Sunday, March 06, 2011

Scott Brown and defining the new "Moderate"

Saturday's Boston Globe checked in on the tenure of Scott Brown, not surprisingly reporting that he has made himself a moderate power-broker in the mold of Collins and Snowe.

Well, okay, right. But I think reporter Mark Arsenault missed the real point and the bigger picture.

Yes, Brown has defied his party's leadership on several key votes, and that's important. But these things Brown are doing, while notable, are mostly not exactly "moderate" in any traditional sense.

Arsenault's top example is on healthcare:
The full extent of Brown’s evolution was highlighted this week when Obama — in a move that could help deflect criticism from states — endorsed a measure cosponsored by Brown to relax some of the biggest mandates in the health care law, including the requirement that nearly all Americans purchase medical insurance.

Despite his bipartisan effort to change it, Brown said, he remains against the president’s reforms: “I’d like you to get this very clear: I’m opposed to the health care bill. I always have been. I’ve already voted to repeal it.’’

He said he sees no conflict between wanting a full repeal and cooperating with Democrats to make the law more palatable to states and businesses. “Do we do nothing? I want to repeal it and until we get to that point I’m going to keep chipping away,’’ Brown said.

The healthcare bill, of course, is similar in general design to one signed by former governor Mitt Romney. Like it or not, it's not progressive policy.

Yet Scott Brown is trying to chip away at it -- in fact, more effectively than most of his fellow Republicans. Where is the "moderate" part in this?

Similarly, the Globe notes that Brown was one of a relatively small number of Republicans to vote to approve the Start treaty. But the treaty was supported by the bulk of the Republican foreign policy establishment (the former secretaries of state, etc).

This is not a story about Scott Brown being moderate; it's a story about the bulk of current elected Republicans being very conservative.


Post a Comment

<< Home