Senator Brown Tries to Distract From the Real Issue

Last week, the League of Women Voters launched an ad campaign to let the public know that Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MI) both voted in April to undermine the Clean Air Act.  The proposal didn’t pass the Senate, but if it had, it would have endangered people’s health. That’s why the American Lung Association, the American Academy of Pediatricians, the American Thoracic Society, and many other medical groups opposed it.

But Senator Brown doesn’t like being confronted with the consequences of his vote.  Ever since the ads appeared, he has deployed a classic political tactic: when you are held accountable, don’t provide answers. Attack the messenger instead. Rather than address the fact that his vote would have made kids sick, Brown has accused the League of Women Voters of “demagoguery,” said the League has “gone into the gutter,” and challenged the nonprofit to reveal its funders.

The name of this game is distraction, and too often, we let politicians lure us into playing along. But remember, the issue here isn’t where the League gets its funding. It is a nonpartisan voter education organization that has been around since 1920 and has been working on Clean Air Act issues for decades.  And it is acting in full compliance with the law.

The issue here is why Brown was willing to undermine a major public health protection. He’s invoked his fatherhood as a sort of shield of credibility. “As a father,” he wrote in a recent Boston Herald op-ed, “I would never put my two daughters or anyone else’s children in harm’s way.”

I don’t judge Brown’s parenting skills; that’s none of my business. But whether he acknowledges it or not, blocking the EPA from updating clean air standards would make some kids sicker.  There is no arguing that point. The medical evidence is clear.

Even if Brown tries to distract us with the shiny ball of funding sources, the facts still matter. We must return our eyes to the truth presented in the League’s ads.  And Brown is in no position, by the way, to cast aspersions about donors.  He has opposed measures to require disclosure of donors. And from what he has had to reveal, we know of at least $133,000 that Brown received from big polluters and their corporate front groups.

Think Progress has a tape of Brown thanking David Koch for supporting has last Senate campaign and hitting him up for the next one – in 2012. – Koch is co-owner of one of the ten most toxic air polluters in the US and a key backer of efforts to gut the Clean Air Act. So Brown was elected thanks in part to money from one of America’s dirtiest polluters; and he’s on tape making it clear he’s coming back for more, explaining that “We’re already banging away.” Is it any wonder he wants to block the safeguards that would make Koch and other polluters clean up their messes?

I would have more respect for Brown if he stood by his vote and said "yes, it will make some children sick, but the corporations who support me think it’s worth it." I would still find that morally reprehensible, but at least it would be honest.

Instead, he is taking the easiest and the weakest way out: shoot the messenger.

"The Saga of Partisan Affairs"

Some highlights from the world of numbers crunching.

Nate Silver: Scott Brown's early 2010 victory may have been an early bell-weather for Democratic losses, but it was an outlier and Brown may be vulnerable:

The tsunami that hit Democrats last month — as large as it was — was remarkably precise and orderly, all things considered: given that the Democrats lost more than 60 seats, they lost almost exactly the 60 seats that you might have expected them to lose based on the overall partisanship of the districts. That did not include seats similar to Massachusetts, where Democrats in fact held on to all 10 congressional districts, even though several of the seats had been considered vulnerable.

Pollster: Americans have been ready for DADT repeal for over a decade.

Some outlets use a favor/oppose construction, others use yes/no or agree/disagree. Some outlets use the word "homosexuals," others use "gays and lesbians." ...

Regardless of the question wording, the basic result is the same. For sixteen years Americans have been supportive of allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military.

PPP: Montana Republicans want former Governor, former insurance lobbyist, and former Bush adviser Marc Racicot as their 2012 Senate candidate challenging Jon Tester:

Most would like to see either Marc Racicot (40%) or Denny Rehberg (37%) end up with the nod. Rehberg has near universal popularity with the Republican base (75/14) and although he gets a lot of 'not sures' 10 years removed from the Governor's office pretty much all Republicans with an opinion about Racicot like him (58/12 favorability). It's hard to imagine anyone else winning the nomination if either of them end up running

Also, they loves themselves some Palin/Huckabee.

