hyped battle between a Republican conservative and a Democratic liberal. Scott Brown is a self-described “pro-choice” Republican who wrote on his campaign website that “this decision should ultimately be made by the woman in consultation with her doctor.”

University of Chicago Professor Boris Shor has analyzed Brown's state senate voting record and noted that Brown is more liberal than the “RINO” Dede Scozzafava that Tea Party candidates in upstate New York dumped last year:  “Brown’s score puts him at the 34th percentile of his party in Massachusetts over the 1995-2006 time period. In other words, two-thirds of other Massachusetts Republican state legislators were more conservative than he was. This is evidence for my claim that he’s a liberal even in his own party. What’s remarkable about this is the fact that Massachusetts Republicans are the most, or nearly the most, liberal Republicans in the entire country!”

Even on the nominally “conservative” issues that Brown embraces, they indicate a leftist radicalism that is even more dangerous than his Democratic counterpart. One of Brown's television advertisements clearly place him in the John Yoo wing of the Republican Party, something that all freedom-loving conservatives should shudder to endorse.

This is not to say that Martha Coakley is any better. She's a Kennedy clone without the charisma, and she's only in trouble because she all but stopped campaigning after winning the Democratic nomination. But because even the independent libertarian candidate Joe Kennedy is pro-choice, there's not a single candidate on the ballot who is pro-life. So the decisive issue in the campaign won't be about abortion.

It may be about the prestige of the Democratic Party nationally. A loss in the heartland of liberalism after President Obama himself campaigned on behalf of the Democratic candidate could panic Democrats nationally. Most conservatives salivate at that prospect.

On the other hand, a victory by Scott Brown would leave him as the dominant force in the tiny Massachusetts Republican Party. What usually happens after one candidate wins the only statewide race the party holds, as happens after a presidential election on a national level, is that the dominant personality brackets the extent of acceptable conservatism (for Republicans) or liberalism (for Democrats) within the party. Some are already talking about Scott Brown as a Presidential candidate in 2012, since he'd have almost exactly the same amount of electoral experience as Obama had when he was elected. Do Republican conservatives really want Scott Brown's liberalism to dominate the party statewide, and possibly even nationally? Do they really want Brown to represent the most conservative a Republican can be after his election? The answer for principled conservatives is “no,” even if they also want to embarrass Democrats nationally.

It makes for a tough decision on Tuesday.

Comments

  • sally 4 years ago

    this vote for brown is about saving this country and this man at minum has morals and ethics more than any I've seen in over 50years certainly no Kenndy has any and what have the kenndy's done for us in Mass but take us for granted and use us even in death they are using the dead to gain votes how disgusting. I can't stomach Martha (Marcia) as the Kennedys call her.Give me a 100 Scott Browns over all the other garbage we can work with Him at least.How insulting to bring Obama on the day before to pull the wool over our eyes.

  • mark 4 years ago

    My goodness, the Kool Aid drinkers who insist that Brown is against American Freedoms really have no clue. If you read about this so called Healthcare reform, it stinks to high heaven with high taxes and will not be effective for 4 years. Would you like to pay for a house or car and not be able to drive or live in it for 4 years? Wake up. Capitalism is what gives you to TV you watch, car you drive, companies you work for, silly men and women stop acting like children and wake up to reality. Obama wants to take from the rich and give to the poor. You can't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer. Common sense, for which alot of you don't have.