America needs to get moving again. Too many citizens are in search of jobs for which they're either inadequately trained or which aren't there at all. The nation's infrastructure is crumbling. The federal debt is crushing, a threat to generations to come and to the nation's reputation in the international arena. The gap between rich and poor has grown ominously.
In the race for U.S. Senate, Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren's campaign platform represents a hopeful road map out of this miasma. She has targeted education as the means to qualify for 21st century jobs, calls for a rebuilding of the infrastructure, advocates a housing policy that could, among other things, clear up the backlog of foreclosures from the 2008 meltdown. We heartily endorse a vote for Warren on Nov. 6.
Her opponent, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, has hamstrung himself, as he would the nation, by signing on to Republican activist Grover Norquist's no-new-taxes pledge and emphasizing his opposition to any tax increases in a number of campaign speeches.
His remedy for the economy is more tax cuts. The job creators, he says, will surely create more jobs if only their tax burden is lower. As often as we hear this argument, we wonder how anyone can believe it - the tax burden is as low as it has been since World War II. As for the jobs, they went overseas, even as the supposed job creators were enjoying the Bush tax cuts and their extension. Trickle-down economics has produced less than a trickle for the majority, while it has greatly contributed to the debt.
Our endorsement of Democrat Martha Coakley over Brown in their 2010 special election faceoff to replace the late Ted Kennedy in the Senate was based largely on Brown's promise to be the 41st vote against the health care act known as "Obamacare," which we considered to be a critical need after years of spiraling health insurance rates.
We've been observing Brown since his first election as a Wrentham assessor and consider him a learner who has been ready to change his position as experience dictates. His views on gay rights, for instance, are far more enlightened than in his days as a state rep and senator. On health care, though, he just hasn't learned and would be an assured vote to repeal Obamacare, even as it has ended denials of health policies to people with pre-existing conditions and allowed children to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26, among other features. More expensive aspects of the bill will be phased in. Some may need fixing, but repeal would be foolhardy.
Warren has been criticized as less likely to exhibit the bipartisanship for which Brown has been heralded, and her authorship of the nation's new consumer protection agency puts her squarely in the liberal corner. But there are chinks in Brown's bipartisan armor -was it the real Scott Brown who made a critical vote in favor of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, or was it the real Scott Brown who played a critical role in removing the teeth of the bill? Likewise his stance on reproductive rights - he says he's pro-choice on the stump, but backs the Blunt Amendment and has won endorsements from pro-life organizations.
Brown has been a bright light on The Sun Chronicle area's political landscape for a long time, but when comparing some of his statements to his voting record, we wonder if we really know him at all.
On one thing we are sure - this nation is in a hole. Brown's promises would dig it deeper. Warren's offer hope for climbing out of it. The choice is clear: Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate.