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Two New England Republicans Hint Approval Of Elena Kagan. This Is Good News.

It’s no surprise coming from Susan Collins, maverick Republican senator of Maine.

The other should also not be a surprise. But Democratic loyalists cast Scott Brown as a Neanderthal because he took away from them what they had come to call “Ted Kennedy’s seat,” as if it belonged either to the family or to the party.

Of course, it’s always hard for a senator to come out against a nominee from his own state. But Brown is himself a moderate pol, and the Commonwealth a moderate state—regardless of how many Tea Parties have been held in Marblehead. In any case, there is a charming coyness to Brown which alone makes him unpredictable. I actually believe that this is the trait that gave him the five-point margin by which he won. As for his defeated opponent, Martha Coakley, there was nothing unpredictable about her—nothing. She is a hack. And I voted for her on the assumption that if I put the “X” in the Republican column, my right hand would wither and my tongue would cling to the roof of my mouth.

P.S. Deval Patrick—who had trouble with the public and the press (and with me) early on—has turned out to be a sage governor of the Bay State, wise in choosing his fights, creative in trying to choose the best of necessary compromises, both statesmanlike and kinda funny in his rhetoric. Patrick will face two viable opponents in November: Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat-turned-independent Tim Cahill. Tomorrow I must send Patrick’s campaign a check.