On Wall Street Reform, Sen. Scott Brown Is Dancin' With The One That Brung Him

June 29, 2010 10:07 am ET — Chris Harris

In the final days of Scott Brown's tough campaign against Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, every cent counted.  With polls so close, it was clear that the election would likely come down to which campaign was able to spend the most money and run the most ads during the last stretch.

Thanks to Wall Street, Scott Brown won. 

As the Boston Globe reported: "In a six-day span just before the US Senate election, Republican Scott Brown collected nearly $450,000 from donors who work at financial companies, a sign the industry is prepared to spend heavily in the upcoming midterm elections to beat back new controls and taxes President Obama wants to impose."

The Globe interviewed Richard Hillman, an analyst for First Wilshire Securities, who decided to give $2,400 to Brown at the last minute because, "I thought making him the 41st Republican vote in the Senate would prevent some really terrible legislation from getting through."

Hillman (along with hundreds of other Wall Street donors) seems to be getting his money's worth.  After receiving more than $390,000 from Wall Street, Brown is now doing the industry's bidding in the Senate by threatening to kill Wall Street Reform.

After supporting an earlier version of the bill and persuading Democrats to add exemptions for insurance and mutual fund companies, Brown is making his banking buddies proud by now threatening to vote against the final legislation.

A "Scott Brown Republican"

During the campaign, Brown performed a difficult balancing act.  He had to appeal to the Bay State's Democratic-leaning electorate and assure the Tea Party activists that he'd be a reliable ally in the fight.  To pull this off, he couldn't rely on standard political labels, so he made one up.  He referred to himself repeatedly as "a Scott Brown Republican."

For months, Americans and Bay Staters were left wondering what a "Scott Brown Republican" was.  Now we all know:

A "Scott Brown Republican" is an opportunistic politician who attempts to fool voters into mistaking his blatant opportunism for political independence.  A "Scott Brown Republican" shuns his party orthodoxy when there's no political downside, but morphs into a northern Mitch McConnell when it counts.  A "Scott Brown Republican" dupes voters into believing he's a truck-driving populist, yet sides with America's most powerful corporations when their interests are at odds with those of average Americans.  When given the chance to get tough with the industry that destroyed the world economy and cost millions their jobs, a "Scott Brown Republican" hides behind nitpicky objections to hold the entire process hostage.

Basically, a "Scott Brown Republican" is exactly like every other Republican, except he pretends that he isn't.