[Cross-posted on Blue Mass Group.]
Republican Scott Brown had a week that will come back to haunt him as the year rolls on.
In a momentous vote, Republican Scott Brown cemented as part of his record voting against tax cuts for Middle Class Massachusetts. No amount of shaking will clear that harmful vote off the Etch-A-Sketch. A helpful YouTube video breaks down what Brown's vote costs the average family.
Republican Scott Brown also spent the week promoting a web video his campaign released called "Let America Be America Again." Unfortunately for Brown, on both substance and style, the video is based on a dishonest premise. On substance, Brown chops up video footage Fox News-style of President Obama and misrepresents comments by Elizabeth Warren to falsely claim that the simple notions that we're all in this together and that nobody succeeds completely in a vacuum (a concept that Mitt Romney also believes when not in the context of a partisan political campaign) is somehow tantamount to "demonizing" small businesses.
In fact, one could easily argue that Republican Scott Brown's success is undeniable proof of the accuracy of the Warren-Obama-Romney philosophy of not succeeding "solely on your own." Brown can't deny that he has had help every step of the way throughout his life, from the welfare assistance his family relied on when he was a child, to the millions of dollars doled out by Wall Street, the financial services sector, Big Oil, the NRA, and other special interests that bankroll his political campaign.
On style, Republican Scott Brown's video also fails. For a video entitled "Let America Be America Again," Brown sure spends a lot of time promoting European businesses and workers. It turns out that segments of the stock footage Brown uses to portray American businesses and workers actually come from Spain and Ireland. Perhaps Brown is really calling to let America be Europe again? Of the pandering title, the Boston Phoenix's David Bernstein whimsically wondered, "Is America not currently America? When was it last America? And what is it now?" Maybe somebody should ask Republican Scott Brown. And, while they're at it, Brown should also answer the question, "Did you get where you got 'solely on your own' or did you have help?" None of this should shock you, though, as Brown has a history of misleading voters via his campaign's video productions.
Elsewhere on policy, questions regarding gun safety policy have been raised in the wake of the recent gun violence tragedy in Colorado. On that point, Republican Scott Brown continues to toe the standard right-wing Republican line that the federal government doesn't have a role to play in reducing gun violence, passing the buck to the states. Such a position even prompted New York City Mayor and co-Chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Michael Bloomberg to comment of Brown, "He's not good on guns generally."
It's no surprise that Republican Scott Brown would toe the GOP line on important issues. We already knew that Brown's record includes supporting Republican obstruction in the U.S. Senate over bipartisan problem-solving over 75% of the time. Additionally, the Springfield Republican reminds us of Brown's record of extreme partisanship (and reliably backing Mitt Romney) while in the Massachusetts Legislature.
Brown often voted with the [Republican] minority to sustain Romney's budget vetoes, sometimes on items as small as a $100,000 line item for drinking water programs. The non-partisan Politifact found that Brown voted with the state Senate [Republican] minority leader 90 percent of the time.
Defending Mitt Romney appears to be a hard habit to break for Republican Scott Brown. It seems that Brown has chosen to remain silent on the issue of Mitt Romney releasing a substantial number of years' worth of tax returns for public scrutiny. Once again, Brown sides with partisan interests over the People.
Those aren't the only quantitative items of concern for Republican Scott Brown. When it comes to small-dollar donors, Brown is lagging far behind his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren. While Warren has received about $10.5 million of her $24.5 million raised this cycle (43%) in the form of small-dollar contributions ($200 or less), Brown has taken in less than $2.5 million of his $17 million raised this cycle (15%) in the form of small-dollar contributions. Figures like this make it easy to portray Warren as the candidate of the grassroots, and Brown as the candidate of Big Money special interests.
Speaking of Big Money special interests like Wall Street and Big Oil, you're encouraged to click on this political cartoon and Share it on your Facebook Wall. It answers the question, "What people is Republican Scott Brown referring to when he says 'The People's Seat'?"
In another disturbing turn for Republican Scott Brown in the realm of numbers from the horse race of the campaign, a new poll has Brown lagging Warren not only in the head-to-head match-up, but also in net favorability. The independent, non-partisan poll gauged Elizabeth Warren's favorable-unfavorable rating at 47-26 (a net favorability of 21 points), compared with Scott Brown's favorable-unfavorable rating of 50-33 (a net favorability of 17 points). Such relatively close figures, in a vacuum, might not be especially notable. However, Brown appears to be banking his entire campaign on superficial likeability. As such, a competitor matching and exceeding his net favorability is particularly bad news for him.
Several other lowlights peppered Republican Scott Brown's last week. Yet another moment of Brown's own unique brand of hypocrisy revealed itself as he was caught hand-wringing over a loophole in the STOCK Act that his own earlier version of the STOCK Act explicitly included, as well. Yet another moment of Brown's own unique brand of callous and callow partisanship revealed itself as he was caught fundraising off of praise he received from a fringe right-wing blogger who has repeatedly identified President Obama as Muslim in attempts to race/religion-bait. Yet another moment of Brown's need to pander to and placate his Tea Party base revealed itself as he has reportedly said that he'd like to appear as a guest on a new local Worcester issue discussion program that was "going to be called Tea Party TV" originally. (As a reminder, Republican Scott Brown will appear on Worcester's Tea Party TV show, but he still refuses to participate in a Worcester debate about local issues.)
Republican Scott Brown has also set himself up for questions about his military service this summer as he apparently seeks to keep a lid on when he's actually taking part in his required summer training this year, according to the Boston Globe:
Senator Scott Brown, a member of the Army National Guard, will forgo a typical two-week block of summer training this year and instead serve the days individually next month at the Pentagon, a change that should prevent a long absence from the campaign trail while he seeks reelection.
The decision is a marked contrast to how the Massachusetts Republican fulfilled his commitment last year. [...]
The senator refused to answer questions about his summer training when the Globe asked him after an event in South Boston on July 13. [...]
His spokeswoman, Marcie Kinzel, said in an e-mail: "Senator Brown will be performing his drill at the Pentagon during the month of August." She would not provide the individual dates, or explain the reason behind the change in his routine.
In another e-mail, she said: "As you know, the senator works with his commander on these arrangements."
She referred questions to a National Guard spokesman. That spokesman then referred the questions back to Brown's office, saying the specific reasons were protected by privacy laws that could only be waived by the senator.
Given that Republican Scott Brown has made revealing records such a significant focus of his campaign this year, one would think that he would be compelled to reveal exactly when he is performing his required service. I suppose he will only be as compelled to reveal information as the news media compels him to be.
What disappointments will Republican Scott Brown offer up this week? Stay tuned for the next "Weekly Scott Brown-d Up."