One thing you have to say for Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown — he knows which way the wind blows. He was able to turn the then fledgling Tea Party discontent over President Barack Obama’s election into a special election win, taking a traditionally Democratic senate seat away and shifting the power in the chamber. Now he’s ready to blow off all of the same fringe element that got him into office, worried that they are going to lose him reelection.
Sen. Brown is literally begging the GOP to be more inclusive when it comes to those who support abortion, even in small instances like pregnancy after a sexual assault. “Even while I am pro-choice, I respect those who have a different opinion on this very difficult and sensitive issue,” Brown said in a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, according to The Hill. “Our Party platform should make the same concession to those of us who believe in a woman’s right to choose.”
That Brown is coming out as “pro-choice” after trying to carefully avoiding being too public on the issue is telling. He was under a fair amount of pressure both before and after his vote to allow employers to decide whether or not to cover medical options in their insurance plans if they have “moral objections” to them. Now, as the backlash from the Republican Party’s “no exceptions” anti-choice plank has incensed voters, Brown is even more vocal about declaring “It’s not me, it’s them.”
His rival, Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren, isn’t allowing him to hide his support of the party’s anti-women legacy.
“Scott Brown can’t just back off and try to have it both ways, to vote against equal pay for equal work, to co-sponsor an amendment to block access to birth control, to support the Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees and then say don’t count me as part of that bigger Republican agenda,” Ms. Warren argued. “He is working to put Republicans in control in the U.S. Senate so they can pursue that agenda and he is working to put Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in the White House.
It’s an interesting back and forth to watch simply because it is such a microcosm of the tug of war going on on a national scale, as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney also tries to have it both ways. On the one side he tells his conservative cohorts that he will de-fund Planned Parenthood, appoint federal judges that would want to overturn Roe v. Wade, support a Human Life Amendment, and adhere to their far right agenda. At the same time, he allows public statements to be made claiming that the “GOP platform is not the platform of Mitt Romney.”
Now that the party extremism has come out of the closet, candidates are desperate in their scramble to keep both their support and their distance.