How Liberals Will Try to Destroy Scott Brown

Three weeks ago, few had ever heard of Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown. Now on his way to voting in the Senate, Brown has become a national political sensation. Pulling off the "Massachusetts Miracle," Brown is the new poster boy for a GOP resurgence in 2010. But along with his sudden political fame, he will also be the newest target of liberal vitriol and vengeance. After all, he stole what was rightfully theirs -- the Democrats' absolute hold on Massachusetts' Senate delegation. He'd better be ready, as the liberal character assassins are sharpening their knives and devising strategies to discredit the amateur senator-elect.

Liberals typically denigrate individual conservatives by applying one of two pernicious taglines: A conservative can be either scary/dangerous, or an idiot/lightweight. The former group includes Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Tom DeLay, and Rush Limbaugh, as well as neo-cons and social conservatives as a whole. The latter group -- the so-called dunces -- includes Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin, Michael Steele, and Glenn Beck. And every once in a while, the liberal heart rejoices in applying both contemptible characterizations to the same conservative; George W. Bush enjoyed this elite status among liberal sharpshooters. (Conservatives, on the other hand, generally discredit liberals by simply calling them "liberals.")  

Senator  Brown is next on liberals' hit list. A few lefty bomb-throwers have dabbled, without success, in concocting the scary/dangerous characterization of Brown. Rabble-rouser Keith Olbermann, on the night before the Massachusetts contest, told his sparse audience that candidate Brown is "an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea-bagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees." While leaving out any reasonable rationale for such absurd and vicious name-calling, Olbermann eventually apologized following critiques from members of his own professional and ideological teams. When MS-NBC colleague Joe Scarborough and liberal humorist John Stewart rejected the baseless insults, the scary/dangerous tagline was rendered ineffective. This makes sense. Brown is by all accounts a nice guy, someone Bay Staters found amicable and genuine throughout his short Senate campaign. 

But look for a second image-assassination attempt to be coming soon. Indeed, President Obama has already provided a subtle hint as to how Democrats will try to knock Brown off the GOP pedestal. While campaigning for Brown's opponent the weekend before the election, the president feebly reacted to Brown's campaign ads involving his truck by crying, "So what? Everybody can buy a truck." Aside from dismissing Brown's undeniably folksy appeal, the president's reflex was revealing -- he was talking down to the soon-to-be senator. Instead of arriving to the Senate with two best-selling autobiographies, diplomas from Columbia and Harvard, and a so-called expertise in constitutional law, Brown comes with an old truck. This contrast is not lost on many liberals.

And despite Brown's impressive background and obvious appeal, conservatives and the senator himself should be wary of forthcoming idiot/lightweight charges. As an amateur to the national scene, Brown has some vulnerabilities. For one, even his most fervent admirers acknowledge the political greenness behind his ears. As a Massachusetts legislator, his exposure to public scrutiny was minimal, and his experience before the camera slight (notwithstanding nude layouts in Cosmopolitan).  

Judging from his victory speech last Tuesday, Brown clearly still has much to learn. He spoke for too long, mixed his call for action with awkward statements about his daughters' dating availability, and seemed to forget he was making a victory speech and not still stumping. All of this is minor, but it suggests that he must tread carefully as the liberal limelight takes aim at his every word. No longer speaking generally as a candidate, Brown will be required to speak with more detail about the nuanced business of federal policy and budgetary issues. And reporters will test him more than they would a liberal counterpart, like they do with all conservatives who are thrust into the limelight. All it will take is one gaffe or one questionable answer spun by the liberal media as a misstep for the character assassins to pounce.

Brown should settle into the Senate and not seek to be the GOP's answer to President Obama just yet. Unlike the beating that Sarah Palin endured during and after the 2008 campaign, Brown can avoid similar pitfalls, and he should be in no rush to spend his political capital. He should stay away from the network news anchors, who no doubt are salivating at the chance to cut down the rising Republican star. A little seasoning will serve him well. And soon President Obama will fear "the Truck."    

