Gingrich's display of pragmatism angered the kill-Granny purists who constitute the GOP brain trust. But even before the Democrats claimed victory in New York State, veteran GOP lawmakers — such as Maine's two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe — were thinking twice about Ryan's budget plan. Widely considered members of that nearly extinct species, national Republican moderates, Snowe and Collins ultimately decided not to kill Granny.
But the young Republican whippersnapper from Massachusetts, Senator Scott Brown, who would dearly like to be allowed into the moderate club in order to improve the odds of re-election in his overwhelmingly Democratic state, tuned in a decidedly gauche performance.
First Brown was all for killing Granny. Then the senator came to his senses. He flip-flopped on the Ryan plan. Today, it is unclear the extent to which Brown wants Granny alive. Note to Brown: geezers moldering in a quiet corner could prove to be almost as dangerous as dead geezers.
Brown's latest flip-flop might not have been quite as riveting if it were not for his Osama bin Laden hallucination a couple of weeks earlier. (Brown said he had seen Internet photos of the dead Al Qaeda leader, which, unfortunately for the senator, did not exist.)
So why did Brown change his mind? Because he's neither conservative nor moderate. Brown is on the make. And he'll do whatever needs to be done to get himself re-elected. Keep this in mind as the campaign unfolds.
: The Editorial Page
, Osama bin Laden, Newt Gingrich, Bush, More