Friday, January 15, 2010

On Scott Brown of Massachusetts

A wingnut in sheep's clothing?

On October 17th, 2001, Brown voted against a bill that would authorize "leaves of absence for certain Red Cross employees participating in Red Cross emergencies." The bill gave 15 days of paid leave each year to state workers called up by the Red Cross to respond to disasters. At the time, state workers called for such emergencies were required to use sick and vacation days.

This suggests an almost-stunning callousness. It's all the more galling that Brown knew it was going to pass -- 148 to 3 -- but opposed it anyway, just to make a point.

I shudder to think what Republicans would say about a Democratic lawmaker who cast a vote like this just a month after the 9/11 attacks

The Brown campaign has said the vote was about fiscal responsibility -- Massachusetts couldn't afford assistance for Red Cross workers who had volunteered with 9/11 recovery efforts.

That's not a bad line, I suppose, but here's my follow-up question: why, then, does Scott Brown recommend tax cuts now that the nation can't afford? Why would tax cuts for the wealthy be more important that help for 9/11 recovery volunteers?

Tax cuts. It's the Republican panacea for everything that hurts you, never mind that it was the Bush tax cuts and the associated free-market (read: jungle of the greediest and most reckless) ideology which brought us the current economic recession. I don't see the logic of voting the architects of the collapsing building to be the ones to fix it.