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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Hamlet in a pickup

The spotlight continues to shine on Scott Brown even as he packs up to return to Wrentham.

Our Lame Duck Hamlet continues to keep his own counsel as Congressional Republicans creep toward to decision on whether to acknowledge the will of the voters to raise taxes on the rich as part of a deal to avoid going over the fiscal cliff they created through reckless Bush-era tax and spend policies.

Unlike fellow lame duck New Englander Olympia Snowe, Brown won't say what he's thinking or doing on what will be the most important vote of his short DC stint. It's the familiar stance he used in his glory days as a deciding vote in favor of a softened Dodd-Frank bill and other measures.

The choice is stark: Brown can maintain his allegiance to Grover Norquist or he can do what is best for Massachusetts -- and not so coincidentally is the policy favored by the people who voted him out of office.

The facts are also clear: the Obama administration has cataloged some of the Massachusetts fallout if a middle class-friendly deal isn't reached: tax hikes for the lowest folks on the income scale and for small businesses -- the very people Brown claimed to represent.

And that's just at the federal level. As Deval Patrick noted, with Republican agreement, the fiscal cliff is hurting the state budget as decisions are postponed because of the partisan obstinacy in Washington.

There's also bad news from Brown if he hopes to ride to the rescue again: he may be thoroughly irrelevant. The action is all in the Tea Party-tinged House and the zealots there appear to be in no mood to acknowledge electoral reality.

If Brown hopes to have a positive legacy, it would behoove him to raise his voice in moderation now, rather than wait until the game is decided.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

At this point I want the country to go over the cliff. Taxes will go up on everyone and defense spending will be cut. We can't keep piddling around with temporary solutions and extensions. I want Congress to keep control of the debt ceiling not the executive branch. Pull the bandage off the wound and then we'll get some real negotiations going.

December 06, 2012 9:19 AM  

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