Kyle Stone is a practicing attorney in Chicago and serves as Membership Director of the Chicago Young Republicans. He can be contacted at kstone@chicagoyrs.com.
Three weeks ago, few had ever heard of Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown. Now on his way to voting in the Senate, Brown has become a national political sensation. Pulling off the "Massachusetts Miracle," Brown is the new poster boy for a GOP resurgence in 2010. But along with his sudden political fame, he will also be the newest target of liberal vitriol and vengeance. After all, he stole what was rightfully theirs -- the Democrats' absolute hold on Massachusetts' Senate delegation. He'd better be ready, as the liberal character assassins are sharpening their knives and devising strategies to discredit the amateur senator-elect.

Liberals typically denigrate individual conservatives by applying one of two pernicious taglines: A conservative can be either scary/dangerous, or an idiot/lightweight. The former group includes Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Tom DeLay, and Rush Limbaugh, as well as neo-cons and social conservatives as a whole. The latter group -- the so-called dunces -- includes Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin, Michael Steele, and Glenn Beck. And every once in a while, the liberal heart rejoices in applying both contemptible characterizations to the same conservative; George W. Bush enjoyed this elite status among liberal sharpshooters. (Conservatives, on the other hand, generally discredit liberals by simply calling them "liberals.")  

Senator  Brown is next on liberals' hit list. A few lefty bomb-throwers have dabbled, without success, in concocting the scary/dangerous characterization of Brown. Rabble-rouser Keith Olbermann, on the night before the Massachusetts contest, told his sparse audience that candidate Brown is "an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea-bagging supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees." While leaving out any reasonable rationale for such absurd and vicious name-calling, Olbermann eventually apologized following critiques from members of his own professional and ideological teams. When MS-NBC colleague Joe Scarborough and liberal humorist John Stewart rejected the baseless insults, the scary/dangerous tagline was rendered ineffective. This makes sense. Brown is by all accounts a nice guy, someone Bay Staters found amicable and genuine throughout his short Senate campaign. 

But look for a second image-assassination attempt to be coming soon. Indeed, President Obama has already provided a subtle hint as to how Democrats will try to knock Brown off the GOP pedestal. While campaigning for Brown's opponent the weekend before the election, the president feebly reacted to Brown's campaign ads involving his truck by crying, "So what? Everybody can buy a truck." Aside from dismissing Brown's undeniably folksy appeal, the president's reflex was revealing -- he was talking down to the soon-to-be senator. Instead of arriving to the Senate with two best-selling autobiographies, diplomas from Columbia and Harvard, and a so-called expertise in constitutional law, Brown comes with an old truck. This contrast is not lost on many liberals.

And despite Brown's impressive background and obvious appeal, conservatives and the senator himself should be wary of forthcoming idiot/lightweight charges. As an amateur to the national scene, Brown has some vulnerabilities. For one, even his most fervent admirers acknowledge the political greenness behind his ears. As a Massachusetts legislator, his exposure to public scrutiny was minimal, and his experience before the camera slight (notwithstanding nude layouts in Cosmopolitan).  

Judging from his victory speech last Tuesday, Brown clearly still has much to learn. He spoke for too long, mixed his call for action with awkward statements about his daughters' dating availability, and seemed to forget he was making a victory speech and not still stumping. All of this is minor, but it suggests that he must tread carefully as the liberal limelight takes aim at his every word. No longer speaking generally as a candidate, Brown will be required to speak with more detail about the nuanced business of federal policy and budgetary issues. And reporters will test him more than they would a liberal counterpart, like they do with all conservatives who are thrust into the limelight. All it will take is one gaffe or one questionable answer spun by the liberal media as a misstep for the character assassins to pounce.

Brown should settle into the Senate and not seek to be the GOP's answer to President Obama just yet. Unlike the beating that Sarah Palin endured during and after the 2008 campaign, Brown can avoid similar pitfalls, and he should be in no rush to spend his political capital. He should stay away from the network news anchors, who no doubt are salivating at the chance to cut down the rising Republican star. A little seasoning will serve him well. And soon President Obama will fear "the Truck."    

Kyle Stone is a practicing attorney in Chicago and serves as Membership Director of the Chicago Young Republicans. He can be contacted at kstone@chicagoyrs.com.

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