Tuesday, March 09, 2010

In praise of Scott Brown (again)

First, just a couple of weeks ago, it was for voting with the Democrats to move a jobs bill forward, now it's for announcing he'll vote to end a Republican filibuster on an unemployment benefits and tax credits bill. It's for coming out generally against the filibuster and for supporting simple majority rule even when it means he, and his party, will lose:

I have very serious concerns about the overall cost of the bill, but my vote for cloture signals that I believe we need to keep the process moving... [T]here has been a week of debate and allowing this bill to receive an up-and-down vote, would be a step, I feel, in the right direction.

Well done, Sen. Brown, Republican from Massachusetts. Maybe you're more of an independent than many of us thought you were.


Look, it's not that I've done a 180 on Brown.

Let us not forget that, shortly after 9/11, he voted against Red Cross volunteers.

Let us not forget that he ran aggressively against Democratic health-care reform (even though his own state has a system, introduced by fellow Republican Mitt Romney, that is close to Obama's).

And let us not forget that he has a history of playing to the Palin-teabagging far right and that he won Ted Kennedy's seat largely because he successfully tapped into seething Republican anger and resentment (oh, and because Martha Coakley was a horrible, horrible candidate).

He may have an independent streak in him, but that doesn't necessarily make him any less noxious.

Still, his opposition to the filibuster, and more specifically to Republican filibusters, is admirable, and, for that, he deserves some serious praise.

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