Every once in a while I check in with the future and try to lay down tabs on what I think the future is going to be like... I have about a 50% success rate (oh Secretary of State Richard Clarke...). It's the political equivalent of brackets.
Since January, my "2012 election bracket" had Scott Brown in the nominee slot for the Republicans. He has one major advantage: plausible deniability from the Bush Era. Don't forget how much of a boon Obama got from not being part of the US Senate that approved the PATRIOT Act (which only Russ Feingold refused to vote for) and declared war on Iraq. So Scott Brown has enough credentials to run against Barack Obama (although he won't have spent quite as much time in the Senate), and he has the opportunity to craft a new message. And hailing from Massachusetts gives himself the latitude to reach out to Independents without really stepping on the toes of people from back home.
That's, I think, the background to this story, which is about Scott Brown's refusal to say he's joining the 'Repeal the Bill' crowd. Mitt Romney, the de-facto voice of the GOP Establishment (which is kind of how he positioned himself from the start of the '08 Campaign) has come out against it, which is all kinds of stupid. But Romney's problem is Brown's problem too; Brown has said he is not against Massachusetts' Health Care system.
So Brown is at a fork. If in 2012 he wants to run for the nomination, he's going to have to run against Health Care. But if in 2012 he wants to run for re-election, he's going to have to run in favor of Health Care. So there we have the story that posits that Brown hasn't read the Reconciliation Bill yet. Bullfeathers, Mr. Brown. If you haven't had at least a point-by-point summary of what the bill means, you should fire your staff, since you've had five days.
So I guess what I'm saying is, I'm erasing Brown from my 2012 bracket and waiting to see what happens next amongst the GOP. I'm certain it won't be Palin, or Romney (unless really nobody else emerges), or Pawlenty. If Brown can't untangle himself from Health Care, I'd add him to that list.