'The People's Seat' May Be in Jeopardy, and What We Can Learn From It

Democratic activist and former member of the Obama administration, Elizabeth Warren, has opened up a seven-point lead against incumbent Republican, Sen. Scott Brown, in the 2012 Senate race in Massachusetts, according to a recent poll.

Sen. Brown, who portrayed himself as a guy who “drives a truck,” won a special election in January of 2010 to fill the Senate term of the late Ted Kennedy, becoming the first Republican senator from “blue” Massachusetts since 1972. Mr. Brown ran against Democrat Martha Coakley in a stunning, come-from-behind campaign. Sen. Brown’s victory inspired him to say, “Tonight, the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken. This Senate seat belongs to no one person, no one political party. … This is the people’s seat.”

The election of Scott Brown was significant in several ways. First, it broke the Democrats’ 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Second, it was the forerunner of the “shellacking” President Obama and the liberal Democrats experienced the following November when a group of conservative Republicans won back the House for their party and redefined the core principles and values of that party. Third, it legitimized the power of the grass roots Tea Party, which remains the primary thorn in the side of the president and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

With the support of the Tea Party and other conservatives across the country, Scott Brown was swept to victory. However, only a month after his historical election, he began distancing himself from the grass roots group, refraining from joining the Tea Party caucus, stressing, instead, his desire to be an “independent voter and thinker and focus on the very real issues and where we find commonality.”

Regarding his decision not to officially back the Tea Party, Sen. Brown said that he supports a “lot of different movements,” with emphasis on those that are concerned about America’s fiscal future.

Although unrelated to America’s fiscal future, soon after he was seated in the Senate, Sen. Brown began a media tour, promoting his book, Against All Odds, in which he revealed his experience of having been physically and sexually abused throughout his childhood.

To date, Sen. Brown’s moderate thinking earns him a 48% Heritage Action for America (HAFA) score, reflecting the degree to which he has voted consistently for conservative principles and values.

Okay, I get it. Scott Brown was never a conservative and was never going to be a reliable conservative vote in the Senate. He was simply a Republican seat where there once was not one. We were supposed to be grateful for whatever conservative votes his independent mind was willing to toss us. He used the Tea Party to help his campaign and, in fairness, the Tea Party and other grass roots groups used him to gain the Republican seat.

But now the much ballyhooed Scott Brown is likely in for a major fight against none other than uber-liberal Elizabeth Warren, who believes none of us can make it on our own.

According to Newsmax, Sen. Brown is suffering from the defection of conservatives from his camp. Conservatives are disturbed by some of the senator’s liberal positions, as evidenced by his votes in favor of the Dodd-Frank bill, the new START bill to reduce America’s arsenal of nuclear weapons, President Obama’s jobs bill, and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Sen. Brown also offered his support for the president’s Consumer Financial Protection “czar” nominee, and has expressed views that suggest he is in favor of gay marriage and abortion rights.

But, wait a minute. I thought “moderate” Republicans were supposed to be the magic key to winning in “blue” states like Massachusetts. And many who support Mitt Romney, considered to be the “moderate” Republican presidential candidate, say it is necessary to have a “moderate” as the nominee in order to attract the all-important Independents who, according to Republican folklore, are terrified of conservatism.

The truth is, the Tea Party and conservative grass roots groups are slowly pulling the GOP back to its conservative foundations. And, it is working, even among so-called moderates and independents. A new Gallup poll reveals that 64% of Americans now fear that big government is the largest threat to the country.

We know this is true because, daily, we hear continued comments of disdain and contempt about the conservative House Republicans from President Obama and Democrat leaders in Congress. Their need to emphasize how “extreme” the conservatives are, to whatever unthinking Americans are left in their audience, is nothing but evidence of the degree to which conservatism has taken hold of American politics. When I hear someone say how “extreme” the conservative Republicans are, I smile to myself and think, “It’s working.”

Those who still wish to cling to the Neanderthal notion that sitting on the fence, driving on the line between two lanes, and making peace across the political aisle will bring about a Republican victory are steeped heavily in denial and, perhaps, a fear of conflict. Like Scott Brown, once those “moderate” Republicans seat themselves in Congress, they will slowly drown in their inability to commit to a philosophy of government, lamely calling it “independent thinking.” Better to call yourself an all-out “liberal,” than to say you are “moderate.”

It is time to be bold and to embrace a conservatism that is based on a survival instinct for the nation, one that recognizes that we have just one chance to right ourselves. Scott Brown may lose his hard-won Senate seat because he is not conservative enough. Are we willing to take that chance with our country?

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