I’ve noted a couple of times this week that Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has endorsed the far-right House Republican budget agenda, so it’s only fair to note that he’s now completely reversed course.
Step One in this process was Brown taking a stand. A week ago, the senator declared publicly, “The leaders will bring forward (Paul Ryan’s) budget, and I will vote for it, and it will fail.” He went on to “thank God” that Paul Ryan’s radical plan had been introduced.
Step Two was the awkward pre-walkback stage in the process. On Wednesday, Brown’s office explained that when the Republican said, “I will vote for it,” he didn’t mean he will vote for it.
And Step Three came yesterday when Brown appeared on a radio show and was asked whether the House plan, which includes Medicare privatization, would have his support in the Senate. He replied:
“First of all, it’s very difficult to get into hypotheticals because it’s not coming up, but the way that the Medicare and Medicaid proposals and a lot of other proposals in that bill are right now, no, I can’t support it, and I’ve made that very clear.”
First, it’s not a hypothetical. When Brown says “it’s not coming up,” in reference to the House budget, that’s the opposite of the truth. It is coming up.
Second, when Brown says he’s made it “very clear” that he “can’t support it,” he’s actually done the opposite. Seven days ago, he announced he “will vote for it.”
The oft-confused senator’s explanation is only credible to those with poor memories and/or no access to Google.
Having said that, it now appears there are two Republican senators — Brown and Susan Collins — who will oppose their party’s Medicare privatization scheme. The smart money says they won’t be alone.