Monday, January 25, 2010

'Brown Effect' aligns tea party movement with moderates

Scott Brown's victory spoils the fable of a death struggle pitting tea party populists and angry conservatives against moderates and the Republican hierarchy. That myth foresaw conservatives refusing to support candidates with even the slightest of moderate tendencies, dividing the party, and ruining its chances in the 2010 elections. In Massachusetts, conservatives preferred victory to purity. Brown is not a social conservative. He's pro-choice and, while supporting traditional marriage, believes "states should be free to make their own laws in this area." Yet conservatives and tea partiers joined moderates and independents in the Brown coalition. This was actually one of the smaller manifestations of the Brown Effect. The bigger ones include: An enormous psychological boost for Republicans of all stripes, a firm belief they can win anywhere, help in recruiting strong candidates and raising money for the midterms, the death of the Obama mystique, a critical 41st Republican vote in the Senate, and a stirring example of how to more

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