Jim Antle writes about the growing disaffection here in Massachusetts amongst conservatives with Scott Brown citing an article in the Boston Globe quoting Christen Varley, President of the Greater Boston Tea Party, who has raised the possibility of a GOP primary challenge in 2012. Over the past month, Brown has voted in favor of the tax cut compromise, for the repeal of DADT and for the START Treaty.
Antle nevertheless remains optimistic about Brown’s chances noting that he has time on his side. I can understand the rationale of lighting a fire under Brown’s feet. Nevertheless methinks a primary challenge to Brown is counterproductive. Consider what I wrote in July when conservative disenchantment began to surface:
Now, of course, Brown would have to win the 2012 Massachusetts Republican Primary. It is certainly possible that Tea Party activists could find a viable candidate to challenge Brown in the primary. Yet it could prove to be a poison pill. Unless Brown wins the primary in a landslide (as he did last year), a strong challenge to him could cause the kind of division amongst Republican ranks that might very well lead the people’s seat to fall back into Democratic hands. In this part of the country, those hands have a very tight grip.
Still, given the anti-incumbent sentiment that exists amongst the electorate, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Brown could lose the primary. But unless the person carrying the GOP banner is physically attractive, has beautiful adult daughters and drives a truck, don’t expect another Massachusetts miracle. Bay State Republicans could find a candidate more conservative than Brown, but if that candidate says or does anything that scares the daylights out of voters then it could become Deval Patrick’s seat.
But let me take a leap of faith here. Suppose the GOP primary challenger not only dislodges Brown but somehow beats Patrick (or whoever the Democratic nominee happens to be) in the 2012 senatorial race. Who is to say that new Massachusetts Republican senator won’t be susceptible to the same fallibility and folly?
Massachusetts Republicans and conservative activists should think about that long and hard before they organize an attempt to dislodge Brown.