Home Politics What’s the Matter with Massachusetts?

What’s the Matter with Massachusetts?


Scott Brown, the Republican member of the Massachusetts state legislature, who appeared nude in Cosmopolitan Magazine, is the new Senator from Massachusetts. He claims to be something like a Republican-Independent-Populist-Neoconservative-tea-bagger. His claim to populism is apparently that he owns a pickup truck. He apparently also likes baseball and football, as did George W. Bush.

In a speech, at a victory rally, Brown said that he will vote against health care which he says that no one wants. Of course, it is easy for him to say, since Massachusetts itself voted almost the identical kind of health care for themselves years ago that is now the federal plan. Something like 80% say that they want to keep it. In addition, the people of Massachusetts prefer a pickup-truck driver and sports fan to an attorney general. We had that with Bush. How did that work out for us?

Apparently, by voting Brown into office they are telling the rest of us that they simply don’t want the rest of the country to have health care, even if it would, as the CBO has said, save the American people $100 billion over ten years and save the lives of 47,000 people and keep a minimum of 500,000 people out of bankruptcy. It would also have put pressure on Massachusetts health insurance firms to finally lower their rates? Now? Not.

If you have health insurance, your company is laughing so hard that they may call today an insurance-employee holiday. Brown has proudly already said that he will be the 41st and deciding Neoconservative vote for the health insurance industry and against the American people.

Maybe it was the tax cuts. Tax cuts? Oh yes, that was what he promised last night. To create jobs by giving tax cuts! Where have we heard that before? Of course, tax cuts were given us by George W. Bush twice and by Ronald Reagan and during those two administrations we went into debt by $10 trillion and we lost, not gained, millions of jobs. The average unemployment under Reagan was 7.5%. Bush never created enough jobs to cover the ones lost in the recession–that began before but continued after–the 9/11 tragedy. If this is Scott Brown’s new solution to unemployment, he should go back to modeling in the nude.

If the tea party supporters of Brown are not happy, it cannot be with Obama. It is with the Administration of the previous 8 years. That is how long these problems have been brewing. First, using up the $5.6 trillion surplus left by the Clinton Adminstration by giving tax cuts to the rich. ($43,000 per million.) Then the huge military expenditures, runaway domestic spending, two wars, one for eight years and another for six years that we never tried to win. Then we had the prescription drug bill added to Medicare that cost the government $26 billion and did very little for seniors…certainly did not bring down, but increased overall prescription drug prices. Bush’s financial regulations were so lax that we had a financial collapse that is already the second worst in our history and may still turn out to be the worst.

So Scott Brown is going to Washington as a Republican. These are the people who were in power for the last 8 years. Of course not this past year, 2009. That was the first year of the new Democratic Administration. And that was the year that Bush left us with 750,000 unemployed in January alone, and 15 million unemployed and underemployed in total before the Democrats stopped the bleeding. Obama’s first year…actually his first nine months was the period in which the Neoconservative Republicans, whom Brown will now join, voted in a 40-person bloc against all health care reform measures, the stimulus and against every program, like new green industry jobs, and the stimulus that were offered to help alleviate the misery of the average American family. All of this, as Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina says of our new African-American President, to enable the Neoconservatives “to destroy him.” These are Brown’s new friends.

These are the people who voted time and time again with the international corporations to allow jobs to go to China. These are the people who tapped American phones. These are the people who first let ENRON write their energy policy (that’s not hyperbole, they did.) Then they took huge contributions and private plane rides with ENRON while ENRON was (later convicted of ) criminally conspiring to raise energy prices, which almost bankrupted California. Even while Bush and Cheney, knowing that they were, said that they were not. These are the people who let the citizens of Louisiana twist slowly in the breeze, drown, die of neglect and allowed the destruction of one of our most important and most beloved cities. And they have never apologized, expressed remorse, or acknowledged their Administration’s deadly incompetence.

Brown’s new pals are the ones who have never proposed a serious health care proposal. Their health care proposal, if you read it, had two points. One, we need to protect doctors and their insurance companies from lawsuits if they kill your kids. Two, the drug companies need to be protected from price cuts. Those are the two big proposals. No reductions in the rate of increase of insurance, no consumer protections, no options that would help anyone get insurance or pay for or keep insurance. Just industry protections.

