Brown pulls off a very effective scam

BROWN PULLS OFF A VERY EFFECTIVE SCAM…. I’ve just about given up trying to wrap my head around Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-Mass.) success. It’s absurd, but I probably just need to accept it and move on.

At this point, reality just doesn’t seem to matter at all when it comes to this guy. Brown’s been in office about a year, and during that time, he’s made demonstrably ridiculous remarks about the stimulus, financial regulatory reform, health care, economic policy, energy policy, and foreign policy, among other things, which under ideal circumstances, would damage his reputation quite a bit.

But thanks to unyielding media adulation — behold, the Great GOP Moderate — Brown just keeps getting more popular. Folks seem blissfully unaware of the fact that he has no idea what he’s doing, or they do realize it, but care more about his charming smile than his incompetence.

Here’s the sort of story that will almost certainly increase the senator’s already strong support, but shouldn’t.

While some Senate Republicans are tacking right on the budget, Sen. Scott Brown is attacking proposed cuts coming from members of his own party as “irresponsible” and urging both sides of the aisle to come together on a bipartisan deal.

In a Thursday floor speech and in a letter to Senate leaders from both parties, the moderate Massachusetts Republican expressed frustration about the apparent inability of members of Congress and the White House to reach a deal to fund the government for the rest of fiscal 2011.

“Sadly, rather than reaching a workable, bipartisan solution to responsibly address our staggering deficit … our leaders have repeatedly given us a false choice between CR proposals that either don’t go far enough to reduce federal spending and proposals that establish the wrong priorities that would disproportionately affect low-income families and seniors,” he said in his floor speech, and repeated in his letter.

I don’t doubt much of the political establishment swoons after remarks like these. Brown wants a sensible compromise! He has no use for extremists on either side! Isn’t he just dreamy?

Look, I’m glad the senator thinks the budget plan presented by his own party is too extreme. It is. But here’s two basic points to keep in mind. First, Brown’s criticism is entirely superficial — he wants a “bipartisan solution,” but has literally nothing constructive to offer when it comes to explaining what that solution might look like. In February, the senator said there are “countless” areas of the budget he’d like to see trimmed. Asked for examples, Brown pointed to nothing.

And second, while Brown was criticizing the GOP plan to punish “low-income families and seniors,” he neglected to mention that he already voted in support of that exact plan. It was just a few weeks ago; does he not remember?

The radical plan approved by the House — the one that slashes funding for education, medical research, job training, and homeland security, among other things — came to the Senate floor. Brown may find it excessive now, but on March 9, he voted for it, a little detail that somehow got left out of yesterday’s speech.

And so, the scam will continue, and voters will hear about the senator’s remarks yesterday, and love his rejection of GOP callousness, unaware of his vote in favor of GOP callousness less than a month ago.