I've been trying to figure out what Scott Brown is all about -- beyond the policy, where the man stands, and what he stands for. And with all the talk recently about employers looking at Facebook pages of prospective employees, I decided to take a closer look at his Facebook page. After all, if he wins, he'll be our employee -- the employee of all us taxpayers. Moreover, nowhere else do we so clearly work to define ourselves for the public than on our profiles, where we can completely control and distill our image and message.
I was not surprised by what I found. Scott Brown's profile does tell a clear story -- a story about the disconnect between his genuine political commitments and his campaign's rhetoric. For example, although he's been trying to sell the idea that he is bipartisan in public debate, his page tells a different story. Let's look at his Likes. Of the 44 "Likes" on his page, all are Republicans. Even more telling, 9 out of the 10 MOST CONSERVATIVE Senators according to the National Journal are among his Likes. Scott Brown's "fans" even include Jim DeMint, David Vitter, and Rand Paul. DeMint is on record saying that gay people and unmarried, sexually active women should be banned teaching in a classroom. David Vitter was wildly humiliated in a public scandal as a client of the DC Madame. And Rand Paul goes so far as to oppose the Civil Rights Act and American's with Disabilities Act. These are not bipartisan views, and these are pretty bizarre associations to make for a Republican Senator claiming to be a moderate in a tough election in a state like Massachusetts.
As I've pointed out in a previous post, Brown has also tried to distance himself from the Republican party at the national level; he's worked to frame himself as a Massachusetts guy. Once again, however, his page tells a different story. He doesn't "Like" anyone from Massachusetts. Lots of Republican U.S. Senators, but not a lot of members of the state's Congressional delegation or local officials. He has his eyes turned in one direction, and it's towards the halls of power in DC.
Brown's Facebook page is noteworthy because it demonstrates the tensions in his campaign -- between his moderate rhetoric and his right-wing affiliations, between his claim to be independent of the Republican party and his deep connection to the GOP (as I discussed in a previous post, GOP strategist Eric Fehrnstrom has played a major role in his campaign). As for many of us, his Facebook page reveals more than he might have imagined.
One other thing is telling, in case you had any doubts -- he "Likes" himself.