Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 11, 2010

SCOTT BROWN'S ONGOING CONFUSION.... Like every other Republican in the Senate, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) supported a GOP scheme yesterday to strip the EPA of its power to regulate carbon emissions. It wasn't a huge surprise -- Brown is on record saying he doubts humans are responsible for global warming, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding -- but it was nevertheless yet another disappointment.

After yesterday's vote, the frequently-confused senator explained why he tried to take the EPA's authority away.

"Well, I'm looking out for jobs and jobs in Massachusetts and throughout the country. And to give a non-governmental agency the ability to regulate the way that they have the potential to, they can regulate churches and restaurants and drop it all the way down from the big emitters to the very smallest emitters and it's not appropriate. And, you know, we in Congress should continue to work on this issue and have the authority to do just that. And I would encourage, certainly, the majority party to start to work on a lot of these energy issues right away."

Let's unpack this a bit. First, if Brown is "looking out for jobs," his opposition to Democratic efforts is backwards. Second, the Environmental Protection Agency is not "a non-governmental agency." Third, the pending legislation wouldn't apply to churches and restaurants.

And fourth, if Brown would like Democrats to start working on "these energy issues right away," why is he blocking Dems from working on these energy issues right away?

For a while, Brown had an excuse to explain why he seemed so ignorant -- he could chalk it up to being new. But that justification loses its luster every time Brown makes a ridiculous claim that he should recognize as untrue.

Brown doesn't understand the stimulus. Brown doesn't understand financial regulatory reform. Brown doesn't understand health care reform. Brown doesn't understand economic policy. Brown doesn't understand energy policy.

I know people think he's a nice guy, but when should the public expect Scott Brown to take his job seriously enough to do some homework?

Steve Benen 1:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (29)

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Comments

as far as i can tell, the median intelligence of the senate is lower than the median intelligence of the country, and yet routine stupidity doesn't seem to make any difference to electability.

Posted by: howard on June 11, 2010 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Cosmo doesn't select for brains, Steve.

Posted by: LittlePig on June 11, 2010 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Why are we, well you, discussing Scott Brown?

Who gives a crap? The man has no power.

Dawn Johnson just said that her anti-torture stance sunk her nomination and that the Obama administration's justice department has no place for someone who is anti-torture. (the quote was something like "her prospects for effectiveness would be greatly reduced").

Can we now just say that the Obama admin supports torture, surreptiously of course, and now you, Steve, have no fig leaf to that you can point to for the Democrats and Obama to hide behind. It's all been a great 18 month Kabuki dance but the lights are being turned on now.

I'm sure Greenwald will have an inciteful post on this topic.

You like to point to how the POTUS is powerless to control the Senate. How about controlling his own justice department? what say you?

Posted by: Observer on June 11, 2010 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing missing at the end of that Scott Brown quote is the word "also".

I think Scott and Sarah Palin should get married and have children. Those little freaks would be pretty but dumb......... I mean pretty dumb.

Posted by: Oh my on June 11, 2010 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

The one thing that rings halfway true in this dumb asshole's rant is that he is indeed "watchin' out for jobs" ... yeah, about as much as anybody else in Washington is... which is to say, not at all.

God damn the whole pack of elite sociopaths...

Posted by: neill on June 11, 2010 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

I know people think he's a nice guy, but when should the public expect Scott Brown to take his job seriously enough to do some homework?

Probably never. He ran a clever campaign against a bowl of oatmeal, but he was never meant to climb the tree of knowledge. Besides, if he starts to make sense on a consistent basis, he's doomed in the next primary.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on June 11, 2010 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

'Spokesmodel', surely, not 'Senator'.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on June 11, 2010 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

When Mr. Greene (D, SC) joins Mr. Brown (R, MA) in the senate this November we will finally have broken through the Color Barrier.

-And shattered the Intelligence Barrier. . .

Posted by: DAY on June 11, 2010 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

As a (gay) Trollop I'd still hit that but, yeah, he's pretty dumb!

Posted by: Trollop on June 11, 2010 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

The other night John Stewart ran video clips of Obama pronouncing seemingly every issue he deals with as being "complicated", which in turn explained the lack of progress being made in dealing with any number of them.

Between disingenuous fools like Brown, and watchmaker types like the president, is it any wonder why Americans are fed up with the decade long status quo?

Posted by: JL on June 11, 2010 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Observer:

"I'm sure Greenwald will have an inciteful [sic?] post on this topic."

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Greenwald is very inciteful.

Posted by: ibid on June 11, 2010 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Hey we all know that it's difficult to make sense every time you open your mouth but i'm mystified how you can never make sense every time you open your mouth.

