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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Pin the tail on the elephant

With a vote expected soon on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, observers are speculating yet again on which way the wind will blow our junior senator, Scott Brown.

Follow the money.

Brown has zigged and zagged his way during his five months in office -- against health care, for (and against) financial regulatory reform, for jobs but against extended unemployment benefits. The Globe has labeled him a "fiscally conservative moderate" who favors abortion rights (sometimes) but opposes gay marriage.

But the rubber is about to meet the road in the ideologically charged confirmation vote. The party line is simple to observe simply by looking at how the red meat crowd took off after her mentor, Justice Thurgood Marshall.

So back to the money.

Finance and real estate executives are among the major contributors, their handiwork show in his devotion to eliminating a $19 billion in taxes on the banking industry to pay for the regulation package aimed at ending their excesses.

Not far behind though "Republicans/conservatives," the largely out-of-state ideological warriors who helped sweep Brown into office over the sleeping Martha Coakley. Brown was also the No. 1 destination for the "retired," an ideologically hard to pin down group that has been clearly leaning right in in the most recent election cycle.

Brown has defied lock step prediction and has perversely offered in-state solidarity by joining Democrats in support of the back-up engine boondoggle for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

But if I were a betting man, I would probably follow where the campaign contributions lead me -- particularly since Kagan is not likely to be filibustered and has enough Democratic support that voting the political line could generate Brown more cash.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible that Brown will be allowed to vote for his best political advantage under the assumption that his vote is meaningless, and no sense antagonizing a voting bloc for a lost cause?

July 07, 2010 11:29 AM  

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