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Geography 101

A lot of people are playing up Sarah Palin's comments yesterday on Massachusetts freshman senator Scott Brown. While discussing the turmoil surrounding the Republican primary for the Senate seat currently held by Lisa Murkowski, Palin tossed out what many are calling a swipe at Brown:

"Perhaps they're not going to look for such a hard-core constitutional conservative there, and they're going to put up with Scott Brown and some of the antics there. But up here in Alaska, and so many places in the U.S. where we have a pioneering, independent spirit, and we have an expectation that our representatives in D.C. will respect the will of the people and the intelligence of the people. Well, up here, we wouldn't stand for that."

What the hell is wrong or inaccurate with that statement? I don't know Alaska overly well, but I know Massachusetts all too well. And Palin is dead right. Alaska and Massachusetts are two different states.

Scott Brown might call himself a conservative, but he's actually far more moderate. In fact, he's awful close to being a liberal Republican.

But he represents Massachusetts, the bluest of the blue states. I would go so far to say that he's about as conservative as Massachusetts is likely to elect now, or any time in the immediate future.

Brown might not be the best senator, there's no disputing that. But he is the best senator we can expect to get out of Massachusetts. And he's far, far better than pretty much any Democrat they would elect -- look at the train wreck that was his opponent, Martha Coakley.

Plus, Brown has other traits that serve him in good stead besides ideology. He has his reputation for personal integrity and honesty, his military service, and the charisma of himself and his family. All those serve him in good stead with his electorate.

Massachusetts likes to bill itself as "the cradle of liberty." Well, liberty outgrew that cradle a long time ago, packed up, and moved out. Some of its descendants ended up in Alaska.

Palin's comment about Brown's occasional forays off the conservative reservation might have been inartful, but it was accurate. And don't forget that Palin helped Brown win his Senate seat -- the seat filled for almost 50 years by the voluminous backside of Ted Kennedy.

So, to sum up:

Is Senator Scott Brown better for the nation than Ted Kennedy would have been? Yes.

Is Senator Scott Brown better for the nation than Martha Coakley would have been? Yes.

Is Senator Scott Brown better for the nation than pretty much any other Democrat who might challenge him for his seat this fall? Absolutely.

Would Scott Brown be utterly rejected by the voters of Alaska? Most likely.

Brown wasn't a target of Palin's. He was a convenient metaphor. Both of them -- and their respective representatives -- should just shrug this whole thing off.


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Comments (16)

You keep forgetting, Jay. ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

You keep forgetting, Jay. It's not what was said. It's who said it. The two republican party officials (past and present) did not dispute what Palin actually said. They just wanted to point out again, "Hey, look! The republicans are in a civil war!" See, when Dems differ in opinion from each other they have a Big Tent. When republicans differ, they're "at war".

Some conservatives in Mass ARE ticked at him for going with dems on financial regulations. And notice that Brown went with the standard "after he secured protections for some Massachusetts companies". THAT is what pisses so many people off about the incumbents. Vote for something the rest of the country has to deal with, but make damn sure YOUR constituents are excluded.

It wasn't a slap at Brown, ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

It wasn't a slap at Brown, it was a slap at Massachusetts.

"A lot of people" == shit s... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

"A lot of people" == shit stirring leftists and a handful insecure North East republicans.
NERs are a lot like North East cowboys. Sure, there are cowboys in say, NJ (Cowtown Rodeo anyone?), and by the standards of NJ they're cowboys. Take them west and their cowboy credibility shrinks the closer they get to Cheyenne :)

It was a statement of fact.... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

It was a statement of fact. Alaskan's are not going to put up with votes for liberal projects like people in MA would.

Lisa Murkowski made votes that angered a lot of her constituents and she paid the price for it at the polls where the people expressed their will. Sarah Palin merely expressed that fact and liberals and political opponents are trying to spin that into something its not.

I can tell you for a fact, in AL we wouldn't put up with those votes either.

Check your email, Jay Tea.<... (Below threshold)
James H:

Check your email, Jay Tea.

Down town, "I'm so cute nak... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

Down town, "I'm so cute naked", Scotty Brown took the support of the Tea Party and Conservatives to get elected. He will need that support to win his re-election because, liberals want that Senate back at all costs. They will pull out all the stops. He better not poke his supporters in the eye one time too many.

Many of us in the more Cons... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Many of us in the more Conservative states understand that Republicans from the more liberal states will not be as conservative as we are. The problem is many of the more liberal Republicans in the liberal states insist that we be as liberal as they are. It is not going to happen. Or they have to vote in a more liberal candidate than "they" like because that is what they are told.

Let everyone accept the fact that States vary. Then compete on ideas. We need to decide if our candidates promote the ideas that we do agree on. Having a candidate with an R behind their name but vote against our common ideas does us little good. If you a liberal Republican from one of those state and agree with your rep, say so but don't accept them because someone tells you they are the best you can elect.

