Regardless of the merits of the bill, which like any large overhaul of a financial system can be argued in circles, there was some interesting politics going on this week. Democrats cleared the way for final votes in the House and Senate after making a fix requested by Republican senators, who objected to charging banks and hedge funds $19 billion to help pay for the measure. So, who were the Republican senators who bucked their party to support the bill?
Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both Maine Republican along with Scott Brown of Massachusetts. This of course isn't surprising as all three are traditional New England Republicans, in other words, moderates. However, here is where the interesting bit of political theater comes in.
One of these senators decided to put a hold on the bill because of a tax increase on banks. That senator? Scott Brown, the junior member of the New England coalition. This allowed him to have a day in the news as the conservative who was standing in the way of the Democrats once again trying to raise taxes. Was there any substantive change? That is debatable. But theatrics show that Brown is more than just a flash in the pan- he has some real skill in manipulating a storyline.
Crossposted at The Moderate Republican