Posted by: Gandalf on June 11, 2010 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Scott Brown a shining example of the Democrats failure to field a credible candidate for people to vote for.

Posted by: Fed Up and Tired on June 11, 2010 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

You cannot have an intellectual discussion with unarmed opponents. Scott Brown is your standard-issue Republican - i.e., a biped lacking frontal lobes and opposable thumbs. So why does it surprise you that they are stupid?

Posted by: TCinLA on June 11, 2010 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

The important thing to note about Scott Brown being a 'nice guy' is that people think they can sit down and have a beer with him, unlike that elitist, out of touch Martha Coakley. Wait! Where have I heard this argument before?

Posted by: keithly on June 11, 2010 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

In other words, he's just like us.

Posted by: Scott F. on June 11, 2010 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

I know people think he's a nice guy, but when should the public expect Scott Brown to take his job seriously enough to do some homework?

Judging by George Bush's example, about 5 years and a hurricane.

And need I point out --- Scott Brown is yet another argument for rebranding the GOP as the Fuckin' Idiot Party.

Posted by: David Bailey on June 11, 2010 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

The important thing to note about Scott Brown being a 'nice guy' is that people think they can sit down and have a beer with him, unlike that elitist, out of touch Martha Coakley.

I'd love to sit down and have a beer with him. If he were still in MA, I could sit down and have a beer with him. Martha, on the other hand, is still here, so I could sit down and have a beer with her. Not that I'm sure I'd want to. But she could chill the beer with one glance.

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on June 11, 2010 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

And need I point out --- Scott Brown is yet another argument for rebranding the GOP as the Fuckin' Idiot Party.

This is a great idea. How do we get the MSM to start shorthanding them as the FIP?

Posted by: Cap'n Chucky on June 11, 2010 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

no really. What is the rhetorical device when you put two unequal things next to each other and try to make them seem the same but they are not? GWB always did this vis a vis al qaeda and saddam.

for the record I voted for coakley she seemed pretty cool.

Posted by: hortron on June 11, 2010 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

"The other night John Stewart ran video clips of Obama pronouncing seemingly every issue he deals with as being "complicated", which in turn explained the lack of progress being made in dealing with any number of them."

Everything is complicated when you need to get 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate and you only have 58-9 votes at best and the Republicans vote en bloc in opposition.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on June 11, 2010 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

"Everything is complicated when you need to get 60 votes to pass anything in the Senate.."

Then change the rules of engagement. Why suffer being held hostage by a mere handful of ostensible party members?

Or do you believe the senate rule sacrosanct? Are you prepared to sustain the status quo?

Do you honestly believe, if the tables were turned, that today's GOP would hesitate to overturn the 60 vote mandate?

Posted by: JL on June 11, 2010 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Just remember, this is the guy that the Democratic machine in Boston had no problem seeing elected once their candidate was defeated in the primary. As painful as it is to have someone like this be a senator for (at least) six years, it is the Democrats that put him in office.

Posted by: kropotkin on June 11, 2010 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Scott Brown says he's looking out for jobs. Thanks to Scott Brown's party, there are a lot of people I know out looking for jobs.

Posted by: Chris S. on June 11, 2010 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

@ kropotkin
As painful as it is to have someone like this be a senator for (at least) six years....

Nope, which is why nobody's really losing any sleep over him. He got elected for the remainder of Ted Kennedy's term, which ends in 2012. He will have to run again, in MA, with a much better candidate against him, in a high-turnout regular (November) presidential election.

Cosmoboy is doomed, and he knows it. He's just angling for a nice consulting gig or two after January 2013.

Posted by: efgoldman on June 11, 2010 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

for the record I voted for coakley she seemed pretty cool.

Posted by: hortron

Way too Cool to campaign.

Posted by: Fed Up and Tired on June 11, 2010 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Ignorance in Republican lawmakers is a feature, not a bug

Posted by: bruce k on June 11, 2010 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans would look smarter if they would memorize their daily talking points instead of trying word salad their way though things they don't understand.

Granted that would mean they would all be saying exactly word for word, comma by comma the same thing. But it at lease would make more sense.

Posted by: Marnie on June 11, 2010 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Our dim-witted pretty boy senator is an embarrassment to Massachusetts, and to the country as a whole, but then he's in so much similar company in the lofty halls of the ridiculous Senate.

Brown's election, I predict, was a fluke. His pretty face won't get him much traction in a real election, which the special one in January certainly wasn't. Until 2012 we have to cringe every time he opens his shapely mouth, and vow again to throw him out. The complacent Democrats in Massachusetts learned a hard lesson in losing Ted Kennedy's seat to this third-rate idiot, and I strongly suspect we won't repeat the mistakes that led to his elevation.

Posted by: rrrk1 on June 12, 2010 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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