A Pair of Senator Browns

By Gode Davis, staff columnist – January 22, 2010

What I know about the U.S. Senators surnamed Brown can probably fit on the head of a pin, but here goes. Should I start with Sherrod from Ohio, or Scott from Massachusetts? Both have been much maligned, depending upon who’s doing the talking. They seem on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but appearances can be deceiving.

Sherrod is characterized as a liberal Democrat, and Scott is labeled as a right-wing Republican, although he popularized himself in his surprise victory over former Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley by saying he was an independent-thinking Republican who fights for the “little guy” and is not a Washington insider.

Sherrod has been Ohio’s junior U.S. Senator since 2006 and Scott won in a special election to replace the legendary liberal Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy, which concluded just this past Tuesday, January 20, 2010. Both happen to possess extraordinary good looks, and in fact, much has been made of Scott’s appearance in the June 1982 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine when he posed doing a full Monty.

Immediately after he was elected, Sherrod was blasted by right-wing media host Rush Limbaugh for being “way too liberal” and because of his name, was assumed by the ignorant Limbaugh to be African-American before Limbaugh rectified his “mistake.” Liberal perhaps, but in 2007 Senators Brown and right-winger Sam Brownback (R-KS) co-sponsored an amendment to the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2007. President George W. Bush signed the bill in September 2007. The amendment created a prize as an incentive for companies to invest in new drugs and vaccines for neglected tropical diseases. It awards a transferable “Priority Review Voucher” to any company that obtains treatment approval for a neglected tropical disease. This provision adds to the market-based incentives available for the development of new medicines for world diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and African sleeping sickness.

This week when state Senator Scott Brown became U.S. Senator-elect Brown from Massachusetts, Sherrod spoke out against an ultra-conservative U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 decision, which frees corporate spending on presidential and congressional campaigns. Sherrod was dismayed by the January 21, 2010, ruling which overturned a 63-year-old law prohibiting corporations from using money from their treasuries to run their own campaign ads.

Scott Brown, like many pro-Big Business Republicans, is in favor of the odious Supreme Court decision that will, in effect, allow the United States of America to become a full-fledged “corporacracy” instead of the pretend-democracy it’s been masquerading as during recent decades. When he campaigned for this week’s special election, which was to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy, he curried favor among the right-wing crowd, including independents dissatisfied by the Rahm Emanuel-orchestrated Obama Administration’s handling of health care reform, which ironically was one of the late Senator Kennedy’s most vociferous planks, almost a dream of providing comprehensive and affordable health care for every American. Mr. Kennedy is probably writhing in Purgatory after Scott replaced the legendary liberal in the U.S. Senate’s hallowed halls – with no reflection intended upon anything the good Ted might have said prior to his mid-term demise last summer.

Scott Brown has supported Sarah Palin in the past, but mostly he knows that to be re-elected to the U.S. Senate he’ll have to at least appear somewhat moderate in his views, and not just be echoing right-wing “Tea Party” chants as that group of Fox News-heralded fringies, not-so-secretly funded to an alarming extent by Health Insurance purveyors and their minions, will have soon served their purpose, once Health Insurance Reform, for good or for ill, is no longer news.

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