Relating to AK, as much as ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Relating to AK, as much as we have ridiculed the narrative in the MSM that there is a civil war going on in the GOP, with the AK GOP HQ phone banking for Murkowski and the National party lawyering up for Murkowski I think there is reason to be concerned that the GOP really does get it and they don't like the idea of a smaller, more responsive government. It has the appearance that the GOP is willing to fight the public to remain a big government, "We won't advance socialism but we're happy to get fat off of it once the dems enact it" party.

Thanks Jay. I've been harp... (Below threshold)
ChiefMinion:

Thanks Jay. I've been harping on this for months now, every time I hear conservatives tearing into Brown.

Yes, this was a swipe an MA by Palin, more than Brown as posted earlier.

Look, our cause is better advanced by moving 20 senators 20 ACU points in our direction than by electing 3 or 4 100% ACU Senators and leaving the rest alone. We have to move the line of scrimmage, not just add a star player or two. Both would be best, but that may be more than we can get.

Is Brown a "good" conservative? No, not if you live in a real red state. Is he the best we can hope for from MA? Good Lord, yes! (I lived there for 5 years.) Whatever his ACU rating is, it will be better than the 0% Coakley would represent AND he is going to caucus with the GOP which determines who the majority leader is.

As much as I would love to have solid conservative senators from everywhere, we have to be pragmatic and apply a little "game theory" here. We must back the most conservative candidates that can win their respective seats. In the MA case, that was Scott Brown. In Utah, we should be able to get a real firebrand conservative.

A few questions for you to consider.

Would you rahter have John Kerry or another Scott Brown from MA?

Would you rather have Chuck Schumer or a Scott Brown clone from NY?

Would you rather have Dick Durbin or a Scott Brown clone from IL?

Would you rather have Boxer or Fiorina (or anyone to the right of Marx) from CA?

Which is the bigger travesty, Juan McAmnesty representing AZ or Scott Brown from MA? (This is the gimme question, an easy one.)

We must keep our eyes on the prize.

As a Mass resident and Scot... (Below threshold)
Sharon:

As a Mass resident and Scott Brown supporter, I was dismayed listening to the drive time talk show radio hosts going after Sarah Palin about this. I disagreed with some of Scott's votes but having had to live with Kennedy and Kerry and ultra liberal Jim McGovern for a rep, was just glad to see the Republican revitalization Scott has engendered in the state. But, this going after Sarah Palin is really uncalled for. She has single handedly changed the meme of old,out of touch,rich republicans with no idea what "the people" want. Like W, people grossly underestimate her intelligence and political savvy and personal charisma. I keep remembering how people regarded Ronald Reagan as a good looking actor with excellent communication skills without a brain in his head forgetting he was a successful governor,head of the screen actors guild and had given speeches and written policy statements clearly outlining his political views. If people don't see the parallels her to Palin, they are listening to the MFM which is doing its best to tear her down.

Notice how most of the big ... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Notice how most of the big right side pundits have "forgotten" their "Palin is making a mistake supporting Miller" nonsense from a while back ? I guess because most them make a living writing and/or talking they don't get to spend much time thinking ...

Sarah Palin is such an idio... (Below threshold)
Dane:

Sarah Palin is such an idiot. She thinks "one-size fits all" and that all Republicans who run for office should be conservative purists...

Which of course ignores the reality of (a) actually representing the people in your district and THEIR beliefs, and (b) getting elected. What good is a conservative purist in a liberal election like MASS. They'd get their asses handed to them and wouldn't have a chance of winning. OH, but they'd be pure of heart... That's a simpleton's way of thinking.

I swear, Sarah Palin is an invention of Rahm Emanuel. It was sheer DEM genius to elevate her to the national stage.

By the way, Jeff. Nice job pretending not to notice that practically every other candidate Palin has backed has failed. OH wait - you're actually Rahm in disguise, right? Never mind...

"Is Senator Scott Brown bet... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

"Is Senator Scott Brown better for the nation than Ted Kennedy would have been? Yes."

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Nice job pretending not ... (Below threshold)

Nice job pretending not to notice that practically every other candidate Palin has backed has failed.

Would that include Scott Brown, Dane?

'Cuz Palin backed him for his race.

It's a FACT that Brown isn't as conservative as a lot would like. But he's about as conservative as is likely to come out of Massachusetts.

Which was the point of my whole article, and strongly implied in Palin's remarks -- both then and now.

When you die, please donate your head to science. It's so dense it can be used as nuclear reactor shielding.

J.

To pile on Dane JT, we coul... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

To pile on Dane JT, we could add the a majority of candidates Palin backed have won election or their primaries. It sometimes makes me wonder where these libs get their data but then I figured they pulled it from their ass. ww

No need to be so crass, Wil... (Below threshold)

No need to be so crass, Willie. How about "fished out of the water off Chappaquiddick Island?"

J.




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