When we spotted a headline on the Beacon Journal's op-ed page that said "Sherrod Brown, authentic progressive," it appeared to be an accurate reference to the authentic Ohio Democratic senator. So imagine my shock when the columnist was George Will. Was he really paying homage to the guy that he described as a "leftist"?
No dear reader, he wasn't. Instead he cleverly used Brown, as "rumpled" and "hoarse" as he may be, as a wedge to get at his real target: um, gender-crazy Democratic activists who are clamoring to nominate Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren in 2016.
( I will dispense with professional courtesy at this point and refer to the sniffy conservative columnist only as George because any sentence beginning with his surname sounds ungrammatical, as in "Will wrote..." or "Will asserted...")
From a point early in his gender diatribe, George slams both women as phony or theatrical leftists and offers up Brown as the "authentic progressive" to fill in the blank at the top of a hypothetical Democratic ticket.
Oh, the subject has come up more than once. Brown deflected an insistent question from MSNBC's Chris Matthews, saying he is "quite happy where I am but, thank you". And to the Huffington Post he said: "I have no interest. I mean zero interest. I love what I do. I think if you want to be a really good senator you shouldn't be looking over your shoulder and running for president. Zero interest. I appreciate the question but no thanks."
Nothing, of course, is ever final in politics, particularly in George's tantrums against female lefties. And Brown's intense fund-raising efforts for Democratic candidates across the land does cast him as an authentic team that more than a few of his colleagues will remember down the road.
But George has a widening reputation for his erring punditry. Item: Romney would win in a landslide! So George's readers might conclude that Brown is in fact an authentic crypto-right winger. In this instance, however, we'll stick with the headline. Thanks anyway,George.