Sunday, February 10, 2013

Scott Brown: A Lively Conversation

 Scott Brown at the podium, Amherst College Johnson Chapel

Private citizen Scott Brown's reception on a return visit to Amherst was a radical departure from his first visit 18 months ago as US Senator where a hoard of activists treated him rudely, some to the point of disrespect, and attempted to hound him all the way up Bare Mountain, although the vast majority could not match his brisk pace to the top.

Of course it was a "republican" group who had invited him to speak today, and about 75 mostly college aged youth answered the call.  The night-and-day difference was not lost on the former senator who pointed out this speech represented,  "The first time I have not had any protesters".

 Good crowd, mostly college aged youths, came to hear Scott Brown speak at Amherst College

Perhaps remembering that exact Amherst incident he continues, "I'm a moderate -- the most bipartisan senator in the senate and I'm being protested?!  But that's what makes our country so wonderful:   We have ability to have that free speech. We have that ability to question authority, to make a difference." 

Moderate indeed:  Brown touched on his socially liberal beliefs from campaign finance reform to supporting gays serving in the military,  and a woman's right to choose.

Which brought on perhaps his most exasperating moment, remembering the bitter campaign just ended, only his first loss in a dozen elections.  "I'm a pro-choice, moderate, bipartisan republican ... and I'm going to help take away women's rights?  Really!

He continues earnestly, "I'm from a house full of women.  I have three of the most hard charging, high powered women in my life and apparently I'm going to change -- just like that."

Scott Brown with his "hard charging, high powered" wife, Gail Huff

Brown repeated the word "bipartisan" over and over, saying that would be the key to his credibility now as a critic of the status quo.  We all need to "work together as Americans first."

He went on to poignantly remember the height of cooperation that made him "most proud" of the US Congress, when members from both sides of the isle stood together, some arm in arm, on the US Capitol steps and sang "God Bless America" on the late afternoon of 9/11.

But those days a l-o-n-g gone.

We have moved away from "tolerance and cooperation and the ability to work as Americans first ... We're in deep trouble.  What do I mean by that?  Economy is flat, unemployment is up, $16.5 trillion national debt.  When I went down there it was $11.95 trillion.  $16.5 trillion now!"

Turning to a post mortem on his recent senate loss he started with a forthright, "I wouldn't change a thing."   Because as a Republican he had an amazingly steep climb right out of the starting gate.

In a state where only 11% of voters are registered republicans, fighting a contest in a presidential election year with a peak turnout, competing for a seat that was formerly owned by a Kennedy, a family name in Massachusetts only one step down from God on the reverence scale.

Yet he lost by only 7.5%, while Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney -- a former Governor no less -- lost the state by a whopping 23%.

Scott Brown left the rapt audience with a challenge:  "Are you going to be a part of the go-along-to- get-along crowd or are you going to be a leader at the college.  Are you going to make a difference?"

Considering the obstacles he has overcome, Scott Brown provided them a timely role model.

Tony Melendez, who plays guitar with his feet, also provided an inspirational talk and musical demonstration of how the human spirit can overcome adversity.
Amherst College Johnson Chapel, under a majestic American flag, provided a bright cozy setting for uplifting talks
Mass Daily Collegian managed to muster a reporter (what say you Gazette, Republican, Ch 22, Ch 40?)


Anonymous said...

A complete lackey for the big banks. If I was the president of a responsible community bank, such as Florence Savings or Easthampton Savings, I would have been one of the protesters.

Anonymous said...

Just another Massachusetts Republican. They will say and often do anything that resembles bi-partisanship simply to capture dems' votes.

Larry Kelley said...

A man's got to do what a man's got to do. (Or woman of course.)

Anonymous said...

Scott Brown is a loser and he deserved to lose his Senate seat. He ran a totally inept campaign. His campaign manager doing tomahawk chopping and war whoops??? Give me a break.

Larry Kelley said...

I would hardly call winning 11 out of 12 political contests a "loser".

Anonymous said...

I did not say anything about the other contests he ran. I was commenting on the Senate race. He deserved to lose that race. He was a loser in that race.

Larry Kelley said...

As pointed out in the article (and if Scott Brown had not pointed it out in his talk, I would have anyway) the odds were stacked against him like the snow drifts piled outside my garage door.

I still remember the shock 20 years ago when the ARHS $22 million renovation Override first failed at the ballot box.

A wake up call for the liberal establishment, that was changed in the follow up election soon after the first failure.

Anonymous said...

Scott Brown does a good job talking about acting on principle but I see no evidence in his votes or his politics that demonstrates principle is the way he governs.

Anonymous said...

Amherst College seems like a great school but it's too conservative for my kids.

Larry Kelley said...

Sarcasm requires its own special font.

Anonymous said...

Odds are never stacked against an incumbent. Incumbents win 90%+ of their races.

Larry Kelley said...

Odds are pretty unlikely getting hit by lightening ... but I still would not run around the Cherry Hill Golf Course during a major thunderstorm waiving a metal golf club over my head.

Anonymous said...

Spoken like a person who does not understand politics.

Larry Kelley said...

At least I can vote.

Last I looked Anons had to identify themselves at the polls.

Anonymous said...

But not how they voted....