Don’t underestimate Scott Brown

Dino Teppara | Contributor

The tea party movement continues to sweep across the United States, and the center-right community is coalescing and gaining strength.  In an election year, emboldened by strong electoral victories in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, conservatives and independents are slowly building a viable coalition that may result in a political wave this fall.

With that being said, much of the spotlight continues to fall on superstars like Sarah Palin and Scott Brown.  Of the former, no one questions her star power or conservative bona fides.  But of the latter, there are some conservatives now questioning whether Scott Brown is truly “one of us” throughout the blogosphere.  Relax, I say.  He is.

First of all, remember what he did.  He took on a very experienced Democrat opponent in a state where Democrats largely outnumber Republicans.  Sensing the overreaching by liberals on Capitol Hill, he tapped into intense voter angst, making his opposition to the health care reform process the foundation of his campaign.  He did not say he was opposed to health care reform.  Rather, he was opposed, like the majority of Americans, with the ram-it-through-at-any-cost mentality espoused by the liberal majorities in Congress.

He ran a smart, principled campaign, and he was a polished, effective speaker and candidate.  He is a lawyer with a military background and is a family man.  He is, like Sarah Palin, a legitimate political superstar.

Is he a conservative?  YES.  He is speaking to the Massachusetts Republican Party State Convention on Saturday and to the Republican National Lawyers Association.  He spoke on the very first day of this year’s historic Conservative Political Action Conference, which drew the largest gathering in history, with more than 10,000 attendees.

Despite the fact that’s been to virtually every tea party meeting in Massachusetts, liberal reporters are now trying to stir up trouble by acting as if he is snubbing tea party activists.  Don’t be foolish and fall for this liberal trap.  The reason why he wasn’t in Boston on Wednesday was because Congress was in session for the first time in more than two weeks, and he has to vote on Capitol Hill.  Have people already forgotten that he is an elected official and that he has to cast votes for his constituents like every other Member of Congress?  As soon as he’s done voting, he’ll be back with state party activists on Saturday.

Scott Brown has done nothing to deserve this latest political attack.  Liberal reporters are writing stories as if he is trying to avoid the tea party rally in Boston, instead of truthfully reporting that he, like every other member of the House and Senate, needs to be in Washington when Congress is in session.  And what would the headlines be if he skipped votes and went to the rally instead?  They would cite how Senator Brown is ignoring his constituents by not casting important votes on their behalf.  This of course would be used against him in his next election, which is only two years away, casting him as an insensitive, out-of-touch radical politician, showing up at a rally and ignoring his own constituents.  Fortunately, Scott Brown is smarter than that.  He returned to Washington after the two-week spring recess and cast a vote in favor of extending unemployment benefits, which passed the Senate by a bipartisan margin of 60-34.

So he’s berated by the Right for not showing up in Boston because he has to vote in Washington, and he would be criticized by the Left if he showed up in Boston instead of going to Washington and voting.  See, Scott Brown is smarter than that.  He didn’t skip his congressional duties and there won’t be a campaign ad against him for missing an important vote.  What response could the tea partiers provide to that kind of attack any way?

It’s time for conservatives to smarten up.  This dishonest reporting is being done purposely by a cynical media, trying to create a wedge between Scott Brown and our movement.  Don’t fall for this trap.  Scott Brown is one of us, and he and all of our conservative fighters need our support more than ever to fight both the liberals in Congress and in the media.

Dino Teppara formerly served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) and is the Chairman of the Indian American Conservative Council.

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