Republican Scott Brown has won the special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy. Brown -- who, contrary to the opinion of certain execrable MSNBC talk show hosts, is no rabid right-winger -- serves two purposes, and two purposes only: He stops the Obama-Reid-Pelosi health care catastrophe and he blocks the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax nightmare.
Let us dispense with a couple of myths about Senator-elect Brown. He was not the Tea Party candidate. Yes, Tea Party organizations supported him to the tune of around $300,000. But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent more. To argue that Brown is the first Tea Party "victory" is to overestimate the fractious and disparate Tea Party movement's influence.
Scott Brown is not a conservative. Do not confuse his appeal to conservatives as being properly conservative. He's a Republican. Worse, he is a Massachusetts Republican, meaning he's part of an embattled brood with which just over one-in-10 Commonwealth voters identifies. Sure, he might qualify as conservative for the Massachusetts electorate. But do not think for a minute that Brown is another Jim DeMint or Jon Kyl.
Forget the stupid, calumnious campaign attacks -- none of that stuff should be taken as factual anyway. Brown voted for MassCare and he supports some form of cap-and-trade, just not the Waxman-Markey bill. He's generally pro-choice, but opposes late-term abortions. In most states, he's a moderate or perhaps even a liberal.
I predict with metaphysical certitude that many of the people who supported Brown's campaign and cheered him Tuesday night will be denouncing him as a RINO by Labor Day. But as long as he blocks the two worst elements of the Obama agenda, as our own Poochucker put it so beautifully, "he can be as RINO as he wants to be for all anyone cares."
The question then becomes what Brown's victory means for Republicans this year. Knowing the GOP, the party bosses will completely misinterpret the results and continue to confuse mere opposition with advancing an agenda of their own. Republicans do opposition exceptionally well. After all, they've had so much practice at it. Opposition might even propel Republicans back into the majority. But this is a populist moment. Shrewd Democrats are as likely to exploit the public's mood as Republicans. It would be foolish for Republicans to assume that just because voters oppose Obama's more hubristic policy initiatives, they therefore support Republicans and their ideas. The problem is, nobody knows what the hell those ideas are.