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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brown touches the third rail

So much for being the voice of moderation.

With his declaration of support for Paul Ryan's budget plan -- including the call to turn Medicare into a voucher program and Medicaid into a block grant -- Scott Brown has cast aside the pretense that he is an independent voice in the partisan war raging in Washington.

Brown has managed to live a charmed existence as the truck-driving, barn coat-wearing man of the people despite harsh right stances on financial reform and extended unemployment, to name two. But this is different.

The GOP itself has started to back away from Ryan plan, including no less a flame thrower than Newt Gingrich. And Brown is back to his usual cat-and-mouse game of avoiding media inquiries that might clarify his stance.

That gives some analysts the opportunity to suggest Brown hasn't specifically endorsed the Medicare plan -- just the overarching massacre of federal spending. But it is impossible to endorse the Ryan plan -- with or without a specific nod to the health care provisions -- without offering a tacit endorsement of health care chaos. That has been Ryan's centerpiece.

But while Brown is now out there on a ledge, the big question is who do the Democrats have to shove him off? The national party or an interest group may well run commercials to soften him up, bit so far the field of potential foes is underwhelming.

Maybe that will change when the cloak of invincibility slips further off his shoulders thanks to this outrageous -- and ultimately symbolic only -- endorsement sinks in.

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Blogger Readwriteblue said...

IMHO Sen Brown has come to realize that he has done much to alienate those that did the heavy lifting to get him elected. This and the commencement speech he delivered are his attempts to ingratiate himself the fiscal conservatives. They are a critical segment of the voters.

May 17, 2011 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something has to be done. Social Security will go broke. Medicare\Medicaid will go broke. Brown realizes the eventual solution will be a compromise and is only staking out ground on the conservative side of the issue. Can't wait for his campaign, for the first time ever I'll be out holding a sign to re-elect a reasonable thoughtful politician I can be proud to support.

May 17, 2011 11:01 AM  
OpenID BH said...

Anonymous, can you provide references to support your claims, or are you just puffing GOP/Fox "News" talking points?

May 18, 2011 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Joel Patterson said...

Social Security is solid. It will not go broke.

May 18, 2011 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim Geitner in Bloomberg Businessweek said our commitments are unsustainable, and have recently been revised to run out sooner. They were recently revised to run out sooner than the estimates in place when Barack began his presidency. And the boomers are retiring in droves soon. If you look at the demographics of the country it makes sense. Personally I won't depend on Soc Sec, but for those who need it something should be done now.

May 19, 2011 5:01 AM  

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