QUOTE OF THE DAY…. Last week, the Boston Globe talked to Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) about his opposition to Wall Street reform. He initially explained that he disapproves of the bill because it adds “an extra layer of regulation,” but that’s absurd. Asked how the legislation could be improved, Brown told the reporter, “Well, what areas do you think should be fixed? I mean, you know, tell me.”
Behold, the new Republican hero.
Yesterday, the dimwitted senator appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” and was asked about far-right Tea Party activists and their fears about “socialism.” Host Bob Schieffer wanted to know if Brown agrees with their paranoia. Here’s the senator’s response in its entirety, exactly as it appeared in the official transcript:
“I know that the President should start to focus on jobs and job creation and — and — and — and — and that hasn’t been done. Since I’ve been here we’ve done health care, which they obviously rammed through by using a parliamentary procedure that has never been used for something this big ever. And then the bill as we’re finding out is — is flawed, seriously flawed. It’s going to cost medical device companies in my state, you know, thousands of jobs. But then, we’re taking — we’re talking now about regulation reform. We’re politicizing that. Maybe — I’ve heard illegal immigration is going to come forth. When we’re in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the only thing they talked about from the Presidents all the way down to the poorest farmer were jobs. Since I’ve been here, I’ve heard zero talk about jobs. So, I’ll let — leave that up to the political pundits, but I know from what I’ve seen that we need to focus on jobs and the President should start to do so.”
Now, with a response like this, it’s tough to know where to start. One could point out that Brown is wrong about the focus on job creation by pointing to the stimulus bill that rescued the economy. One could note that Brown is wrong about health care, which wasn’t “obviously rammed through by using a parliamentary procedure,” but rather, passed the Senate through regular order.
But I was particularly struck by the notion that Brown believes he’s “heard zero talk about jobs.” I realize Brown isn’t the brightest light in the harbor, if you know what I mean, but after only three months in the Senate, I do expect him to have some sense of the bills he’s already voted on. For example, he might remember voting on this “tax extenders” bill last month, which was intended to spur job creation, or perhaps voting on this job bill in February. In both instances, Scott Brown voted with Democrats, which was a fairly big deal with his far-right buddies. Seems like the kind of thing he might remember. It really wasn’t that long ago.
And yet, there was Brown, telling a national television audience he’s “heard zero talk about jobs.” That’s true, so long as one ignores all the talk about jobs.
In some ways, I almost feel bad for Scott Brown. He was elected to Congress before he was able to learn anything about public policy, and was put in a high-profile role before he could speak intelligently about any area of public policy. He didn’t even expect to win his Senate campaign, so there probably wasn’t any real point to him learning anything substantive before running anyway.
Brown, in this sense, is another classic example of a post turtle — you know he didn’t get up there by himself; he obviously doesn’t belong up there; he can’t get anything done while he’s there; and you just want to help the poor, dumb thing down.