Diary

One Man With Courage Made a Majority

Former Massachusetts governor Paul Cellucci walked through Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall one brisk winter’s day, when he saw a familiar face among the crowd. He spotted the man sitting at a table quietly eating a sandwich by himself. Cellucci worked his way over to the table and greeted his old friend.

Faneuil Hall bustles with tourists and shoppers and Cellucci couldn’t help notice the striking image of a senatorial candidate unassumingly sitting there, amongst the crowd, by himself. Cellucci politely asked Scott Brown how his campaign was going. Brown looked at Cellucci and told him, “you know, I’m really feeling something here”. As they parted ways, Cellucci reflected on the moment and kind of felt sorry for Scott Brown. It was the holidays. The general election was three weeks away.

Late to the party, the punditry has done a poor job analyzing Scott Brown, his campaign and its significance. But before the nattering nabobs and the nitpickers begin their hatchet work, lets put politics aside for a moment and remember Scott Brown’s personal triumph.

The Brown campaign should be celebrated an an American story of optimism, courage and perseverance. It is worthy of admiration regardless of political persuasion or regional bias. Andrew Jackson’s famous quote, that one man with courage makes a majority, is often quoted, but on this occasion it is appropriate; one man with courage truly became the manifestation of a majority. I am not one for sentimental pablum, but sometimes a little inspiration is welcome. If nothing else, Scott Brown provided that.

Some people may not realize that Scott Brown had never run for a state wide office. He had never run for Congress. There are forty senate districts in Massachusetts and outside of his little district, he was mostly unknown. When he started this campaign, he had little money, his campaign headquarters was his kitchen table, and his “advisors” were his buddies. The truck wasn’t a political prop. It was real. His opponent, Martha Coakley, who is the sitting Attorney General, had just vanquished three Democrats in the primary. After the primaries, Coakley held a thirty point lead over Brown. The machine that Brown fought was as big, brutal and powerful as advertised. It was a self-made man, raised in broken homes on welfare, against the machine and the Kennedy mystique in this bluest of states.

But now, because of Scott Brown’s indomitable spirit, his optimism, his sweat equity and some good fortune, Obama has declared that his agenda has run into a “buzz saw”. Chris Dodd is suggesting that Congress take up to six weeks off. Nancy Pelosi has admitted that ObamaCare is collapsing. The Democrats are scrambling and all around the country Republican recruitment is booming. One man sparked that.

No, he’s not going to be perfect. But let’s leave Scott Brown, the politician, alone for a while. He is a conservative leaning populist, who represents the people of Massachusetts. He has a lot to learn. He also has a large hostile flank in his home state. The same people who have been calling him a rapist and racist for the past month already have a bullseye on his back for 2012 and with Obama on the ticket, the loyal liberal vote will come out next time.

Scott Brown will have enough headaches in Massachusetts. He doesn’t need any oversight from the purists of the conservative movement. He will do the right thing often enough. But its not Scott Brown’s Republican story that we admire as much as it is Scott Brown’s American story.