The Problem With Peace Treaties [Of the Political Kind]

It was sweet while it lasted, a lean across the Great Divide by two political opponents, namely Elizabeth Warren running for the US Senate seat in Massachusetts and Scott Brown, hoping to keep that seat planted firmly under his fanny.

The agreement was sensible after an early barrage of negative political ads. Karl Rove’s group first claimed Warren was a secret socialist, her blood line running straight to Stalin [the Matriarch of Mayhem], which evolved into an accusation that she was somehow a sympathetic friend to Wall St. financial institutions.  No doubt the banks did a double take.  Conversely, Warren’s admirers claimed that Brown was financed by those same financial institutions [which happens to be true].  He also claimed that the press was giving Elizabeth Warren a free ride, not hitting her with the really ‘hard’ questions.

Whining appears to be a Republican strategy for 2012.

Nonetheless, both parties agreed to reject the outside, 3rd party organizations funding these less than complimentary videos, ads and press releases.  But as history tells us, ceasefires and negotiations are dicey at best.  Even signed treaties can have gaping loopholes.

Such is the case in this wobbly agreement [hattip to TPM].  The Boston Globe reported earlier this week that Warren’s people were breaking the pledge by allowing an unflattering website, Rethink, to surface in an expanded form.  The site displays several of Scott Brown’s quotes.

What are these quotes?  So, glad you asked.

The first statement is: “I go to Washington representing no faction, no special interest . . . ”

The quote is from Brown’s victory speech the night he won the Massachusett’s Senate seat in 2010.  Full quote:

I go to Washington as the representative of no faction or interest, answering only to my conscience and to the people. I’ve got a lot to learn in the Senate, but I know who I am and I know who I serve. I’m Scott Brown. I’m from Wrentham. I drive a truck, and I’m nobody’s senator but yours.

The comment is dated January 19, 2010 and fits nicely into Brown’s debate performance, where he corrected a moderator, regarding the former Senate seat:

With all due respect, it’s not the Kennedys’ seat and it’s not the Democrats’ seat.  It’s the People’s Seat.

That single comment literally turned Brown and his handsome mug into household familiars.  It was a star moment.

The dirty trick is that Elizabeth Warren jumped into the 2012 race and turned things upside down.  The recent complaint, the way this rabble-rousing, pro-Warren website is smearing Scott Brown, thereby breaking the peace accord and the public’s love affair?   The website places Scott Brown’s own words against facts, then properly cites and corroborates them.

For instance, the unfortunate fact that Scott Brown has accepted $1.1 million from Wall St. contributions, ferreted out by Center for Responsive Politics.  Or that Brown used his swing vote to water down Wall St. regulations, a story reported by the Boston Globe.  Or that Forbes magazine cited Scott Brown as one of Wall St’s favorite congressmen, with the article provided for reading pleasure.

Not only that but the Rethink Brown site manages to wiggle around the deal’s agreement because it’s not paid advertising, simply a group making a rather pointed statement on its own site.


Color me suspicious when Brown claims these revelations break the spirit of the agreement, that this is just a way of peddling lies and misinformation.  Where are the lies?  What is the misinformation?

There’s a vast difference in pointing out a candidate’s contradictions to bold-face fiction and prevarication.  I would consider the latter approach the sort of thing Karl Rove’s GPS Crossroads’ group relies on consistently.

As for my suspicions?  No sooner did the Globe article come out ‘exposing’ Rethink than the Massachusetts GOP launched an anti-Warren ad [also not covered under the agreement].

Okay.  That’s true.  Warren has done very well for herself. I can’t confirm the numbers but Elizabeth Warren is certainly no longer struggling financially. The comment on the Lawrence O’Donnell show?  What sort of wealthy was she speaking of—the top 1%, the top 5, 10, 20?  We don’t know from this video because we don’t have the entire clip.   But here’s the complete quote:

You know, I’m with you on this. Either don’t own it or put it in a blind trust, you know, where someone else manages it and you literally can’t see what’s in there. I realize there are some wealthy individuals — I’m not one of them — but some wealthy individuals who have a lot of stock portfolios. But you’re exactly right. I don’t understand how people can be out there in the House, in the Senate, they get inside information and they’re making critical decisions. We need to feel like they’re making those decisions on our behalf, not as an investor who would do better if the law goes this way instead of that way. I agree.

How clever.  They chopped off the ‘qualifier.’  Warren is not a wealthy individual of the sort who has a lot of stock portfolios, which would cloud her legislative judgment.  This was a discussion about insider trading and conflict of interest.  But look how easy it is to draw an inference—Warren lied about her wealth. She’s a wealthy woman. Oooooo.

And this is a Republican attack?

In fairness to Scott Brown he has a 2-year record he needs to support—things he said, things he did.  As for Elizabeth Warren?  She too has a record in Washington where she stood for protecting consumers against unfair business practices and how she developed then midwifed a Financial Protection Bureau into being, one to protect consumers in those same deals and contracts.  She’s also said quite bluntly that the American people got a raw deal in the economic debacle of 2008.  I don’t recall her ever saying Americans shouldn’t strive for success or eschew all monetary reward.  What I remember Warren stating unequivocally is that successful individuals are obligated to pay their fair share to the system that made their success uniquely possible.  Including the 1%.  Why?  Because it’s equitable.

Mr. Brown, I have nothing against you personally.  You seem like a perfectly nice man.  But tell your ad-meisters to use the truth-o-meter next time out.

And do yourself a personal favor—stop the whining.  It’s extremely unattractive.


7 Comments on “The Problem With Peace Treaties [Of the Political Kind]”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Excellent post, Peggy Sue! Either it’s a slow day or Dak’s post above is a barnburner. I appreciate this very much becuase I tend not to keep up with MA politics. This year, I’ve been getting my info from you! So thank you.

  2. peggysue22 says:

    Hey, nothing wrong with long distance information :0). I wish I was up there. I really do. But I’ve been trying to keep my eye on the Senate and House races because it’s the only game in town from where I sit. And Elizabeth Warren is a favorite. But Brown’s whining really is a dish. I guess he thought the instant love he enjoyed at the start would last forever.

    I’m rooting for Warren. it remains to be seen how they’ll try to beat her up. And I’m sure they will.

    The Komen issue is important, so I’m not surprised it’s knocking socks off. They made a grave error. I will not donate this year. I’ll send my money to PP. I’m sure I’m not alone.

  3. northwestrain says:

    MA politics is always entertaining. Then there’s California. . . ..

    Are there any state parties NOT over run by right wing nut bags????

  4. Nice work, Peg!

    Go Liz!