Scott Brown is running against Elizabeth Warren here in Massachusetts. They both agreed early on that the race would be about issues. That's a promise that Warren has kept, but that Brown seems to have forgotten as soon as he uncrossed his fingers behind his back.
Warren continues to talk about issues that concern working families across the country and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, while Brown prefers the catty, bitchy, snide remarks that we'd expect to come from the cast members of "Mean Girls."
Dan Payne of WBUR wrote:
If you like your debater to be condescending, snide, repetitive, off topic, rote, eager to get personal, willing to toss out extraneous comments and charges, and full of phony manners (thanking the host for every question), then Sen. Scott Brown is your man.
During their first debate Brown launched immediately into attacking Warren's heritage.
"Professor Warren claimed that she's a Native American and a person of color, and as you can see, she's not," said Brown, pointing to Warren on stage. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC picked up on that remark, asking Barney Frank during an interview if that was, in fact, a racially charged remark. "I feel like it's racially offensive to say 'I can tell you're not Native American. Look at you,'" Maddow said.
Let's be very clear that Brown's claim about Warren's background has been addressed ad nauseum and she was clearly vindicated of this fabricated accussation - it's old news. To perpetuate this lie is beneath any elected official, much less one who replaced the late Ted Kennedy. Let's also be clear that Brown continuously calling Warren "Professor" during the debate wasn't out of respect, but was a dog whistle to the blue collar and working class people in Massachusetts who have always been at odds with, and hold a fair amount of contempt towards the Harvard and MIT crowd in Massachusetts.
By the way, Brown has since denied making remarks about Warren's ethnicity, despite the debate having been aired on national TV, watched by millions of viewers, recorded, and played all over the interwebs.
Brown also saw fit to fabricate his own resume during the debate. Soon after questioning Warren's character, Brown launched into a diatribe of self-importance, as Laura Clawson of Daily Kos points out:
Sen. Scott Brown is a very important man, and at Thursday night's debate with Elizabeth Warren, he added another resume item you might not have known about. Not only does Brown meet secretly with kings and queens, not only does Secretary of State Hillary Clinton call him all the time, but he's also "one of the ranking members on the Armed Services Committee."
That last one about ranking member may sound pretty good, but it's a lot like saying you were a "Sanitary Engineer" on your resume instead of "cleaned toilets at the bar." Here's a clip from Charles P. Pierce at Esquire:
Also, at one point, Brown, who has not met with kings and queens, and who did not see the secret Osama bin Laden death photos, claimed that he was "one of the ranking members" of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Yes, he is. He is ranked sixth. In the event that John McCain, Jim Inhofe, Jeff Sessions, Saxby Chambliss, and Roger Wicker all move to Guam to launch new careers as a pick-up basketball team, Scott Brown would be chairman. This may seem like a minor thing, but if Brown is going to make a meal out of Warren's alleged "character" issue regarding her ancestry, then his tendency to aggrandize his place in history ought also to be somewhere on the table.
Brown wouldn't take questions after the debate. Actually he appeared to leave in a bit of a huff. Both candidates were scheduled to meet the press briefly after the debate's conclusion. Brown however, after spending the entire evening as a tough guy, beat feet, leaving his campaign manager, Jim Barnett, to stand there and say, "The Senator has had a long day".
A long day? A long day is working two jobs; paying taxes in a state aptly named "taxachusettes"; making sure your kids are fed, have clothes and health care; looking over your bills every night and wondering when you're going to throw in the towel on your underwater mortgage. It's not sitting in Congress with a three times better than average salary and taxpayer paid health care, trying to avoid the evening's debate. That's right, Republicans attempted stall tactics in order to keep Brown in DC and away from the debate, but Harry Reid called them out and Brown made it to Boston. Here's what Reid said on the floor of the Senate:
Madam President, I'm so sorry. We have no more votes today. No more votes today. It's obvious to me what's going on. I've been to a few of these rodeos. It is obvious there is a big stall taking place. One of the Senators who doesn't want to debate tonight won't be in debate. Well, he can't use the Senate as an excuse, there will be no more votes today.
Brown supporters and staffers, of course, are no less prone to the antics of the ignorant than the man they follow and work for. On Tuesday Brown supporters and staffers where filmed making "war whoops" and "tomahawk chops", presumably in reference to Warren's Cherokee and Delaware heritage (see video here).
Brown quickly condemned the antics in a statement later that day. Of course he did. That doesn't detract from the fact that he hired the staffers and that he hired them for a reason. As Charles Pierce points out:
There's only one reason to pound the issue about Elizabeth Warren's ancestry and that is to race-bait, to gin up the lizard-brained anger at "quotas" and "affirmative action." Brown already tippy-toed down that line last week in the debate, when he explained that he can tell an Injun jes' by lookin' at one. You talk about her like she gamed the system and you're not merely casting aspersions on her career, but you're giving a nudge-nudge, wink-wink to all the usual suspects out there who know somebody who knew somebody who was related to somebody who knew somebody who didn't get the job they should have had. This is also what they do. This is also what they've always done. This is also why you hired people because this is what they do.
Brown has stooped to a new low and it's not the first time he's used staffers to do his dirty work. On Tuesday, Brown's Campaign Manager Jim Barnett crashed a press conference for Elizabeth Warren supporters and, in at least on case, aides have threatened bloggers with law suits.
If Brown can't address the issues like he promised he would, he should at least try to fly below the radar. People in Massachusetts aren't as stupid as he'd like to believe and the contempt he's showing for voters is frankly embarrassing. He is patently outclassed, out smarted, and out of his league in this race.