The Prospect

The Twenty-First Century Carpetbagger Blues

Scott Brown missed all border security hearings in Senate, records suggest (Sean Sullivan/Washington Post)

It’s really easy to pick on Scott Brown. The former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, once the GOP wunderkind who won the seat vacated by the late Ted Kennedy, continues to amaze as he struggles through a new campaign in New Hampshire that sees him trailing Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Whether forgetting which state he’s running in, boasting his antipathy toward job creation, pretending (we hope) ignorance of his own anti-abortion legislation, or—well, right—whatever, he is a tragic clown singing the carpetbagger blues.

Or, as Sean Sullivan’s headline suggests:

The Washington PostFormer Massachusetts senator Scott Brown (R) has run several attack ads criticizing Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. But as a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, he missed all six hearings on border security that he was eligible to attend, records suggest.

Brown was absent from five hearings in 2011 and one in 2010, according to a review of public records and congressional transcripts and video. Of the six, four were full committee hearings and two were meetings of the subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs, to which he belonged.

A review of all Homeland Security Committee hearings during the time Brown was senator shows those were the six he could have attended, based on his subcommittee membership.

Cole-ScottBrownIt is not uncommon for senators to miss committee hearings. Scheduling conflicts, including other committee meetings, can complicate matters. Shaheen has also been criticized for absences from committee meetings.

But Brown’s absences from border security hearings are especially notable since he has sought to elevate the issue in the campaign. He has routinely railed against “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants and argued that Shaheen been too soft on border security.

You know, just because.

No, really. At this point, just what does anyone expect? It’s Scott Brown.

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See a previous note on the Kinsley gaffe, as this was one for the ages.

Oakes, Bob and Shannon Dooling. “Analysts Say Scott Brown Must Galvanize GOP Base In N.H. Senate Race”. WBUR. 15 August 2014.

Waldman, Paul. “In Horrible Gaffe, Scott Brown Straightforwardly Explains Conservative Philosophy”. 3 September, 2014.

Benen, Steve. “A faulty memory trips up Scott Brown again”. msnbc. 25 September 2014.

Sullivan, Sean. “Scott Brown missed all border security hearings in Senate, records suggest”. The Washington Post. 1 October 2014.