Monday, July 19, 2010

A RINO at a Tea Party

Like a bull in a china shop, a RINO at a Tea Party has the potential to be a messy situation.

That's why Rep. Rob Wittman's decision to bring in Sen. Scott Brown (R-Ma.) to headline a fundraiser July 30 is interesting.

Brown was briefly the darling of the Tea Party when, with considerable out-of -state financial assistance from Tea Party activists, he beat the odds to win the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of former Sen. Edward Kennedy. The had been in Kennedy hands for more than 50 years and a Republican victory in one of the nation's bluest states was seen as a personal rebuke to President Barack Obama.

Brown was important to the Tea Party because he was seen as the Republicans' 41st vote to filibuster health care reform. However, Democrats skillfully found a way around the supposed 60 votes required to get anything done in the Senate -- which, strict constructionists that they are, the Tea Party activists might note was never part of the founders' intentions -- and passed the bill anyway.

After that, Brown quickly began losing his Tea Party fans as he started voting like the moderate, Northeast Republican he always had been. That, of course, was the only kind of Republican who was going to win in "The People's Republic of Massachusetts." Which means he occasionally votes with the Democrats, just like Republican senators Snow and Dukakis from Maine. Which leads the Tea Party crowd to fill his Facebook page with accusations of "betrayal" and that he's a "liar" and, even worse, a "RINO." The most recent instance was when he voted to allow financial reform legislation to move forward, so hopefully the greed heads who wrecked the economy two years ago will have a slightly harder task the next time.

Wittman voted against that bill.

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