Thomas Schaller takes a look at CO, NH, OH, VA in 2010, areas of biggest gain for Democrats in the previous three midterms, and concludes:

...just two years after Obama’s precedent-setting victory, America remains entrenched in a period of partisan dealignment and gridlock, and divided government nationally. Despite steady Republican gains since Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election, followed by a stinging Republican rebuke by a revitalized Democratic Party during the late stages of George W. Bush’s presidency, the shifting fortunes of the two major parties in these four states suggest that this saga of partisan affairs may well continue for some time.

Maybe this is because voters are having difficult time distiguishing between the two parties these days?

Finally, you're losing the messaging war, Mr. President.

The president's overall job approval rating in the poll, conducted separately from Gallup Daily tracking, is 42%. His ratings on three of the issues tested -- foreign affairs, Afghanistan, and taxes -- are within two to four points of that rating. Obama's ratings on the economy and the federal budget deficit, however, are significantly lower than his overall approval -- by 7 and 10 points, respectively.

 

 

"The Saga of Partisan Affairs"

Some highlights from the world of numbers crunching.

Nate Silver: Scott Brown's early 2010 victory may have been an early bell-weather for Democratic losses, but it was an outlier and Brown may be vulnerable:

The tsunami that hit Democrats last month — as large as it was — was remarkably precise and orderly, all things considered: given that the Democrats lost more than 60 seats, they lost almost exactly the 60 seats that you might have expected them to lose based on the overall partisanship of the districts. That did not include seats similar to Massachusetts, where Democrats in fact held on to all 10 congressional districts, even though several of the seats had been considered vulnerable.

Pollster: Americans have been ready for DADT repeal for over a decade.

Some outlets use a favor/oppose construction, others use yes/no or agree/disagree. Some outlets use the word "homosexuals," others use "gays and lesbians." ...

Regardless of the question wording, the basic result is the same. For sixteen years Americans have been supportive of allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military.

PPP: Montana Republicans want former Governor, former insurance lobbyist, and former Bush adviser Marc Racicot as their 2012 Senate candidate challenging Jon Tester:

Most would like to see either Marc Racicot (40%) or Denny Rehberg (37%) end up with the nod. Rehberg has near universal popularity with the Republican base (75/14) and although he gets a lot of 'not sures' 10 years removed from the Governor's office pretty much all Republicans with an opinion about Racicot like him (58/12 favorability). It's hard to imagine anyone else winning the nomination if either of them end up running

Also, they loves themselves some Palin/Huckabee.

Thomas Schaller takes a look at CO, NH, OH, VA in 2010, areas of biggest gain for Democrats in the previous three midterms, and concludes:

...just two years after Obama’s precedent-setting victory, America remains entrenched in a period of partisan dealignment and gridlock, and divided government nationally. Despite steady Republican gains since Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election, followed by a stinging Republican rebuke by a revitalized Democratic Party during the late stages of George W. Bush’s presidency, the shifting fortunes of the two major parties in these four states suggest that this saga of partisan affairs may well continue for some time.

Maybe this is because voters are having difficult time distiguishing between the two parties these days?

Finally, you're losing the messaging war, Mr. President.

The president's overall job approval rating in the poll, conducted separately from Gallup Daily tracking, is 42%. His ratings on three of the issues tested -- foreign affairs, Afghanistan, and taxes -- are within two to four points of that rating. Obama's ratings on the economy and the federal budget deficit, however, are significantly lower than his overall approval -- by 7 and 10 points, respectively.

 

 

"The Saga of Partisan Affairs"

Some highlights from the world of numbers crunching.

Nate Silver: Scott Brown's early 2010 victory may have been an early bell-weather for Democratic losses, but it was an outlier and Brown may be vulnerable:

The tsunami that hit Democrats last month — as large as it was — was remarkably precise and orderly, all things considered: given that the Democrats lost more than 60 seats, they lost almost exactly the 60 seats that you might have expected them to lose based on the overall partisanship of the districts. That did not include seats similar to Massachusetts, where Democrats in fact held on to all 10 congressional districts, even though several of the seats had been considered vulnerable.

Pollster: Americans have been ready for DADT repeal for over a decade.

Some outlets use a favor/oppose construction, others use yes/no or agree/disagree. Some outlets use the word "homosexuals," others use "gays and lesbians." ...

