Sunday, January 2, 2011

Scott Brown, Mitt Romney and the Tea Party's wide open tent

A lot is said about the Tea Party by the News media. Mostly that they are a far right fringe group who have an 'Our Way or the Highway' attitude. That may be true to some extent. However, what IS NOT clear is, the 'OUR WAY'.

Scott Brown is a perfect example of the Tea Party's wide open tent and appeal. Brown came from no where to win Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts. A moderate Republican who was urged as a Republican state legislator to run for Kennedy's seat by former Governor and personal friend, Mitt Romney. Who by the way, STRONGLY supported him through the entire election process.

This candidacy was the prelude to what was to become one of the largest shake-ups in Congress in the history of American politics. Most people know that I'm a fan of Mitt Romney and like nothing more than to point out Romney's part in this prelude to the Revolution of 2010.

Here is Brown on election night honoring Romney:

Brown is already on record for backing Mitt Romney in 2012 if he decides to run:

Brown had run on an anti-Obamacare platform. Massachusetts residents were satisfied with their Massachusetts Health Care and did not want Obamacare interfering with this system. Brown received wide support from both Republicans, Independents, and many of who were connected to various Tea Party groups. As a Massachusetts resident myself, who has many friends in the so-called Tea Party ranks, many of who describe me as being to the right of Attila The Hun, supported Brown myself. Was I 100% satisfied with Scott Brown's views on all issues? No! Saying that, I am a realist and knew that a far right candidate would not have won here. So I backed Brown myself 110% and so did many of those friends.

Brown over his brief tenure as Senator, has remained popular in this state. A recent PPP poll  gave him the second highest favorability rating among all the U.S. Senators.

Today, Scott Brown was given the title of 'Bostonian of the Year' by the Boston Globe. The full story can be found HERE. It was this story that prompted me to write this piece.

The point I'm trying to make is this. NO ONE decides what the Tea Party likes or dislikes. It's like many things in life, including the Massachusetts Health Care system when it come to using it as the bases of Obamacare, not a ONE SIZE FITS ALL.

So when you read that the "Tea Party" wants this, or the "Tea Party" doesn't like that, look at with a little skepticism. The Tea Party's emphasis on issues can vary from state to state, region to region.

The Tea Party is a movement. The political tastes of those in the movement vary. There are Centrists, Moderates, Conservatives, Independents, and Republicans. All under the same tent. Don't be fooled by trying to fit it's members into a mold. You won't be successful.


Doug NYC GOP said...

Good job Bos (Happy New Year!!) - You make many ggod points about the TP, which is why despite claims it belongs to Palin, Romney fares pretty well in TP polls.

I can see where Brown could anger some Conservatives - I would have liked him to vote No on START, but as it looked to pass regardless, he more than likely needs to vote that way to help his re-election bid.

I for one want to keep that seat in the GOP and would support his re-election. We don't need to "O'Donnell" him in 2012.

Ann said...

Another home run Bosman.

Excellent point as well about Brown getting the momentum going that led to the mid-terms.

The media played down Romney's part in this. If there had been no Romney urging Brown to run, then sending in his team to help out, there would not have been a Domino effect to the mid-term elections.

Romney saw this and chose a candidate conservative enough to win in MA.

Thank you Governor Romney for having GREAT INSIGHT into what was possible.

Pablo said...

Good post and I understand the politics of it. Mitt Romney's supporters want him to be associated with the Tea Party because it helps Romney during the primaries. Very fine.

But Scott Brown is not a Tea Party guy (neither is Romney). First, Brown was quick to take their money, but then denied knowing who they were before the elections.

He also snubbed their first big meeting in Boston.

And Tea Partiers have targeted Brown over his support of not so conservative stances.

Indeed, much of Brown's chances of getting reelected in MA depends on his ability of staying clear of the Tea Party. That is just reality. The Tea Party contributed money to Brown, but that is it.

Right Wingnut said...

Latest votes stir Tea Party talk of primary challenge

Senator Scott Brown’s decision to buck his party leadership in recent days on the “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ military policy and on a nuclear arms treaty has set off a new wave of anger among some of the activists who helped elect him — and renewed talk among conservatives that he might face a primary challenge.

Tweet 16 people Tweeted this.1 person Dugg thisdiggdigg.
Yahoo! Buzz ShareThis .Some Tea Party movement leaders who dislike Brown’s votes acknowledge that the Massachusetts Republican has demonstrated his independent and pragmatic streak, and by doing so may strengthen his chances at reelection in 2012. No primary challenger has emerged, and it is unclear whether a newcomer could wage a serious fight against Brown and his $6.8 million war chest.

