IT'S YOUR SURPRISE THAT'S SURPRISING
Headline from The Note at ABC News:
Scott Brown A Suprising "No" on Kagan
Really? Why is this "surprising"?
We know what Scott Brown's agenda is: number one, to stick a thumb in the eye of the Democrats whenever possible (without ever truly alienating the swing voters of Massachusetts), so that even though he's no longer the Great Teabaggers' Hope, he can still collect a lot of national GOP cash in two years (when he needs to run again) by saying that the Evil Massachusetts Liberal Machine wants to destroy him. And number two, to keep cash from other sources rolling in.
Back in February he supported the jobs bill because he feared his state's swing voters might punish him if he didn't. He ultimately voted for financial reform for the same reason -- after weakening it to please potential fat-cat donors.
In this case, what's the risk? If he votes no on Kagan, who's going to turn from a pro-Brown vote to an anti-Brown vote (especially given the fact that he's not going to be the deciding vote either way)? Do you know anyone, in Massachusetts or anywhere else, who's particularly enthusiastic about Kagan? No one -- certainly no one in the swing-vote middle -- is going to feel that Brown's vote against her is the last straw.
There's no fat-cat money involved. And Brown can't tease the Democrats and get Kagan to promise to judge in a more right-wing way as the cost of his yes vote.
So he's free to do the wingnutty thing. And that's what he's doing.
UPDATE: Kagan confirmed with five GOP votes.