At no surprise to the humble host of this blog, the GOP quickly wrested control of the Senate this week as they successfully filibustered the $15 billion jobs bill the Democrats have been trying to get pushed through. See, Massachusetts. This is the exact reason why your decision to break up a majority by putting a Republican in office has consequences that will negatively affect the entire countr…
…I’m sorry, what’s that you say? Scott Brown took part in stopping the filibuster?!
What, what, what?!
As it turns out, Sen. Brown and four other Republicans broke ranks with prominent GOP leaders to advance the bill; basically slighting Republicans who intended on using a filibuster to counter what they considered partisan bullying from Majority Leader Harry Reid. The bill included several provisions that seem to offer support and incentives for businesses looking to expand their work force. While the bill could potentially be flawed in some respects (I’m not entirely convinced employers make hiring decisions based on tax breaks), this jobs bill could be a step in the right direction to assuage some of the impact of the recession.
I have to admit, I’m very surprised to see such defiance coming from the Republican party; a party committed to obstructing virtually every progressive initiative to hit the table. I’m especially surprised that such a move would come from Scott Brown – who’s election last month seemingly represented a turn of the tide for the Republicans (true, Brown’s time is still young. But you have to admit, this was a shocker).
I suppose the big question for me at this point would be: how will the other Congressional Republicans respond to Brown? The sweaty palm print he left on the Bible during his swear-in hasn’t completely dried up yet and he’s already making his mark as a “maverick.” What will the Republicans and the Tea Party (synonymous terms at this point) do if their new hero doesn’t behave himself by voting across party lines? We’ve seen liberals assassinate characters of politicians who have strayed from the Democratic side (Harold Ford , Joe Lieberman, and a number of other Bluedogs). So I’m very curious to see whether this kind of aisle-crossing will do for Brown’s legacy…and if he feels he has to spearhead other filibusters just to save face with his Republican colleagues and supporters. Even though he wasn’t the lone voice of dissent from the GOP, he was certainly the loudest.