One-Time Tea Party Hero Turns Against Donald Trump

Former Republican senator calls formation of January 6 commission a "no-brainer"

Once upon a time, in the years before Donald Trump, you couldn't find a bigger hero more beloved by the Republican right wing than Scott Brown.

Within a matter of weeks, Brown rode his beloved pick-up truck from the backwaters of a little-known career as one of the handful of Republicans serving in the Massachusetts state Senate to riding into Washington DC to shatter the Democrats' all-too-brief 60-vote supermajority in the US Senate as a giant-killer.

Brown had defeated then-Massachusetts state attorney general Martha Coakley to win the special election to succeed the recently deceased liberal lion of the US Senate, Democrat Ted Kennedy — becoming, in the process, the first Republican to represent the Bay State in the US Senate in nearly 30 years.

Almost immediately, there were calls for Brown to run for president.

Of course, Brown's moment wouldn't last. Obama administration adviser Elizabeth Warren would defeat him in the next election just two years later, and Brown's luster would be further tarnished by a failed Senate comeback bid from across state lines in 2014 from New Hampshire.

And once Trump emerged and became president, Brown initially had no problem with him. In fact, Trump appointed the once-rising star as his ambassador to New Zealand and Somoa.

However, then Trump lost the 2020 election, and that loss, of course, was followed by the deadly insurrection he incited January 6 at the US Capitol.

While Republicans in to the Senate today are dancing as fast as they can to try to kill the proposal for a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to study the events of January 6, their one-time hero from Wrentham, Massachusetts, calls it a “no-brainer.”

The House approved the creation of the commission last week. It is scheduled to come up for a vote in the Senate this week, where it faces an uncertain fate as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is working on overdrive to kill it.

“Yeah, absolutely. I mean, he bears responsibility. I think his presidency was diminished as a result of this," Brown said of Trump. “And I think he’s paying a price. He’s been impeached twice. He was impeached for those actions. A lot of the great things that he did, working on China, getting the vaccine out, developed right away, looking at what he did with Iran and Russia, and, in the Indo-Pacific specifically, the amazing things he did during the Christchurch attacks in New Zealand, I mean, all those things are by the wayside now.

"That is why it’s imperative to find out what role everybody played and figure out why, first of all. I can’t believe — I thought I was watching — I was back for two days on the job and I see our Capitol — I thought it was either an action movie, a banana republic, some type of dictatorship. Like, I was embarrassed. I was angry,” he added. “And I want to make sure it never, ever, ever happens again, because we are the greatest country in the world and we have amazing opportunities. And I lived in other parts of the world, and I visited there, and there’s no place like this country.

"And, yes, we have our faults, and we’re addressing them. But we have a great social fabric of people who care deeply about who we are as Americans, and we have got to fix this right away,” Brown said.