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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, September 26, 2012

Dr. Jekyll and Sen. Brown

Scott Brown, our laundry folding hero, has gone rogue.

Brown and his campaign have been spewing venom since the Thursday night debate with Elizabeth Warren. But the campaign hit a new low with the war cry chanting and tomahawk chopping performance of Brown supporters -- and the wash his hands attitude of the man at the top.

At least two members of Brown's staff mocked Warren's heritage during a campaign stop Saturday at Dorchester's Eire Pub. And what did the man who touts his family values in his issues-less campaign ads say to the calls for an apology for the disrespect shown his opponent:
“The apologies that need to be made and the offensiveness here is the fact that professor Warren took advantage of a claim, to be somebody – a Native American -- and using that for an advantage, a tactical advantage,” Brown said.
Color him clueless.

Brown is in the middle of an issues-less scorched earth campaign, attacking Warren on her family history and some complex legal issues she handled as a law professor. It's a great way to shift attention from his voting record.

Massachusetts has, until now, escaped the raging incivility of the GOP right -- and Brown had apparently realized that any connection with his fellow party members could be toxic. Why else skip most of the Tampa coronation of his fellow Bay State Republican Mitt Romney or include Barack Obama in commercials that avoid party labels?

But with some recent polls suggesting Warren opening a slight lead, the campaign suddenly shifted gears and went on the offensive from the first minute of the first debate.

It's a highly dangerous tactic, reflective of some real if masked concern within the campaign. And the pugnacious candidate has eliminated the halo he worked so hard to wear as his ace in the hole in Democratic Massachusetts.

Warren's campaign has picked up its own response, launching an new commercial going after Brown's support for tax cuts for millionaires. But what it really needs to do is get serious about a tactic she used only slightly during the debate.

And that is to make Massachusetts voters of the consequences of returning Brown to a Senate where he has played a key, if inconsistent role, as a handmaiden in Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's agenda of making Barack Obama a one-term president.

Brown touted his role as the 41st Republican capable of blocking the Democratic agenda. If anyone has any doubt he would line up with the Party of No to continue gridlock -- or allow the unabated rise or the rich -- that shabby staff performance should eliminate it.

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