Like a lot of readers here, I was not happy when I saw the excerpt that M. Simon posted from Scott Brown’s post-election press conference in which Brown (after pausing to observe that it was “post election”) apparently endorsed national health care.
Ugh!
I am vehemently opposed to nationalized health care in any way shape or form, and that is why I donated to Scott Brown’s campaign. Three times.
Still, I wondered whether a single excerpt from a news conference the morning after the man had been elected is an accurate depiction of Scott Brown’s position on health care. Yes, I knew he was for Massachusetts health care. Everyone knew that (or should have, because he made it quite plain at his campaign web site, as M. Simon illustrates here.)
What troubled me the most is that barely a day earlier, he was on record as saying this:

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – Republican Scott Brown, Massachusetts’ newly minted Senator, toured the Capitol today and revisited a theme from his victory speech, telling reporters, “My daughters are available, but if I have my way, health care won’t be.”
Chuckling at his remark, Mr. Brown added, “I was just kidding. Not about the health care part, though. I was dead serious about that.”

Well, at least the guy has a sense of humor, and I liked the fact that like Lot in the Biblical city of Sodom, he was willing to offer his daughters to placate the angry mob that is hell-bent on destruction. In Lot’s case, they wanted to break down his door and rape an angel; in this case they want to break down the best health care system known to man and subject patients to bureaucratic rape. (I’d call it “bureaucratic Sodomy” except the word has been so misused that its modern meaning has nothing to do with the actions of the Biblical mob. Thus, when Glenn Reynolds says he is “proudly pro-sodomy,” few would interpret that as a statement in support of angel-rape. Which is a good thing, because what kind of blogosphere would it be if the blogfather himself supported raping angels?)
Then there’s the “dead serious” remark. In a comment, I speculated that interpreting the remark might require death panels, but I’m trying to be serious here, and no matter how you look at it, what he said is quite inconsistent with what he says in the C-SPAN excerpt.
The whole thing has made me wonder whether Brown is a dishonest flip-flopper, or whether he’s one of those people who just says whatever he feels like saying at the time.
Unfortunately, the originating YouTube link itself does not supply any context. And then there’s the caption:

Another Socialist aka Communist in Republican’s clothing…..

I realize that people are calling Brown a “RINO” and a “Massachusetts Republican,” but “Socialist aka Communist in Republican Clothing”? What’s that about? And what is Republican clothing? Does he mean that the real Scott Brown should be wearing one of those Chairman Mao suits with the button-up jacket? Don’t expect me to get carried away enough to PhotoShop such a thing. I would need to overdose on coffee to do that and I am not in the mood, because last night I ended up being the guy who finally busted open a stubborn piñata at a party, and I’m still recovering from this shocking act of gratuitous faux animal cruelty on my part. However, I kid you not.
Here’s my gruesome “trophy” from last night.
pinhead_s.jpg
(I am sorry to report that there is no actual beheading video, but I assure everyone that those are the last cocktail umbrellas that parrot will ever eat!)
So while there will be no Scott Brown in Chairman Mao suit PhotoShop, it did occur to me that some additional context might be in order, and much as I dislike doing these things, I finally made my way to CSPAN and watched the entire press conference. It’s over 17 minutes long, and the excerpt that M. Simon linked begins at 5:45, but I do think it is fair to analyze that excerpt in the context of what he said immediately before that (beginning at 5:02):

We already have 98 percent of our people insured here, we know what we need to fix it. But to have the one size fits all plan that’s being pushed nationally, it doesn’t work.
So what I have suggested and what I’m hoping to suggest because we’ve done it here, I have some experience, I voted for health care here so obviously I, I care very deep about it, of it, is to let the states tell the federal government, here this is what we’d like to do can we work with you on a team effort? maybe you can incentivize us to do something better? Model it like we have it, or maybe come up with something better so we can learn.

“Let the states tell the federal government” might not be a ringing endorsement of federalism, but it’s hardly the model of Karl Marx.
What the video excerpt also leaves out is what he says immediately after this apparently damning comment:

…there were some very got things as you just pointed out in the uh, in the national plan that’s being, uh proposed…

Here the YouTube video ends abruptly, implying that he wants a national plan, period.
But here’s what he said (on the CSPAN video beginning at 6:06):

…there were some very got things as you just pointed out in the uh, in the national plan that’s being uh proposed, but if you look at, and really in a parochial manner we need to look out for Massachusetts first. Because no one, I’ve felt and I’ve, as a legislator and a citizen that we haven’t done that very well we’ve always kind of you know, thought about Washington first and the party first.
But the thing I’m hearing all throughout the state is “what about us?”

Hardly a ringing endorsement of National Health Care. In fact, there’s a strong undercurrent of federalism in his remarks
I think it might be better to at least point that out than edit his remarks in the hope of convincing people he’s a Marxist. Northeastern Republican centrists who believe in federalism may be many things, but calling them Communists is just silly.
I’ve watched the press conference in its entirety, and not only don’t I see anything especially surprising, I don’t think the excerpt is quite as damning as it initially seemed. Still, I’m glad M. Simon highlighted it, because Brown ought to be more careful about making comments which make it appear that he supports nationalized health care. (The larger issue, IMO, is not what to do about healthcare, but what to do about government — something touched on in M. Simon’s discussion.)
Of course, a lot more was said at the press conference, and I think it’s worth noting that at one point (when asked about his presidential aspirations) Brown said, “I don’t want to be disrespectful, but I’ve had no sleep right now.” (Sleep deprivation can excuse a certain amount of sloppiness, but OTOH it didn’t cut it for Hillary’s Bosnia claims.)
Asked whether he was a “conservative purist,” Brown said that he was “not beholden to the special interests of the party” and later he said “I’m not beholden to anybody.” And that he believed in the “big tent philosophy regardless of the fires and commercials.”
You can watch it all here.
I’ll also try the embed, but I don’t know whether or how well it will work.