A Wolf in Sheep’s Carhartt’s: Senator Scott Brown

Scott Brown is a guy who achieved political success in the state of Massachusetts by creating an image for himself as a common, down-to-earth man of the people. He often flaunts his very average credentials by citing his divorced parents and middle-class upbringing. To drive this point home he dons an omnipresent Carhartt jacket and cruises around his home state in an old beat-up GMC pick-up truck, a truck that has become one of the focal points of his campaign. This formula has proven to be political gold for a Republican filling a Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy for more than 45 years. And why not? What’s not to like about a young, charismatic, attractive, moderate politician who embodies the American dream, achieved success, and has a successful wife and two beautiful children?

The problem with Scott Brown is simple. He’s 100% disingenuous. His entire persona is an act, everything from his man-of-the-people routine down to his pick-up truck. This average guy who can’t scrape enough money together to lease a vehicle with less than 200,000 miles on it made over $500,000 last year. The year before that he took home over $800,000. Over the last four years, Brown’s household income eclipsed $1.9 million. Brown’s household income places him well into the top 1%, and his income is almost 10 times greater than that of the average Massachusetts household. Is he the first wealthy man to hold office? Of course not. Is he the richest person in the U.S Senate? Not by a long shot. But my complaint comes from the fact that he is a millionaire posing as a middle-class guy. He’s a white-collar lawyer posing as a ranch hand.

While most Americans struggle to pay their mortgages, Brown owns a house in his hometown of Wrentham, Mass as well as a vacation home in New Hampshire, three condominiums in Boston, and a timeshare in Aruba. And while most children are going to soccer practice and singing in the school choir, Scott Brown’s younger daughter is a competitive equestrian, and his older daughter is a former American Idol contestant, hardly the activities of average middle-class children.

More importantly though is Mr. Brown’s voting record. Nothing about his performance in the United States Senate suggests that he is an advocate for the middle class. For example, despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary, Scott Brown still supports trickle-down economics and routinely says that cutting taxes for the wealthy is the path to economic prosperity. He supported—and continues to support—the Bush tax cuts. Like Mitt Romney, Brown believes that the only problem with American corporations is that the government has too many restrictions placed upon them. He actively supports easing up government regulations on oil companies, the banking industry, and other major business interests. He has gone so far as to say he opposes the regulation of greenhouse gases because that poses too great a restriction on American businesses. He supported the Citizens v. United ruling and has said that businesses should be able to contribute as much as they want to political campaigns.

In terms of education, Brown is in favor of privatizing the public school system and giving vouchers to parents to send their children to private and religious schools. He opposes providing school breakfasts for lower-income children. When it comes to healthcare, Brown opposed the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act, and he opposes the idea of universal healthcare. He believes the healthcare industry should remain a for-profit system and in the hands of the private insurance companies. To round out his resume, he supported the Patriot Act and roving wire taps, and he opposes gay marriage.

I’m trying to figure out what part of Scott Brown’s voting record or political message supports the middle-class values he supposedly represents. And what part of his personal life suggests that he is able to comprehend what it means to be a struggling middle-class family?

Supporters of Scott Brown will no doubt point to the wealth and prosperity of his rival, Elizabeth Warren. The difference between the two candidates is that Warren acknowledges her prosperity and agrees that she should give back to the system that allowed her to achieve success. Brown pretends that he’s not rich and then tells middle-class Americans that additional tax cuts for the wealthy will somehow benefit everyone.

As much as liberals dislike conservative politicians like Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann, at least these individuals are up front about who they are. Scott Brown is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, assuming that sheep wears Carhartt’s.

– Nathan

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3 Responses to “A Wolf in Sheep’s Carhartt’s: Senator Scott Brown”

  1. Hang him!

    No really, thanks for exposing the turd for who he is. I wish this this election was over already. I like Oregon voting. I was mailed my ballot, filled it out in my living room where I was comfortable and could take my time. Then the next day I walked it over to City Hall and was done. Very nice; I recommend this system for all the states. No fraud that I’m aware of.

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