But the threat of a primary challenge from conservatives — as well as the potential that national Tea Party groups will withhold financial support — appears to have grown, according to the movement’s activists. Brown’s votes in the past week follow his crucial support for the overhaul of financial regulations, which remains a particular sore point with conservatives.

“I think that there will be a primary challenge,’’ said Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party. “There’s enough of an underground movement in the Tea Party movement as seeing him as not being conservative enough. There probably will be multiple people who attempt to run against him.’’

Varley said it is too early to name a possible opponent, and she acknowledged that Brown’s campaign war chest and statewide organization would probably be enough to fend off an opponent. But if Brown has to devote energy and resources to a primary campaign, it could put him at a greater disadvantage in a general election in which Democrats will be fighting hard to reclaim a seat they consider theirs.

In addition to his votes to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ ban on servicemembers who are openly gay or lesbian, his support for the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia, and his backing of financial regulations, Brown has also upset some former supporters by voting for President Obama’s compromise on extending the Bush era tax cuts, a plan some Tea Party activists oppose because it will add nearly $1 trillion to the deficit.

“I have talked to people who have said unless he turns around on some of these issues that they don’t like, they’re not going to work for him again,’’ said Matt Clemente, the Massachusetts director for the Tea Party-affiliated group FreedomWorks, which has 12,400 members in the Bay State. “We’re going to watch very closely over the next year and a half . . . and see if he’s going to be the ally that everyone had hoped it was going to be.


Right Wingnut said...

I actually agree with Pablo on this one (Did I just say that?...WOW)

I made phone calls for Scott Brown. I thought he was a fiscal conservative. I realize we're talking about MA, but he won last time by touting conservative principles. I'm not sure why he feels the need to vote like a liberal in order to win next time.

Brown has proven thus far that it's still Ted Kennedy's seat after all.

Right Wingnut said...

I realized he wouldn't be the next Jim DeMint, but I didn't expect him to be to the left of Olympia Snowe.

Revolution 2010 said...

Great post Bos. As a Tea Party leader and activist myself, I agree with your points.


"I realized he wouldn't be the next Jim DeMint, but I didn't expect him to be to the left of Olympia Snowe."


What's important is that he is to the right of Martha Coakley. Dirty Harry once said, " A Man's got to know his limitations".

With Brown, we're one seat closer to taking back the Senate and all the PERKS that that brings.

With Coakley you get 0% with you. At least with Brown, you'll get 75%.

Pablo said...

"I actually agree with Pablo on this one (Did I just say that?...WOW)"

Welcome to the Dark Side. Lol.

Right Wingnut said...

Rev 2010,

Perhaps I didn't articulate my point clearly enough. He campaigned as a fiscal conservative. He campaigned against big government. He campaigned against a runaway deficit and debt. I don't recall him highlighting any liberal positions as part of his message. If he succeeded in winning the election by touting conservative principles, why does he feel the need to vote how Coakley would have voted on so many issues? The voters didn't want Coakley.

I have a feeling he may be in for a rude awakening. I'm not suggesting a primary challenge to Brown. I think there are more attractive opportunities in red states. Brown was elected by rallying conservatives from all 50 states. They won't go out of their way to help next time, and I suspect the Dems will put up a very strong liberal canididate who will give the MA liberals EVERYTHING they want.

Bill589 said...

I agree with Pablo too. Scott’s out. And I speak with many TPM people. Many will support Palin. I don’t know one that supports Mitt or any other moderate. Masscare is socialism. Sure it’s on the state level, but it is what it is. If Mitt can’t admit it was a momentary lapse in judgement, I don’t see him getting TPM support. Many TPM people have strong Judeo/Christian values. I believe many would forgive a repentant man.

Moderates compromising with socialism is what got us into this entitlement, big government, mess. We in the TPM want a government based on what the Founders wanted, and need somebody with their courage to fight for it.

Now most call that view a constitutional conservative. (We’re working for the label, “Republican” to mean the same thing.) Bachmann, DeMint, and a few others aren’t running. Sarah Palin is. Admittedly, some are waiting for another, but that’s the choice so far.

Bill589 said...

Ronald Reagan -
“A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.”

