Senator Scott Brown is a cowardWritten by admin on December 13th, 2011
By Jay Chambers
It’s 6 p.m. on a Tuesday, and I’m being ushered out of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The Capitol Police have been great throughout the day, but it’s closing time and they’ve asked the hundred-or-so unemployed Massachusetts residents gathered here to call it a day.
Most of us came down by bus – a 9.5 hour drive that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend – to make our voices heard in Washington. We’ve been camping out in church basements, union halls, and tents set up along the National Mall (the downpour last night made the latter a hell of an experience.) And this morning, we marched half our crew of 250 Bay Staters down to the Dirksen building, straight to the office of our US Senator, Scott Brown.
See, Brown ran on a platform of job creation. He promised that jobs would be his top priority if we elected him to the US Senate, and that his policies were just the right recipe to put people back to work. That was almost two years ago, but from the stories my fellow travelers have shared over the last few days, I know a good chunk of them have been unemployed since then – some even longer. And for years now, we’ve all had the same question on our minds: where are the jobs?
Usually, we’d get to ask such a simple question at a town hall or public forum, the kind of event politicians host to give their constituents a chance to interact with the people who represent them – but not Scott Brown. This guy has been dodging us since he took office in February 2010, turning down every single invitation for a public discussion on the issues we elected him to work on.
So we all made the long trek from Massachusetts down to the nation’s capital, to ask Scott Brown face-to-face about the half-dozen jobs bills he’s voted to kill, along with the unemployment benefits most of us stand to lose at the stroke of midnight December 31 (Happy New Year from Scott Brown!)
There was an important vote on the session calendar today, so we knew Brown would be in the house. His staff has even confirmed it. But the man’s not coming out; he’s “unavailable to meet with constituents,” they told us. And so a dozen of us took seats in his office to wait Brown out, with a hundred other unemployed workers camped out in the hallway. Eight hours and two dozen interviews later, we were still holding strong, but Brown never showed face. We didn’t even get a wave hello.
On my way out the door at 6:00pm, I’m now wondering why. Why would an elected leader ignore a personal visit from a hundred of his constituents – the ones who are most in need of his help? The answer came pretty quickly: Scott Brown is a coward.
Brown doesn’t want to face his constituents after voting eight times to end unemployment benefits, especially since he’ll likely do it again by year’s end. He’s afraid of what we’ll say about his votes for tax breaks for the corporations that shipped our jobs overseas. Our senator doesn’t want to answer the tough questions on why he’s cool with raising taxes on the middle class while pushing corporate welfare to the extreme.
No one forgets a coward, though. And those of us who are still struggling to find work certainly won’t forget what happened here today. One way or another, Brown will have to answer for his broken promises.
Jay Chambers is an unemployed ironworker and Boston Occupier from Charlestown.