BOSTON – A month after being crowned the darling of national conservatives, Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts is being branded ”Benedict Brown” for siding with Democrats in favor of a jobs bill endorsed by the Obama administration.

Like the four other Republican senators who joined him, the man who won the late Democrat Edward Kennedy’s seat says it’s about jobs, not party politics. And that may be good politics, too.

The other GOP senators who broke ranks — Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, George Voinovich of Ohio and Christopher ”Kit” Bond of Missouri — also were criticized Tuesday. But Brown was the big target on conservative Web sites, talk shows and even the Facebook page that his campaign has promoted as an example of his new-media savvy.

”We campaigned for you. We donated to your campaign. And you turned on us like every other RINO,” said one writer, using the initials for ”Republican-In-Name-Only.”

The conservative-tilting Drudge Report colored a photo of Brown on its home page in scarlet.

Brown responded by calling in to a Boston radio station.

”I’ve taken three votes,” Brown said with exasperation. ”And to say I’ve sold out any particular party or interest group, I think, is certainly unfair.”

The new senator said that by the time he seeks re-election in two years, he will have taken thousands of votes.

”So, I think it’s a little premature to say that,” he said.

Political observers agree, saying each of the senators had solid reasons locally for voting as they did Monday night, to cut off a potential Republican filibuster on the bill.

The measure featured four provisions that enjoyed sweeping bipartisan support, including a measure exempting businesses hiring the unemployed from Social Security payroll taxes through December, and giving them a $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year. It would also renew highway programs through December and deposit $20 billion in the highway trust fund.

It faces a final Senate vote today.

Snowe and Collins hail from economically ailing Maine, and they can’t stray too far from the Democrats who populate much of New England.

Snowe and Collins, meanwhile, ”survive in New England by a unique set of rules,” said Dante Scala, political science professor at the University of New Hampshire.

He said: ”The way they survive with voters in their home states is by making it clear that, first and foremost, they’re the servants of their constituencies, not the party label. So, they’ll make a point of defying their party and going their own way.”