Scott Brown is a Veep character who thinks he’s on House of Cards.
After becoming the first Republican elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010, his greatest accomplishment as a U.S. senator was helping banks rewrite Wall Street reform so it might protect “two financial institutions in Massachusetts from the Volcker Rule’s restrictions,” according to former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s new book, Stress Test.
Which two financial institutions? Brown couldn’t remember. He had to ask his aide.
Since being ousted from the Senate by Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Brown has spent his time lobbying for financial giants, guest-hosting on Fox News and pretending to run for president. At the peak of the backlash over HealthCare.gov earlier this year, he decided he had a chance to get back into the upper house of Congress by taking on incumbent senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
The entire rationale for the Brown campaign? Obamacare is a disaster, even though as a state senator Brown voted for Romneycare and advocates states pursuing similar solutions, which would be exactly like Obamacare.
Unsurprisingly, Brown can’t seem to decide if Medicaid expansion — the popular part of the law, which was recently approved in New Hampshire — should stay or go as part of “full repeal” of the Affordable Care Act.
The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent describes Brown’s gyrations on the campaign trial — saying current expansion beneficiaries should be “grandfathered” just to have his spokesperson walk back that comment later — as “epic buffoonery.”
Brown comes off as likable enough to make his clumsy approach to life-and-death issues seem slapstick. But there’s real venom in his ambition.
The Huffington Post‘s Sabrina Siddiqui and Ryan Grim reported that Brown used his lobbying skills this week to destroy one of the few bipartisan pieces of legislation that would help the environment this decade:
New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown called Senate Republican leadership to urge them to stop a bipartisan energy efficiency bill, so as not to give Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH), the bill’s Democratic sponsor and his Democratic opponent, something to run on.
You could understand why Brown wouldn’t want his opponent to have something to run on. That wouldn’t be a fair fight.
What would this uncontroversial piece of legislation have done?
Copyright 2014 The National Memo