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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, August 13, 2012

Not even a RINO

We interrupt the GOP love fest over Paul Ryan for this message: Scott Brown is not feeling the glow.

The Bay State's junior senator is running away from his party with an ad campaign that stresses family and friends, particularly Democrats who profess their love for Senator Barn Coat.

It's an issue-less campaign -- particularly for a candidate who could be the difference between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader.

The Globe notes there's really nothing new about Republicans running away from their party. But the stakes are considerably higher this time around -- with control over the Senate and perhaps the radical GOP budget proposals at stake.

Brown has good reason already not to run on his record of support for banks. But his campaign has been devoid of any discussion of any issues, focusing instead on fuzzy images of Brown at a diner, folding laundry and spending quality family time. On the stump, he's focused his efforts solely on Elizabeth Warren's family.

Hardly the stuff of substance, despite an economy wavering on the edge of another recession, thanks in large part to the obstructionism of his fellow Republicans.

The naming of Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate will no doubt increase the pressure on Brown to stand with -- or up -- to his party. Ryan's proposal to gut Medicare and safety net spending heightens the contrast between the allegedly "moderate" Brown stances and the hard right reality of his party.

It will be fascinating to observe him within the GOP convention and the coronation of his fellow Massachusetts Republican Romney. Although they share the same braintrust, they have not been the Bay State Twins.

But with Romney's selection of Ryan, the hard move to the right is now complete -- and the convention will be a celebration. Brown is going to need to dance even harder to avoid the backlash likely to result in the Bay State.

And you know Warren will be watching.

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