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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thought control

The wacky world of Republican politics keeps spinning: Scott Brown is telling Ted Kennedy's son what his father thought -- and chiding Elizabeth Warren for changing a subject he opened.

When last we left the junior senator, he was opening up the can of worms called the Blunt Amendment, the GOP's attempt to turn the clock back almost five decades on contraception. Brown claimed his position was in keeping with Kennedy's dying plea to the pope for a "conscience protection for Catholics in the health field.’’

Not surprisingly, Patrick Kennedy, the late senator's son, took exception to Brown's claim, particularly in his use of his father's words in a radio ad, labeling it "misleading and untrue":
“You are entitled to your own opinions, of course, but I ask that, moving forward, you do not confuse my father’s positions with your own,’’ Kennedy wrote to Brown. “I appreciate the past respect you have expressed for his legacy, but misstating his positions is no way to honor his life’s work.’’
That earned a lecture from Brown, only eight years Kennedy's senior:
“I’d like to think your dad would have been working with me to find an accommodation that all sides found satisfactory.’’
But the strangest aspect of this rightward Brown lurch -- in contrast to the New York Time's suggestion he's moving toward the middle -- is Brown suggesting that Warren's countering of his position is designed to turn the conversation in another direction:
“Job creation will remain my number one priority in the days and months ahead, despite Professor Warren’s attempts to change the subject.”
The Globe has noted the Romney and Brown campaigns both receive strategic advice from the same team (as do the Warren and Joseph P. Kennedy III efforts) and that Eric Fehrnstrom has occasionally forgotten who he was tweeting for.

It would be generous to put this snafu in the same category -- the arrogance and illogic of the arguments certainly measure up to the Romney camp's picking fights on shaky grounds with bad facts.

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