During his fight to win Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts, Scott Brown was hailed as the Tea Party candidate. Now the newly elected junior senator is under fire from the very groups that are credited with his victory.
Members of the Tea Party are infuriated that Brown has helped Democrats pass several key pieces of legislation. In February, he voted with the majority party to pass an important jobs bill. And just last week, Brown’s vote gave Democrats the edge to break a filibuster on financial reform legislation.
The executive director of the media arm of the Tea Party Patriots is livid. “His career as a senator of the people lasted slightly longer than the shelf life of milk,” Shelby Blakely told The Boston Globe.
“The general mood of the Tea Party is, ‘We put you in, and we’ll take you out in 2012.’ This is not something we will forget,” Blakely said.
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann took credit Monday for foreseeing the split. “The trouble that Senator Scott Brown faces right now could have been predicted and indeed was predicted on this news hour when he was elected: the inevitability that he would infuriate the Tea Party that helped get him elected,” said Olbermann. “Senator Brown is toast to the Tea Party and impact on getting other favored candidates elected may be in serious question.”
“If the Tea Party crowd’s mantra was fiscal responsibility, that’s the first thing if you gave them a list they say they’re concerned about, why go after Senator Brown about financial regulatory reform, which is also known, I believe, as fiscal responsibility?” asked Olbermann.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Thomas Frank joined the MSNBC host to help answer that question.
“They aren’t really about fiscal responsibility, right? Where were they during the Bush administration when he was — when the Bush people were running up these colossal deficits?” wondered Frank.
“What they’re about is anti-government,” he continued. “So, of course, they don’t like what Scott Brown did. Whenever you empower government to regulate market participants, that’s — you’re stripping away our valuable freedoms every time you come down hard on poor Goldman Sachs,” Frank joked. “A lot of people thought he was a [Republican In Name Only] from day one…The conservative movement has this sense of themselves as forever being played.”
This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast May 24, 2010.