Some of the comments on my column today on the main site illustrate the tough road ahead for Scott Brown in the next election. A liberal reader points out that Brown flip-flopped on DADT, supporting repeal of the modified military gay ban after aggressive lobbying from anti-DADT Massachusetts voters (and, though the reader doesn’t mention it, professional political activists). The liberal then goes on to argue how this shows Brown is too beholden to the Republican Party for him to vote for. Other commenters who purport to be Massachusetts conservatives say they’ll sit on the sideline rather than work for Brown’s reelection because of DADT repeal and other votes.
So Brown ultimately voted with the socially liberal plurality in Massachusetts, but in some circles isn’t getting any credit for casting his vote for DADT repeal when it mattered. Others, who may be smaller in number but constitute a more reliable part of the senator’s base, are disappointed with Brown for voting with the Democrats on this and other issues. Brown no doubt hopes that by splitting his votes between the caucuses — compiling a record to the right of Olympia Snowe but perhaps to the left of John McCain — he can please everyone. But he risks pleasing no one. New England is home to people who think Olympia Snowe is too conservative.
UPDATE: Brown is now one of eight Republicans who will back the New START Treaty.
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