I’ll support an O’Donnell against a Brown any day. A Republican voting with Obama, is worse than a Democrat. He’s a traitor to the cause and hurts us all. O’Donnell would have voted with us, not against us. We need people who will stand on principle, regardless of the personal outcome. The cause is worth it.

BOSMAN said...


"But Scott Brown is not a Tea Party guy (neither is Romney). First, Brown was quick to take their money, but then denied knowing who they were before the elections."

With all do respect, Do you know what the hell you're talking about?

I was there. I help coordinate the money bomb that took donations through out the country. Monies came from everywhere. As to Tea Party help, local activists helped, that is true. So did MANY others. No one wore labels, so it was hard to tell, who was who.


"He also snubbed their first big meeting in Boston."

I didn't attend either Pablo. Did you? Would you?

Do you really think that going to a Palin rally would sit well with the majority of his supporters? It wouldn't. I'm sure he would have attended if the Tea Party rally hadn't turned into a Sarah Palin rally instead.


"And Tea Partiers have targeted Brown over his support of not so conservative stances."

Do you think that Christen Varley speaks for all those that supported Brown? She doesn't. I'm not a fan of hers however I agree with her statement in the link that yo posted:

" "We'll all have to independently make a decision in 2012 about whether we'll support him again"

That's right! With HEAVEY emphasis on the word, 'independently'.

Conservatives would have a lot more to whine about if it were Coakley in Washington rather than Brown.

BOSMAN said...


"I realized he wouldn't be the next Jim DeMint, but I didn't expect him to be to the left of Olympia Snowe."


See Rev's response!

BOSMAN said...


"I agree with Pablo too. Scott’s out. And I speak with many TPM people."



Is that so?
From Massachusetts Are you?

Doug NYC GOP said...

Romney not a Tea Partier? Well at his book signing in NY, which I attended, there were quite a few, enthuesiastic Tea Partiers present.

Bill - Please doa post on how MassCare is Socialism. Perhaps you can enlighten us and win over some converts.

O'Donnell may indeed have voted a straight GOP ticket, but if all we are after is droids, we are in trouble.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bos,

A Rand Paul would not win in Massachusetts any more than Scott Brown would win in Kentucky.

Both have Tea Party support of members with different priorities on various issues.

No rubber stamps!

BTW, I consider myself Tea Party. So are many of my friends. Most are either Romney or Palin fans. It's about 50/50


Michael said...

Excellent point about Brown being the catalyst for the changes that followed. For that reason and the fact that this is Massachusetts, I would hope that people would cut him a little slack.

hamaca said...

I think most tea partiers who supported him knew exactly what they were getting in Scott Brown, but chose to ignore it while getting caught up in the excitement of taking Ted Kennedy's seat. Now he's no longer good enough and they think they want ideological purity in MA? Ha!

Btw, I lived 11 years in a country with a socialist heath care system. MA does not have socialized health care. Any comment to the contrary is hyperbole and should not be taken seriously.

Right Wingnut said...


You're right. RomneyCare is not socialism. Social Democracy would be a more apt description. I'm not suggesting that's what Mitt intended, but the description fits. Proponents of Social Democracy see programs like RomneyCare and ObamaCare as a means to an end. It's called incrementalism. That's why Ted Kennedy was standing behind Mitt grinning from ear to ear when Mitt signed the bill.

Right Wingnut said...

A reminder...

During a speech in Baltimore on Feb. 2, 2007, Romney outlined his ambitions for the Massachusetts plan. "I'm proud of what we've done," he said. "If Massachusetts succeeds in implementing it, then that will be a model for the nation."

Pablo said...

"With all do respect, Do you know what the hell you're talking about?"

Bosman, I posted the links to the comments I made. If I said something inaccurate, then it is only because the media reported it falsely. However I see no reason to believe that the Tea Party is popular in MA. I could be wrong, but I would love to see a poll showing strong Tea Party support. Brown must stress his independence from the Republican party, much more the Tea Party.

Pablo said...


You will never convince some conservatives that Romneycare is not socialism. Best just to smile and move on.

Doug NYC GOP said...


So Romney is a Social Democrat? Wow, right from the micro phone of Rush Limbaugh, who's pushing this theory now. Not about Romney specifially, but anyone he disagree's with.

I guess we'll never agree. To you, MassCare will always be Socialism, Democratic or otherwise. To me, resigning after completing only 62% of one's term as Governor, is quitting.

Right Wingnut said...


