Today, many grassroots Republicans, Independents and Tea Party members across the country are beginning to feel a hint of buyer's remorse over the most recent addition to the United States Senate -- Republican Scott Brown, of Massachusetts.
Last week, Sen. Brown voted in support of a procedural measure on Harry Reid's so-called "Jobs Bill," generating understandable ire. It certainly didn't help matters that Majority Leader Reid gleefully acknowledged Brown's support on the floor of the Senate after receiving word of the bipartisan support. And just yesterday, Brown and twelve other Republicans helped Democrats pass the bill with a comfortable majority.
Now, I am, by no means, in support of this particular piece of legislation, and I can understand why people are up in arms. In fact, I am quite certain that the best way for Washington to create jobs is to recognize that doing so is quite simply not their place, and instead, release business owners to create these jobs themselves.
American history has shown that our economic progress comes not from political pressure, but from an innovative and productive workforce left free to grow and prosper. Government-funded projects may be able to put someone to work for a few months, but only organic market growth can lead to a true, stable prosperity for our nation.
But today, Democrats continue to cast undue regulatory burdens on many businesses, enact policies that limit credit to our small business community, tax small businesses out of business, and refuse to address the need for federal tort-reform measures. We can only marvel at their blindness as they wonder why jobs are not returning, and try to shoehorn even more barriers in place as their "solution."
But back to Sen. Brown and his vote. As many of my regular readers know, I subscribe fully to my father's 80/20 rule. As long as a Republican elected official or candidate is likely to support the party and its core principles and philosophies 80 percent of the time, I can live with their 20 percent cross-over, especially when compared to the alternative -- a Democrat with whom I will disagree 80 percent of the time!
There is no better application of this sound political rule than the case at hand. Remember, Scott Brown is a Republican in one of the bluest of blue states in the nation, and he is brand new to the job. He simply cannot attack Democrat-initiated measures which will be applauded by so many of his constituents, and we should fairly acknowledge that there were Republican ideas in this bill as well.
Explaining his vote, Sen. Brown said, "We need to put partisanship aside to put people back to work. This jobs bill is far from perfect, and ideally would include deeper and broader tax cuts. I supported this measure because it does contain some tax relief that will help Massachusetts businesses put people back to work."
I can respect his desire to prove himself to his constituents and his willingness to know which battles to pick. He is right to emphasize job creation and putting people back to work in these difficult times. Because of this, while Scott Brown may still have much to learn, I am proud that Reagan PAC contributed to the Senator during his campaign, and we will support him still.
We should all be comforted by the fact that while he may have supported this undesirable piece of legislation, we still know we can count on Sen. Brown's support to help defeat Democratic attempts to revive the federal health-care legislation. Who would have thought six months ago that we could count on a United States Senator from Massachusetts to stand as our ally in this fight?
Let's all give Sen. Brown the room he needs to ensure that he remains politically viable for years to come, so that we have him around when it comes time to debate the types of bills that will have a lasting impact on our nation. In Scott Brown, I see the type of 80 percent ally my father would have been proud to call a fellow Republican.
Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. E-mail comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.