Like Veronique de Rugy, I find it puzzling that Senator Brown would vote for the current jobs bill, which does not appear to have any visible economic virtues, and which does not conform to any conservative school of economic thought. Why then, with the eyes of the nation’s conservatives and independents upon him, would he do it?
Politics. Duh. It isn’t just that he comes from blue, blue Massachusetts, where voters have certain expectations — a justification we constantly ascribe to fellow New Englander, Sen. Olympia Snowe, a woman whose angular features belie the soul of a really squishy squish. I am guessing that Scott Brown believes that he cannot simply join the (highly effective and admirable) “no” chorus of Republicans, lest he be labeled a pure obstructionist and not an independent kind of guy who’s just looking for effective solutions to get the working men and women of Massachusetts back to work.
If that is his reason, we will not see much more of this. And getting the “compromiser” votes out of the way with a relatively unimportant jobs bill, rather than a serious bailout or tax bill, is a cheap solution. If this is a conscious strategy to build a reputation as a “pragmatist” and not an idealogue, a guy looking for solutions and not a purist — well, let’s hope that he confines the votes needed to maintain that image to less serious matters.
Cynical? “Calculated” is a better word. And let’s remember that our hero is, after all, a career politician.
Of course, there is the possibility that he really doesn’t get it. In that case, a little help and advice from the guiding hands that helped him get elected might be in order.