|US Senator Scott Brown|
Brown is working class, army bred. He cares about his family. He has not sold out to Wall Street, not does he juggle derivatives. He is as far removed from "financier" and "chandelier" as the next guy, nor does he do what the Party Establishment tells him to do. He's not afraid to criticize members of his own party. He told Todd Akin of Missouri to step down from his US Senate Race because of the Congressman's views on pregnancy, rape, and abortion. Brown is a pure centrist, making the most of a tough situation brought on by Washington and poor leadership from both parties. He is bipartisan. He works with both sides of the aisle. We need his balance of core principles and careful compromise. Brown represents the future of the GOP, a "Live and Let Live" Republican who knows how most of us live, yet wants to let us live our lives as we see fit.
The Republican brand took quite a beating in the Bay State. The leader of "Red Mass", "edfactor", opined on his blog "The Mass GOP is. . . dead". He also identified a series of steps that the Massachusetts and the entire New England GOP can do to bring back their numbers:
"I think we need to talk about what coalitions will get behind Republican ideas
before we talk about party registration numbers."
Absolutely. Many black Americans find that they agree with conservative principles first, then they become Republicans. The same is just as true for Hispanics and other minority groups. For good reason, the Mass GOP leader writes: "I think we need to become much more inclusive." His most salient remark, one which I believe the majority of Bay State voters would agree on, follows: "I think we need, more than anything else, to distinguish ourselves from the national GOP."
Rather than targeting the national GOP as a nebulous whole, no one can ignore that the Party's standard-bearers in 2012 were not strong: Mitt Romney and John Boehner, who either said too much or said nothing at all. Romney ran to his right, which left him out of step with centrists and independent. Recently, one of his sons admitted what most GOP operatives felt in their gut: Romney did not really want to be President. He had the head for the race, but not the heart. Beyond the transition from his previous moderate record to the more conservative policies in the 2012 election, the flip-flop of Romney's heart and soul sold him out before November 6th. As for the House Speaker, Boehner has refused to take the lead or the message to the country about a recalcitrant Democratic President or Senate which are leading this country backward into second-tier financial status. He has not brought the disparate members of his caucus together, and he looked down-right desperate after his "Plan B" got an "incomplete".
Regarding the disjunction between the Northeast with the rest of the country, the National GOP needs to extinguish its former "Southern Strategy" mentality and embrace a "Fifty-State Strategy " as former Vermont Governor Howard Dean crafted together after the Democrats' poor showing in 2004. A more inclusive, less rigid, more independent GOP must become, and Brown can bring the New England GOP brand back from the "six-feet-under-ground" foundering that the GOP suffered. He can also teach the National Party Establishment a thing or to about compromise, tolerance, and integrity. Anyone with sense or self-respect should disdain the empty rhetoric which preaches "Obama won because he gave gifts." There can be no greater gift that bringing a man out of poverty and teaching him to stand and run. The government does not have to dictate a citizen's path forward, nor can the government pay every man's way with another person's money.
Senator John Kerry's nomination for Secretary of State may remain a mystery to some pundits. Ben Nelson (D) of Nebraska or George Voinovich (R) of Ohio would have also qualified as centrist nominees that could break through the US Senate's partisan gridlock. However, Kerry is ready to do the job, and his advancement would make Scott Brown's reelection all the more open and welcome. Brown deserves to be reelected to the US Senate. He can bring along a political party reestablished on a positive vision of respect for the states and the individual, one which honors choice and limited government, one which will honor the diversity that makes this country great without grating on the same distinctions to the hurt of other nation-wide candidates.