Five Republicans broke party ranks on Monday night to vote in favor of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's jobs bill, but one in particular is earning a lot of attention for his vote: the new senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown.
As the first major test of whether Brown intends to stick with the GOP on partisan votes, the jobs bill vote elicited strong reactions, both positive and negative, from his constituents and other political onlookers.
Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin chastised the Republicans "who joined the Dems to end debate on the phony jobs boondoggle that even the Associated Press points out will create a puny number of jobs." Those, Republicans, she added, included, "Yes, sigh, Scott Brown." Malkin listed the phone number for Brown's Washington office and encouraged her readers to call him.
Brown has been cast as a hero of the right after winning the Senate special election in Massachusetts to take over the seat once held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. He made an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend, where he introduced former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Many of his conservative supporters, however, railed against Brown on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter user Brian Coplin urged Brown's more than 21,000 Twitter "followers" to "UN-follow @ScottBrownMA show him your disappointment."
Using the hash tag #areyoukiddingme, user "dunkball" tweeted, "@scottbrown voted to increase spending to develop government jobs. He is a trader and should be watched closely."
On his Facebook page, user Wendy C. Jacobs left a note for Brown reading, "If you were independent you should have run as such....not someone with an R attached to his name. Shame on you! If it is not what you wanted....you should not have even voted for it....what is your problem?"
User Mary Richcreek-Mckee left the note, "Not at all happy with this vote Mr. Brown. This was a very bad decision on your part. We campaigned for you. We donated to your campaign and you turned on us like every other RINO."
Simon Urbina simply left the message, "Benedict Brown."
Brown defended his vote to reporters, the Washington Post reports by saying, "I'm not from around here. I'm from Massachusetts."
Some conservative pundits gave Brown some leniency because of what state he represents.
"Obviously he needs to signal the left-leaning indies back home who voted for him that he'll break their way sometimes," blogger "Allahpundit" wrote on the conservative site HotAir.com. "Even armed with a huge war chest for 2012, he ain't getting reelected as a party-line Republican."
Indeed, a number of people left positive comments for Brown on his Facebook page, such as Andrew LeMaitre, who wrote, "Thanks Scott. I was worried about you, but it seems you actually have what is best for the people in mind. Please do not follow your party. Do what you think is right. Both parties are currently a joke, and our country will not function with both parties so hardlined."
Some bloggers pointed out, however, that Brown's stardom and support does not come from strictly within his state.
Brown's vote for Reid's bill "means he just lost himself book sales in the hundreds of thousands," wrote Steve M. at "No More Mister Nice Blog." "Thanks for playing, Scott. You're yesterday's wingnut hero."