FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
A candid Congressman... it's an endangered species in Washington. Unless they're retiring and have nothing to lose by being honest.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/11/01/art.baird.jpg caption="Representative Brian Baird (D-WA)."]
The Wall Street Journal interviewed Congressman Brian Baird, a six-term Democrat from Washington State who's retiring at the end of this term.
Baird calls out the Democratic leaders, saying they're "authoritarian" and "closed." He says they've repeated some of the Republicans' errors: "We've made some of the same damn mistakes, and we were supposed to be better. That's the heartbreak."
And we're talking about a loyal Democrat here. Baird voted for all of the Democrats' legislative priorities - including the stimulus bill, health care reform and cap and trade. Although he does admit that all three have serious flaws.
Baird says he was very excited when his party won control of Congress in 2006, but saw troublesome signs early on. For example, right after the election, he says Speaker Nancy Pelosi abandoned all work on a rules package to make the House more ethical. He says the leaders told party members to quote "trust them to clean things up."
That worked out well, didn't it?
Baird says he was optimistic when President Obama was elected. But the White House's decision not to make job creation its top priority made him lose hope pretty quickly.
His advice for incoming Republican members of Congress is to "treat the voters like adults."
Now there's an idea.
Here’s my question to you: One retiring Democratic congressman says the party's leadership has been "authoritarian" and "closed." Is he right?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jack, He sounds like an honest guy to me with nothing to lose. I've observed high-handedness and arrogance on both sides of the aisle and from the White House. Treating us voters as adults would go a long way toward healing our country, but based on what I've heard and seen during this shameful campaign, I seriously doubt that either party is going to take his advice.
Nancy and Harry shoved their agenda down the throats of every American, and after it passed Nancy decided it would be a good time to read it. Most of the country was against the so-called health care bill that no one in Congress bothered to read and now the American people will have to pay for it.
Rich in Texas writes:
Look, the Republicans have more than their share of problems, but, the Democrats had an opportunity to be the adults and they screwed up. They did not even pretend to get the Republicans' input. They passed everything Obama wanted in spite of what the public was saying, so it's off with their heads.
Alan in Riverdale, New York writes:
Up to your old tricks again, Jack? Trying to create the perception that the Democrats are finished? Obviously your corporate handlers are telling you what to say or you wouldn't keep harping on this crap over and over again. Let's see what happens after the election on Tuesday, hopefully you will be busy eating crow with Sarah Palin.
Joe in Maryland writes:
The party is too indecisive to be authoritarian, even with a super-majority they couldn't decide which way they wanted to go. As far as closed? Yeah, they stopped listening to their base a long time ago.
He's absolutely right! They decided to make backroom deals instead of fighting for the change we wanted! They caved on the public option to appease the insurance companies, they caved on cheaper drugs from Canada to appease the Big Pharma, they caved on re-visiting free trade deals to appease big corporations, but they failed miserably when it came to appeasing the voters! We will see tomorrow how well their appeasement worked!