Perhaps all the other commentators were watching a different debate the other night. I saw absolutely nothing likable in Scott Brown’s debate performance against Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
David Gregory, the NBC moderator, did much of Brown’s work for him, starting the debate by requiring Warren to respond to Brown’s racist attack ad charges. The whole first third of the debate was spent re-litigating Brown’s smears with Gregory slapping down Warren’s attempts to turn the discussion to actual issues.
The heart of Brown’s case against Warren is the claim that she got her tenured position at Harvard through affirmative action. Disputing Warren’s native American heritage is just a way for Brown to make an appeal to the racist vote without appearing racist. Brown’s core constituency is angry white males who believe that they didn’t succeed in life because ‘minorities’ always went to the head of the queue in front of them.
Perhaps the real reason that the Brown campaign keeps returning to this non-story is that Brown considers himself to be one of those white males disadvantaged by affirmative action. If only he had thought to ‘check the box’ like Warren did, he might have been the Harvard Professor (as if). Midway through the debate I wondered if Brown was actually going to start make air quotes when he repeatedly called Warren ‘professor’ as a slur, rather than just implying the quotes with his tone of voice.
The heart of Warren’s case against Brown is that a vote for Brown is a vote for Republican control of the Senate. Brown ia a reliable vote for the GOP whenever his vote is actually needed.
Warren’s apparent strategy was to allow Brown to show his ugly side as he tried to connect to the lizard brain of the Republican id. If so, she succeeded.