• Home
  • About
  • Guest Post

    Noblesse oblige

    As a libertarian, I’m not entirely thrilled with Scott Brown, and more importantly, as a gay man I think he’d have looked yummier with a lot more chest hair in his early twenties. But his win over the irredeemable Martha Coakley is good to see:

    Scott Brown takes over a seat in the United States Senate that has been held by one family (including its seat-fillers) for just over 57 years, since John F. Kennedy was elected to it in 1952, before Brown was born. Massachusetts hadn’t elected a Republican senator since 1972. In the closest U.S. Senate race of the past decade, Democrat John Kerry won by 35 points. All 10 of its House members are Democrats, and about 90 percent of both legislative chambers. That’s a well-entrenched political establishment. And as so often happens with long-ruling parties, it has seen its share of corruption: Three consecutive House speakers have resigned under clouds. It’s no surprise that Massachusetts Democrats have finally encountered the kind of voter reaction that national Democrats did in 1994, and national Republicans in 2006 and 2008.

    Anything that helps put paid to the idea that there’s a Ted Kennedy “legacy” to be maintained is a worthy end in itself, though interrupting Coakley‘s upward mobility is a conspicuously pleasant side effect. Kennedy the private person may have spread joy and light to all who knew him, but Kennedy the public figure was the worst combination of condescending fake-patrician magnanimity (with other people’s money) and genuine rube-ish vulgarity of predilection and habit.

    3 Responses to “Noblesse oblige”

    1. Eric Scheie says:

      According to Boris Shor (cited by CATO in the link above, Scott Brown “is a pro-choice, anti-tax, pro-gun Republican.”

      I’m no perfectionist, but that sounds more libertarian than most members of the Senate.

    2. Sarah says:

      And yet, Sean, you’ve been remiss in your duties of friendship. Do you realize I did NOT know how hot the man was till yesterday? Not watching much TV has its perils. I’ve now lost months of lusting-in-the-heart.

      On the less important main topic, I agree with Eric, with one quibble — I haven’t been able to find anything about his economic-liberty stand. Yeah, better than Coakley, but I hope he’s pro-free-trade. Might be decisive in months ahead.

    3. Sean says:

      Yeah, I don’t think Brown looks bad at all, Eric, but he seems to bear watching on the do-bidness-with-unions front. Better than Coakley, way better than Kennedy, and, as you say, better than most of his new colleagues, anyway.

      Sarah, I think the Globe or something had a breakdown of his positions/voting record so far. Let me see whether I can find it again. He was better on trade than most legislators, though standards are so low now that that doesn’t really mean a lot.

      And there’s always time for more lust!

    Leave a Reply