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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Friday, February 24, 2012

Channeling Teddy

You know Scott Brown is worried about his reelection prospects when he starts claiming he's following in Ted Kennedy's footsteps.

But that's exactly what the man who won election in part on his promise to turn the "Kennedy Seat" into the "People's Seat" is doing.

Brown is claiming his support of GOP legislation to turn the clock back almost five decades on contraception is in keeping with Kennedy's dying plea to the pope for a "conscience protection for Catholics in the health field.’’
“Like Ted Kennedy before me, I support a conscience exemption in health care for Catholics and other people of faith,’’ Brown says in the radio ad, which began running yesterday.
Those who worked closely with the late senator are crying foul.

“Kennedy was interested in protecting the rights of individuals. Brown is trying to take away the rights of individuals,’’ said John McDonough, a Democrat who served on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions when Kennedy was chairman.

“Brown is taking something Kennedy supported and is exponentially expanding it to something Kennedy never would have supported,’’ added McDonough, now a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.

So is Elizabeth Warren:

In a radio ad also released yesterday, Warren said the amendment “threatens women’s access to contraception, mammograms, even maternity care.’’

“It’s just plain wrong,’’ Warren says in the ad. “This isn’t about the rights of religious institutions. We must respect those rights . . . but the president also made sure that women can get the health care they need. That’s the right approach.’’

Polls show a nip-and-tuck race, and Brown has amassed a considerable war chest. A lot of that money came from out-of-staters at the end of 2010 and the start of 2011 supporting someone who promised he was not Ted Kennedy.

It's a flip-flop worthy of Mitt Romney, if only it didn't turn Kennedy's beliefs on their head.

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