Hot Air says Scott Brown is just a little ambiguous, Well, sure. He’s responding to the Massachusetts general election environment, playing for what he sees as the independent vote, because Scott Brown has never done this before. Yes, he knows the Massachusetts electorate very well, but he is forgetting the energy and vitality that an energized base can bring. In his reelection campaign he will not have national support if he is weak on this issue.
So it’s a tradeoff between grabbing at moderate independents and energizing your base. Good luck, Scott.
But Allahpundit makes an interesting prediction: if Speaker Boehner bulls the Planned Parenthood defunding out into its own bill for Harry Reid to quash, I don’t think Republican voters will blame Harry. I think they’ll blame our wimpy House Crier.
Scott Brown: I oppose defunding Planned Parenthood
We all understand that primarying him would be a kamikaze mission since at this point he may well be the only Republican in Massachusetts capable of getting elected to the Senate. That knowledge has bought him a wide, wide berth among the base. But I keep thinking — at some point, he’s going to cross a line and they’re going to go full RINO-stomp on him. Not even because they want to. Because they have to.
There’s a lot of deliberate ambiguity here, obviously. He’s open to cutting PP’s budget … just not the whole thing. And he’s open to voting for the House GOP’s budget resolutions even when they completely defund PPP … although he’s not happy about it. In fact, the ambiguity goes back to the aftermath of last year’s special election, when he told Barbara Walters that yes, he’s pro-choice, but “I’m against federal funding of abortions.” If federal money went towards PP’s abortion practice, he’d have to vote no, but since it’s earmarked for contraception and unrelated services (which of course frees up other money at PP to apply towards abortions), well, that’s A-OK. Behold the dilemma of a Massachusetts Republican, forever inching his way along a political tightrope.
He’s the third Senate Republican, along with Collins and Murkowski, to come out against defunding PP. Which leaves Boehner … where? If he attaches the PP rider to the next House budget bill and any of these three end up voting against it for that reason, the Democrats will crow about “bipartisan opposition” to the “renegade” House Republicans or whatever. Boehner’s going to have to yank it, right? Or at least split it off into a separate bill and let the Senate shoot it down, which will preserve the viability of the overarching budget bill while giving the base a new reason to be angry at Harry Reid.