Indeed, Brown has wandered off the GOP reservation enough to claim some independence, but he has also toed a strong partisan line on a number of key issues: opposing President Obama’s health care bill, cosponsoring a proposal to allow employers to deny certain health care coverage on moral grounds, and opposing any tax increases, even on the wealthy.
But, if several of the recent polls are correct, Brown may have benefited from his positions on social issues in the last few weeks, such as the one over whether Catholic institutions should be forced to provide contraception in their health care plans for workers.
I really don’t agree with the Globe’s characterization that this is “certain health care coverage” that Catholic institutions take umbrage at, but the fact that Democrats have failed to score points on the mandate in one of the most liberal states in the country should be an encouraging sign for opponents of the mandate.
Rather than running from his support for a conscience exemption, Brown hit back with equal force in his own ads, op-eds, and interviews. Brown said that Warren wants to “use the power of government to force Catholics to violate the teachings of their faith” and pointed out Ted Kennedy had been a champion of conscience exemptions.
Ray Flynn, a Democrat who served served as Boston’s mayor for a decade before serving as Bill Clinton’s ambassador to the Vatican, came to Brown’s defense last week. “I find it outrageous that anyone in a position of public trust would trample on the conscience of people of religious beliefs,” Flynn wrote in a letter. He commended Brown’s “steadfast leadership” and added, “I intend to tell anyone who will listen how you stood tall in protecting the human and civil rights of everyone.”