November 1st, 2010
05:28 PM ET

Has Democratic leadership been "authoritarian" and "closed?"

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?

Meg writes:
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.

Jim writes:
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.

Nancy writes:
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!

Filed under: Congress • Democratic Race • Democrats
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Carl


    Positively yes! They are done, stick a fork in them, NEXT!

    November 1, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  2. Kevin of SD CA

    One retiring Democratic congressman says the party's leadership has been "authoritarian" and "closed." Is he right?

    YES! Authoritarian" and "Closed socialism! Mob bosses and mafia on all levels of government!

    November 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  3. Russ in PA

    Of course he's correct. How in the world can Democrats continue to pass nonsensical laws that no one can read, let alone understand? Democrats – and Republicans – refuse to pay attention to history that shows that the US grew best as a free-market society. And that means that government should exist to protect our rights, our liberty and our property. Period...

    November 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  4. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I can't think of a more liberal party on the contenent. Everyone has an opinion Jack and this retiring democrat is just another one. Regardless of what he thinks now, it sure did not stop him from collecting a check all these years and then go on to retire as a democrat now did it? I would ask this congressman to define his own tenure and legacy before he tries to define any one else's.

    November 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  5. Paul P.

    Could be. This is politics we're talking about and the GOP have been that way for most of this decade, why aren't the Democrats allowed the same the imperfections?

    November 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  6. JackieinDallas

    I don't think so, Jack. What has happened (in my view) is that Republicans in general have moved to block votes to even essential legislation. What they have done is dug their feet in and acted like jerks. It is always easier to disagree with a direction already being taken than actually come up with an alternative.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  7. Joanne

    Absolutely ! We have followed all the hearings, meetings, votes, etc. We recorded when not avail to view. We also have read the HC Bill, and the Reconciliation Law (which was abused to pass HC Bill) – and that now will come to haunt Dems in future years. Can anyone be so dumb? Did they not see the Brown, McDonnell and Christie wins?
    Shows the intelligence of our present leaders.
    The Democrats have been arrogant and as a result wlll pay the price tomorrow and for yrs to come.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  8. David Alexandria VA

    Absolutely, Jack. When your party controls the White House and the Congress, you are particularly obliged to ensure that all of the people nation are represented, not just your core party faithfuls. When your President wins a little over half of the vote in which only 2/3 of the voters cast ballots, and the nation was emerging from a dismal administration, don’t consider yourself to have a mandate. And, when you have to pull every rabbit out of your hat to barely, barely get health care passed with 65% opposing headwinds from the American people, you have to question your own sense of authority and entitlement to govern. Leadership and governance are not "winner take all." as Pelosi implied when she escewed alternative input on health care simply by saying "we won." On that arrogant phrase, she and her cronnies lost.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  9. John from Alabama

    Jack: The leadership of the democratic party did not sell its accomplishments. Not closed or authoritarian, but the democrats lack communication skills. They accomplished something that Teddy Roosevelt wanted to do in passing health care reform. Plus,Jack, you listened to someone who is retiring from Congress. A quitter!! Jack are you retiring or going to FOX News.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  10. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Not being in the Congress I don’t know. What I do know is that the leadership has been totally moronic, irresponsible, self-serving and disingenuous.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  11. dennis in minneapolis minnesota

    Really? Compared to what?

    November 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  12. Pisher from Harrisburg

    The Democratic Leadership has been in touch with the people more than any other administration in history. Joe Biden is truely a man of the people and Barak Obama is continually asking the base what they think. The Republicans have become the party of "no" and have injected divisive and inflammatory rhetoric. Obama has extended the hand across the isle, offered them what they propose and still they reject their own ideas if adopted by Democrats. They are mean-spirited, dogmatic, extremists who deserve whatever they get- which is what they've given. Nothing, nada, zero...

    November 1, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  13. Ed

    Not at all, democratic leadership is very open to those who share the same views.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  14. Annie D.

    Since we're not in the Congress, we have no real way of knowing. I do know Republicans have been given a chance to offer amendments on things and choose, instead, to vote "no" and collect their $174,000 salaries the easy way.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    That would be putting it mildly. I find it akin to dictatorship, myself.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  16. Ed from California

    If you mean that the Dems don't brag about their accomplishments, he's absolutely right. My Rep's, Feinstein, Boxer and George Miller. All write back to me, keeping me informed of the bills that get passed by Congress. I also write to them on the issues that concern me; the Health Care insurance cap; our jobs being shipped off to China, India and elsewhere; the restore of The Glass-Steagall Act; Getting our manufacturing sector up and running again; why are gas prices so high; get once and for all Osama bin Laden; Lets not privatize social security and medicare, make it stronger, etc....... I express my views, my concerns, civilly.

    We as Americans have no one to blame but ourselves. You have to get involved. Whether it's your politicians at the local, state and federal levels or your kids teacher. You have a duty to get involved. You have to vote in your best interest. You have to demand that your lawmakers keep you informed. Your lawn won't grow without proper attention. So, be involved.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  17. Tony from Southport

    100% yes.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  18. Brian, Baton Rouge

    He's probably right.

    But then again, the Republican leadership is authoritarian and closed, too.

    How else would you get every single Republican to vote in lockstep on every single bill?

