Have you caught the FEVAH?!? It’s sweeping the nation right now, and in an explosive fashion if my Twitter feed and e-mail inbox are even remotely reliable indicators. I’m speaking, of course, of Scott Brown Fever. He’s the darling of the dance, the belle of the ball and the newest rock star on the national GOP stage all rolled into one. He’s the David who slew Goliath on his home turf. And I’m already seeing some fever swamp rumblings surrounding him. These range from calls for him to be on the 2012 presidential ticket to demands that he deliver the rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
To his legions of giddy supporters, I say this… enjoy. Revel in the moment and pour some champagne. After the trip to the woodshed you took in 2006 and 2008 you deserve it. But when you finish cleaning up the dishes and putting the party hats back in the closet, I’d like a quick word with you.
Let’s stop for a moment and see just who you sent to the Senate from the Bay State. By any conventional, national conservative measuring stick, Scott is a pragmatic independent. Yes, as I’ve noted before he speaks the language of fiscal conservatism with a smaller government bent. But on a host of social issues, some aspects of foreign policy and a couple of other check list items, Scott is a moderate in both name and deed. Remember all those ugly things some of you said about John McCain during the 2008 campaign? Remember saying that he wasn’t a “true conservative” and he was squishy on immigration, campaign finance reform and several other issues? Scott Brown makes John McCain look like the founders of Club for Growth, Operation Rescue and the Free Republic all rolled into one. Remember all the nasty names you had for Dede Scozzafava during the NY-23 debacle? If you put a dress on Scott Brown (ugh… there’s a visual we probably didn’t need before lunch…) he IS Dede. Brown could have had Mitt Romney, (*see update) Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee on the stump with him in a heartbeat, but he turned them all away. Who did he invite to speak on his behalf? Rudy Giuliani from New York. That should tell you something right there.
Ed Morrissey has a great cautionary tale up at Hot Air today making many of these same points, which I invite you to read if you think my conservative bona fides aren’t strong enough to take this message to heart. But as you mull these things over, I ask you to ponder one other question. Is Scott some sort of mystical creature, never before seen in the GOP, sent down from on high to confound you? No, he is not. Scott is actually quite typical of the kind of Republicans we elect to various offices in the Northeast all the time and have been doing so since the days of Eisenhower. Call him a moderate. Call him a RINO. Call him whatever you like. But he came to the race knowing exactly what he had to do in order to win as a Republican in this part of the country. Plenty of Republicans do the same thing every season. And they are consistently pilloried for it across the conservative blogosphere.
When Scott Brown turns out to be pretty much at the same lunch table with Olympia Snow, don’t act surprised. And if you can manage to hold your temper in check, don’t browbeat him for it. That’s how we roll in the Northeast. You were never going to elect a firebreathing, bible belt conservative in that seat. But you did get a win… an important win. Try to keep that in mind as you chart the course forward in this year’s mid-terms and the battle of 2012. All politics is still local and the locals will choose candidates who best fit their needs. Scott Brown is going to have a HUGE battle facing him in two years when the Democrats will probably not put up another zombie against him and the perfect storm of opposition to health care reform may have settled to calmer waters. He’ll still need your support then, but he may have disappointed you a few times in the intervening months. Try to get over that now or you’re in for some sadness and anger in the future.
UPDATE: I’ve been informed that Romney did actually show up in Mass for Brown’s victory speech. Then again, Mitt came from Northeast origins himself.