Editorial: Don’t be silly

Heading into the last days of August, we have entered the “silly season.”

This was once defined as a time of year — usually the hottest part of the summer — during which the media, having little news of consequence to cover, trained its reporting eyes on outlandish or trivial events ... stuff that was really just plain silly.

There were flying saucer sightings, Big Foot speculations, stories about “big cats” that stalked suburban backyards ... and toasted cheese sandwiches that looked like the Madonna.

That definition has now been enlarged to cover not just the media’s behavior, but times when others seem to act foolish or illogically.

Lawmakers and politicians would seem to have established their own large silly season, one that isn’t confined to being in session or engaged in an election campaign.

The news is now full of legislators of all types saying things that either get them in trouble or simply make them look uneducated or foolish or both.

Which brings us to Scott Brown, our former U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

It’s clear that Brown, who lost his short-lived seat in the Senate to Elizabeth Warren a little over a year ago, has been looking for something to do. First there were the rumors that he was considering an attempt to get back in politics in New Hampshire. While it’s up to our neighbors to the north to decide whether they would welcome him or they’d see the Wrentham resident as some kind of carpetbagger, that idea seems to have been fleeting at best.

Now, it seems that Brown has eyes on a bigger prize — the White House.

It was reported this week that Brown decided to take a visit to the Midwest, and in particular Iowa and its state fair. Iowa, of course, is home to presidential caucuses, one of the first stops on the campaign trail in seeking to become a nominee as either a Republican or Democrat.

But wait, you ask, isn’t the presidential election in 2016?

That’s correct, but in our modern political age, it never is too early to gauge interest. As Brown told the Boston Herald, he is seeing if “... there’s even an interest, in Massachusetts and throughout the country, if there’s room for a bipartisan problem solver.”

Now far be it from us to dash Brown’s dreams and aspirations — but has he looked at where his own party seems to be heading these days? “Bipartisan” doesn’t seem to be part of the GOP’s vocabulary, and recent Republican candidates have discovered that they have to appeal to the far right fringes of their party if they are to have even a remote chance of a nomination.

And we’re not quite sure a two-year stint in the Senate is really enough to qualify a person as a national figure.

Perhaps Brown should rethink an entry into the presidential race before he, too, looks a bit silly.

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