Scott Brown on far-right budget plan: ‘Thank God’

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), the year before his re-election bid, has been having some trouble lately. He fell for an Internet hoax on a photo of bin Laden; he leaked word of his upcoming visit to Afghanistan and then whined about it; and Boston’s conservative paper characterized Brown as “Dan Quayle in a barn coat.”

But things are likely to get a little worse before they get better.

The oft-confused Republican had already taken some preliminary steps in support of the House GOP’s plan to end Medicare and cut Medicaid, but more recently, Brown went even further.

Brown announced his intent to vote for the [House Republican budget] plan publicly Friday in front of state business leaders in Georgetown, Mass.

“The leaders will bring forward (Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s) budget, and I will vote for it, and it will fail,” Brown said, according to the Newburyport Daily News. “Then the president will bring forward his budget, and it will fail. It will be great fodder for the commercials.”

In the past weeks, too, Brown has strongly suggested he likes the GOP approach. Late last month, a tracker for the state Democratic party filmed Brown at a meeting in Westminster, Mass., praising House Republicans laying down a marker in the budget fight.

“Finally we had congressman Ryan come forth with a budget proposal, thank God, because we haven’t had one in a couple years and that now has forced the debate and forced the President actually to come forth with his budget proposal,” Brown said.

So, Newt Gingrich says the House GOP plan is “radical change” and “too big a jump” for Americans, while Scott Brown sees the same plan, says “thank God,” and vows to vote for it.

Are Massachusetts voters aware of this?

Keep in mind, we’re talking about a right-wing budget agenda that, among other things, ends Medicare, cuts taxes on millionaires, eliminates safeguards on Wall Street, and guts funding on everything from food stamps to infrastructure to education.

Brown could easily oppose this — his centrist GOP colleague, Susan Collins, already has — but he’s nevertheless defending it.

Also note, just two months ago, Brown, an alleged moderate, also voted for the House Republican budget for the current fiscal year, which, among other things, cut funding on medical research, job training, health care, and homeland security.

Scott Brown does realize that Massachusetts isn’t Mississippi, doesn’t he?

“Dan Quayle in a barn coat” is looking more and more apt all the time.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.