Brown not a purist’s conservative, but conservatives need his 41st vote in the Senate

Time out from ‘Stalinism’
Paul Mirengoff
Power Line
January 15, 2010

Boris Shor, a professor at the University of Chicago, makes what appears to be a persuasive case that Scott Brown, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Massachusetts, is a liberal. Indeed, Shor argues that, objectively speaking, he is more liberal than Dede Scozzafava, the candidate for Congress in New York against whom most conservative turned, opting instead to support a third party candidate.

Now, however, conservatives are vigorously supporting Brown.

The meaning of this is obvious. As Shor explains for the benefit of those who elect to miss the obvious (i.e., liberal pundits and reporters), conservatives understand that Brown is the best they can hope to elect as a Senator from Massachusetts; by contrast, Scozzafava was to the left of the Republican Congressman who had held the seat. Thus,

[T]he conservative base in the United States, far from dragging their party moblike into an unelectable extreme, has made the decentralized decision to support the realistically best candidate they can relative to the context in which he’s being elected. The 23rd special district election can also be seen in this light; throwing Scozzafava overboard made far more sense in the context of that electorate.

I would add only that the opportunity to deprive Democrats of the 60th vote for their health care legislation is also a factor in the calculus of conservative support for Brown.

Via Ramesh Ponnuru at the Corner.

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