Actually, I haven't heard Rush use the term "Social Democracy." I found it while researching various forms of socialism. Please follow the link I provided, read it, and come back and tell me where I'm wrong. I'm not suggesting that Mitt's intention was to move to a socialist health care system, but there's no doubt in my mind that Ted Kennedy and the rest of the far left saw this as the first step in that direction.

Right Wingnut said...


By the used to be one of the more "reasonable" Rombots. Now, it seems you just respond without reading my comments. I agreed with you that RomneyCare is not Socialism, and you responded by accusing me of calling it that.

Pablo said...

Right Wingnut,

The problem with your assertion is that you are saying that a system which regulates is a social-democratic system. Therefore, TSA is a social democratic institution as well as the car insurance industry and much more. However, regulations does not equate social democracy.

If you closely read the Wikipedia article that you linked us to, you would notice that social democratic thinking started off as an offshoot to socialism. It was a gradualist approach, which sought to reform the capitalist system rather than revolt against it. Some social democrats wanted to eventual obtain a socialist system. Others just wanted social justice.

Romneycare does, in no way, shape, or form, fall into this category. It is not an attempt at economic equality, but rather an attempt to prevent free loading at the hospital. I know that it must feel good for you to label Romney a social democrat, but do you seriously think he wants to regulate the economy in an attempt to narrow income disparity?

Right Wingnut said...

It is not an attempt at economic equality, but rather an attempt to prevent free loading at the hospital. - Pablo

Are you as certain of Ted Kennedy's motivations?

Never mind. Since you've been somewhat of an apologist for liberal social programs, it's probably pointless for us to have this discussion.

Pablo said...

"Since you've been somewhat of an apologist for liberal social programs, it's probably pointless for us to have this discussion."

Ha! You are hilarious, my friend. I consistently advocate for small government solutions to problems. Romneycare is a private-market approach to solving the free rider problem. You know it, but you will never admit it, because you are a Palin fan first and foremost. Just like Romney fans won't admit that Romneycare is very similar to Obamacare.

Pablo said...

"Are you as certain of Ted Kennedy's motivations?"

Yes, if Ted wanted economic equality, he would have nationalized the health care industry in MA, which he did not.

Pablo said...

Ironically, between Obama, Romney, and Palin, the socialist theme most accurately describes a certain former governor that resided over nationalized oil. And when I say 'nationalized' I mean nationalized. Not privatized as in the case of Romneycare.

Right Wingnut said...

Yes, if Ted wanted economic equality, he would have nationalized the health care industry in MA, which he did not. - Pablo

Ted Kennedy was in favor of a single payer system. Explain to me how he could have "nationalized the health care industry in MA."

Have you not seen the clips of Obama (and others) from a few years ago explaining how they would gradually get to single payer? Here's a short video to give you a little taste.

Obama himself explained (in 2007) how it may take 15-20 years to achieve true single payer. Again, it's achieved through gradualism. This is a tenet of Social Democracy - institue change through legislation that will ultimately lead to a full blown socialist program. ObamaCare, as written, will ultimately destroy the private insurance industry. A single payer system is in on the horizon if the bill is not repealed.

Right Wingnut said...

Oooh...good one Pablo. So Palin is a "socialist" because the Alaskan state constitution states that the residents own the resources. I don't believe Palin was alive when that was drafted, but good try. Perhaps Mitt can use that one in the campaign. That ought to go over well.

Doug NYC GOP said...


You may not have heard Rush use the term but he has refered to it the last few weeks. He spoke about in reference to how Liberals keep changing their names, etc.

I admit I didn't read the entire link, partly because I am not in the mood today, to reargue MassCare. Besides, I shouldn't have to prove your accusation false. If you belive MassCare is all you say it and you know Teddy Kennedy's motives, well make you case.

BTW I am still reasonable, just kicking back for the holidays and recharging. Why even cut Palin some slack and didn't review the last two episodes of that silly show. :)

Pablo said...


I don't think that Palin is a socialist. But then again, I am not given to politicized hyperbole. But Palin did sign a energy rebate and, no, the state constitution didn't make her do it. Does this mean that Palin is a socialist? No. It just means that Palin is more socialistic than either Romney or Obama, who never of which have resided over any kind of nationalization of any kind of industry.

Pablo said...


True or false. Obamacare is nationalized health care.

True or false. Romneycare is nationalized health care.

Bill589 said...

Government mandating individuals to pay for everybody is socialist.

Masscare is socialized healthcare.
I’ve also read this many places.