Regardless of the question wording, the basic result is the same. For sixteen years Americans have been supportive of allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military.

PPP: Montana Republicans want former Governor, former insurance lobbyist, and former Bush adviser Marc Racicot as their 2012 Senate candidate challenging Jon Tester:

Most would like to see either Marc Racicot (40%) or Denny Rehberg (37%) end up with the nod. Rehberg has near universal popularity with the Republican base (75/14) and although he gets a lot of 'not sures' 10 years removed from the Governor's office pretty much all Republicans with an opinion about Racicot like him (58/12 favorability). It's hard to imagine anyone else winning the nomination if either of them end up running

Also, they loves themselves some Palin/Huckabee.

Thomas Schaller takes a look at CO, NH, OH, VA in 2010, areas of biggest gain for Democrats in the previous three midterms, and concludes:

...just two years after Obama’s precedent-setting victory, America remains entrenched in a period of partisan dealignment and gridlock, and divided government nationally. Despite steady Republican gains since Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election, followed by a stinging Republican rebuke by a revitalized Democratic Party during the late stages of George W. Bush’s presidency, the shifting fortunes of the two major parties in these four states suggest that this saga of partisan affairs may well continue for some time.

Maybe this is because voters are having difficult time distiguishing between the two parties these days?

Finally, you're losing the messaging war, Mr. President.

The president's overall job approval rating in the poll, conducted separately from Gallup Daily tracking, is 42%. His ratings on three of the issues tested -- foreign affairs, Afghanistan, and taxes -- are within two to four points of that rating. Obama's ratings on the economy and the federal budget deficit, however, are significantly lower than his overall approval -- by 7 and 10 points, respectively.

 

 

"The Saga of Partisan Affairs"

Some highlights from the world of numbers crunching.

Nate Silver: Scott Brown's early 2010 victory may have been an early bell-weather for Democratic losses, but it was an outlier and Brown may be vulnerable:

The tsunami that hit Democrats last month — as large as it was — was remarkably precise and orderly, all things considered: given that the Democrats lost more than 60 seats, they lost almost exactly the 60 seats that you might have expected them to lose based on the overall partisanship of the districts. That did not include seats similar to Massachusetts, where Democrats in fact held on to all 10 congressional districts, even though several of the seats had been considered vulnerable.

Pollster: Americans have been ready for DADT repeal for over a decade.

Some outlets use a favor/oppose construction, others use yes/no or agree/disagree. Some outlets use the word "homosexuals," others use "gays and lesbians." ...

Regardless of the question wording, the basic result is the same. For sixteen years Americans have been supportive of allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military.

PPP: Montana Republicans want former Governor, former insurance lobbyist, and former Bush adviser Marc Racicot as their 2012 Senate candidate challenging Jon Tester:

Most would like to see either Marc Racicot (40%) or Denny Rehberg (37%) end up with the nod. Rehberg has near universal popularity with the Republican base (75/14) and although he gets a lot of 'not sures' 10 years removed from the Governor's office pretty much all Republicans with an opinion about Racicot like him (58/12 favorability). It's hard to imagine anyone else winning the nomination if either of them end up running

Also, they loves themselves some Palin/Huckabee.

Thomas Schaller takes a look at CO, NH, OH, VA in 2010, areas of biggest gain for Democrats in the previous three midterms, and concludes:

...just two years after Obama’s precedent-setting victory, America remains entrenched in a period of partisan dealignment and gridlock, and divided government nationally. Despite steady Republican gains since Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election, followed by a stinging Republican rebuke by a revitalized Democratic Party during the late stages of George W. Bush’s presidency, the shifting fortunes of the two major parties in these four states suggest that this saga of partisan affairs may well continue for some time.

Maybe this is because voters are having difficult time distiguishing between the two parties these days?

Finally, you're losing the messaging war, Mr. President.

The president's overall job approval rating in the poll, conducted separately from Gallup Daily tracking, is 42%. His ratings on three of the issues tested -- foreign affairs, Afghanistan, and taxes -- are within two to four points of that rating. Obama's ratings on the economy and the federal budget deficit, however, are significantly lower than his overall approval -- by 7 and 10 points, respectively.

 

 

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