It appears to me that Scott Brown is having a touch of an identity crisis. Or maybe it's a crisis of a man who is debating between his own beliefs and the beliefs of the national party he belongs to and the far right wing of that party that is a tyrannical and vocal minority.
Scott Brown's identity crisis wouldn't be too much of a concern to me, except that he is one of my two Senators and as such, he represents me, not a birther Tea party extremist from the West. And secondly, the Scott Brown that appealed to Massachusetts voters is actually a fairly strong supporter and defender of the environment.
In fact, given his past history and given the state that he represents, Scott Brown should be an advocate for progress on climate change and a yes vote on the pending Climate Change / Clean Energy bill that will be in front of the Senate very soon.
Here is what I feel is the real Scott Brown talking about the environment and climate change when he was an elected official here in Massachusetts.
In 2008, Scott Brown voted with the Legislature of Massachusetts to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) -- a pact among 10 Northeastern states requiring power plants to reduce emissions or buy credits from cleaner industries.
This RGGI was clear in its goals and clear in its tactics. A vote for this was clearly a vote to reduce green house gas emissions and reduce global warming. In fact, Brown himself said
"Reducing carbon dioxide emission in Massachusetts has long been a priority of mine. Passing this legislation is an important step . . . towards improving our environment."
This Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has support in Massachusetts as does the upcoming Senate bill. In fact, our senior Senator, John Kerry, is one of the driving forces behind the progress in the Senate and he is working with Republican Lindsay Graham, of South Carolina, Meaning to me, that there is room for Scott Brown to work on it as well.
But, unfortunately, Scott Brown appears to be backtracking on his strong support for the environment (he was once a member of a group called "Republicans for the Environment.) Now Scott Brown is not so sure that global warming is real, now he's not so sure about greenhouse gas emissions.
It's sad because I do truly believe he knows better. It's tragic because his vote matters but I would like to remind Scott Brown of something he said in the campaign,
"It's not Ted Kennedy's seat. It's the people's seat."
That is correct Senator.
Today, I am asking everyone in Massachusetts to reach out to Scott Brown and let him know what the people want.
Click here to write on his Facebook wall.
Click here to join an act.ly petition that is trying to get him to support this pending bill.
Click here to sign a letter the NRDC Action Fund is sending to Scott Brown.
Let's make sure Scott Brown hears us. And let's hope when he does, he has the courage to stand up to the far far right of his own party that don't have his, or Massachusetss's, best interests at heart.
Follow James Boyce on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jamesboyce