If someone like Scott Brown, a male model pretending to be a serious legislator, can be elected to the Senate, God help the People. He will be joining the group that took hundreds of millions from the health care industry to stall and defeat health care reform. And some of those people, a handful, were also Democrats. Money is pervasive in politics, on both sides.

This Brown guy proudly calls himself a member of the group that bows down to Rush Limbaugh and his “Barack the Magic Negro” type of racist commentary and his desire to see the President fail.

This Brown guy has the nerve to say, on the one hand, that he is proud to take the same seat as Jack Kennedy and Teddy Kennedy, then, in the next sentence says that he will immediately vote to destroy the one piece of legislation that Kennedy most hoped to deliver for the people. Senator Ted Kennedy died believing that his vote and his effort while dying of brain cancer had made the difference in passing health care reform. I don’t think he’d be as proud of Brown as Brown is of himself.

And the question comes up again and again. Why? Why would a supposedly well-educated populace usher in an era of someone who will vote exactly the opposite of the wishes of the mainstream of Massachusetts politics. They say that he masqueraded as an Independent. So, clearly he said one thing before he was elected and another last night. Because now he says that he vote against all “the progressive agenda.” That would be against lowering health care costs and making it more reliable. That would be more “drill, baby, drill” an no independence from Arab oil and American alternative energy jobs. That would be keeping the troops in Iraq, and continuing to spend half our dollars on military weapons and more wars. That would be looking the other way on torture and denying people other than Americans, before they are proved guilty or innocent, of their civil rights. That is Scott Brown, nude model.

The first thing he says he wants to do is to stop the very legislation that was most important to the supposedly revered (but apparently not to the voters when it counted) Senator Ted Kennedy, who formerly held this seat for 40 years. Apparently people from Massachusetts are now Neoconservatives. They have turned their backs on the long tradition of working for the People for which the Kennedy family has given so much time and energy and their lives.

Scott Brown, it can only be concluded, was elected because he drives a pickup truck. So, why not elect Willie Nelson?

Brown portrays himself as a “populist.” He is no Populist. Not even close. In fact, that is an insult to real Populists. Senator Bob LaFollette was a Populist. He attacked major corporations over labor issues, for killing workers who tried to organize, for paying slave wages and for intimidation and beatings. He held hearings the results of which changed working men’s lives and sent the guilty to prison. And he did it when the corporate community had far more power than they have today. Scott Brown even if he wore shoes, which apparently he does not always, could never fit into the shoes of any Populist.

Brown is rather an insult to Populists. He is a small-time hack politician about to join in the big enrichment party that the Neoconservative Republicans have been holding on K Street with their corporate oil company, health insurance company and defense contractor lobbyist friends. They have all enriched themselves at the expense of the American people. Brown is licking his chops and laughing all the way to the bank. And the hundred or more lobbyists for every member of Congress cannot wait for him to arrive.

He is joining the Senate as a member of the Party of Bush and Cheney. It was George W. Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars of Goldman, Sachs stock who came to Congress and told Senators and House members that if they did not give investment bankers and banks and large insurance companies, including his own company…$700 billion that they would collapse and take the country into another Depression. He gave the Congress hours before he would sell the car to another waiting buyer. And Congress had no choice but to give the money.

Those are Scott’s new pals. He will be welcomed warmly by Dick Cheney, John McCain, and crazy Jim DeMint. All the Right Wing reactionaries will be the big pals of the new Senator from Massachusetts. That isn’t surprising. He will be able to provide the missing vote to prevent any progressive legislation on jobs, health care, Social Security, Medicare education, science or any other legislation of the “Progressive agenda” that he vows to obstruct. He will vote with the corporatists, get his pieces of silver and get rich. That is why he is there. That isn’t surprising.

Here is what is surprising. The citizens of Massachusetts just voted into office their own worst nightmare. If a mind is a terrible thing to waste, it was multiplied half a million times in Massachusetts yesterday.

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