Maybe Mitt is a fiscal conservative now, but he wasn’t when he passed Masscare.

And like all socialist ideas, it works only a little while, ‘until you run out of other people’s money.’

Bill589 said...

Calling it ‘social democracy’ reminds me of what this great conservative said:

Margaret Thatcher -
“Socialists have always spent much of their time seeking new titles for their beliefs, because the old versions so quickly become outdated and discredited.”

Next maybe they'll try, "Progressive Capitalism." I don't think they used that one yet.

Anonymous said...

"With Coakley you get 0% with you. At least with Brown, you'll get 75%." With Mr. Brown, other than the fact he votes for our chairmen and procedurally, he is less than 50% on our side when push comes to shove. That is simply a failing grade. I don't expect 90 to 100% voting droids, but I think we need somebody with a passing grade. Yes, I one of the Tea Partier across the country who got swept into the excitement and donated to Mr. Brown. Fool me once, but not again.


Anonymous said...

Massachussetts is a different beast and I can understand why you would have to have a different mindset to be a Republican Senator from Mass. but let's be honest here. Brown is one slick individual who played the "aww shucks" role perfectly as he accepted TP support for his campaign, then acted as if he didn't know about them or their part in his election. He promised to bring fiscal sanity to Washington and then voted for some, not-so fiscally conservative policies.

A lot of Romney supporters will back all things Romney...even to their detriment. HELL...Brown even supported the New START guys should feel betrayed by this same old, same old, slickster. Just because Romney supported something doesn't mean you have to...especially after finding out all the facts. Look at MassCare...on paper it sounds great...let's make the freeloaders pay. Unfortunately, the reality is that not one person has had their insurance premiums lowered because of MassCare, not one person has lower taxes due to MassCare. Now people just have to pay a fine if they choose not to buy something the government is forcing them to buy. The lesson is this...Romney has a history of good intentions but then...we all know how that saying goes...


Right Wingnut said...

JR, I like how Mark Steyn put it..

"Massachusetts is the perfect example. It never cures the problem it sets out to cure, but it does give you an exciting range of new ones."

hamaca said...

"Masscare is socialized healthcare.
I’ve also read this many places."

Of course you have--so have I. And it's still wrong. It's an extreme exaggeration just like people who play the race card or other types of cards. They think the use of it will shock others less familiar with the situation to their side.

Look, there are good arguments on either side as to whether it's more conservative or liberal and what else should have been done in MA, if anything. It's a good debate to have. But socialized medicine? Try living in a country that actually has socialized medicine, then maybe you'll begin to understand the dramatic difference.

Right Wingnut said...

Try living in a country that actually has socialized medicine, then maybe you'll begin to understand the dramatic difference. - Hamaca

Give it 15-20 years. We'll get there eventually according to Obama. The seeds were planted in 2006. The fertilizer was added in 2010.

Doug NYC GOP said...


Happy New Year. All the best in 2011.

Sure I was disappointed in Brown's support of the START treaty and even some other votes. But I'd rather keep that seat in the GOP than have it turn back DEM again. Putting up a candidate further right than Brown, may be pleasing to the conservative ego in the primaries, but will have a very tough time of it in a Massachusetts GE. BTW, his first obligation is to vote and rep his state's electorate. So I have to grade on the curve to allow for those political realities.

One other thing to remember, Brown made sure to let people know he was going to act as an Independent. He said this again in his victory speech on his election night. TP and Conservatives were throwing money at this guy, because ALL they could see was him breaking the 60 seat hold in Congress. Talk Radio, most notably Mark Levin, were touting this strategy. If they chose not look more deeply at him, then it's their own fault.

hamaca said...


It wouldn't surprise if we got quite a bit closer if he and liberals/progressives were to be in power straight through those 15-20 years. Do not mess with the Obama!

Ironically, the country where I lived (in which the government doesn't just mandate health care coverage, it IS the health care system, unless you want to pay for private supplemental insurance), is facing such painful cost overruns, they seem to be trying to take baby steps in our general direction, e.g. having people pay higher fees for services rendered in some instances, whereas before, it was all "free" (paid for by all in the form of higher federal income taxes).

Anonymous said...

Doug, Happy New Year to you as well!!!

I agree about Massachussetts but I question a connection between the Tea Party Movement and Brown and Romney. Bosman's point was the connection and after time has passed, since his election, the connection is obviously weak.

Nothing more, nothing less.