    November 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  19. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    NO. Unless there is something you guys in the media missed? Why do you call them leaders if you don't want them to be authoritarian? There are many situations where a lot more work gets done behind a closed door as apposed to in front of a camera Jack.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  20. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    In the House and Senate, Yes.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  21. Gerry

    The retiring Democrat has the assessment down pat. This President has his own agenda, he is not a team player and democrats are finding themselves kicked to the curb if they fail to totally support him. Obama's plan is to create as many socialistic programs as he can in hopes some of them may remain after he is out of office. His definition of transparency in government is no more than lip service. I will be surprised if he finishes his term in office without being impeached. Obama is the enemy within.

    Ash Fork, Az.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  22. Pete from Georgia

    More ARROGANT than authoritarian.
    Complete arrogance..
    Arrogance to the point of absurdity.
    Arrogance to the point of self destruction.

    Pure arrogance.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  23. Roy-Tampa

    Well liberals are nothing but decedents of British loyalist who believed in the crown but never left after the war. So in essence authoritarian belief in the crown leads to authoritarian style government.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  24. B.J., Quincy, Il

    Yes, they seem to be more with this administration than with the others and a tad bit mote arrogant.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  25. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, I can't address all the leadership, but I think the Speaker has been tone-deaf to calls from moderate Democrats for more legislation for the middle and majority and less for the fringes. Granted, she has no responsibility to listen to me, but for four years I've asked her to have every Democrat in the House read the Preamble everyday and govern accordingly. I don't think this has happened.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  26. Bizz Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think both parties can be labeled authoritarian and closed. Especially the republican party where you are expected to be to the tea party right if you want a future in Congress. The democrats on the other hand seem to have a harder time keeping everyone in line because they have more variety of people. However both parties expect you to do as you are told by your party leaders, lobbyist, and special interest groups. Even independents members are under control of the party leaders they caucus with.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  27. Jim

    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. 63% of the country were 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.
    I am a Floridian, God help us all.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  28. Melissa

    No, in fact they've been more open than any administration in recent history. And they spend way too much time capitulating to the Republicans so they are anything but authoritative. If they were authoritative, we'd have a national health care system and the privatized system would be properly abolished.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  29. Eugene Womack Myers flat, CA

    Jack, the retiring democratic congressman is right. There's no transparence in Obama Care or anything else he's done. This Congres led by a super majority of Dems has rammed unpopular legislation that we cannot pay for down our collective throats and they will pay the piper tomorrow.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  30. Alan from Riverdale NY

    Up to your old tricks again Jack?
    Trying to create the preception that the Democrats are finished?
    Obviously your corporate handlers are telling you what to say or you would keep harping on this crap over and over again.
    Lets see what happens after the election on Tuesday, hopefully you will be busy eating crow with Sarah Paliin.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  31. Loren

    Yes, the Democratic Party's leadership has been closed and authoritarian, what else can you call it when the leader says to vote for the Health Care bill without reading, saying that's the way we'll find out what's in it. The Democratic control of Congress and the White House have shown democracy at its worst (though the Republicans didn't do much better the last time they real control during the Clinton years).

    November 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  32. Jan Asotin, Wa

    Is that the same congressman who sat on the sidelines with the GOP and said no to everything? Were they "authoritarian" and "closed" because they didn't do what he wanted?

    November 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  33. MNResident

    When the Speaker of the House claims the most important legislation in the past twenty years (Health Care Reform) can not be read until it it passed (""We have to pass it so you can read it"), I don't think that makes for the most "open and honest" leadership out there.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  34. Don (NH)

    In this day and age, the rift raft come in to camp when you leave the door open.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  35. Jeff in Virginia

    For once I will agree with a Democratic, that party's leadership has only 1 goal, do it our way or take the highway, and then they want to lay all the blame on the Republicans for being the "Party of No", when they disagree. All I can say is watch the results tomorrow, if the Republicans "Runaway" with it like all the predications, then the Democratic Leadership should see that the majority of Americans did not approve of how they have run our country into the ground.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm |

    tampa, fl i'm really surprised that our all of our leaders are not wearing posh robes and crowns with lots of jewels, befitting the royal status they think they are. we had a revolution to get rid of tyrants that over taxed us to allow them to live opulent lifestyles, and this election is just the start of the next revolution. we have had enough, vote them out!

    November 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  37. Dave

    Of course it has. When 70% of America says they didn't want the health care bill and congress ignores all the problems going on to enact a broken version of it, it surely does indicate that.

    November 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  38. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    The Democratic leadership may try to achieve party unity, but there are enough independent thinkers for it to be more like herding cats. If you want a monolithic party that always votes in lock-step you need to look at the GOP.

    November 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  39. Lori - PA


    Yes, the Democrats have been "authoritarian" and "closed". Just look at the the health care reform bill. In 2014, unless things are changed, we're going to be forced to have health insurance, even if we can't afford it, or be fined. If you haven't figured it out already, the health care reform bill passed by the Democrats is a VERY sore subject with me as it did nothing to address how much health insurance companies can charge a person or family.

    November 1, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  40. Marc Grammenos

    Hello, Yes it is possible, but given the GOP's long tenure, I'd say it was more that a type of siege mentality had developed. Perhaps we can learn from this. Now, we're faced with a group, the Tea Party, that reminds me of past history's Know Nothing Party. They keep referring to the Constitution but prove only that they know little about what is really in it. It is a useful Buzz Word, certainly, but has an effect only on the equally ignorant...something that does not speak well for our educational system. God help us all. Marc

    November 1, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  41. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    I don't think the democrats had a leader, Pelosi is a complete idiot and Reid is there with her, another case where they only look after themselves and think they are smarter and wiser then the American people.

    November 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  42. Paul Austin,Texas

    No the retiring member's opinion is that the party is closed to the old way of thinking What happen's Tuesday may just be a view of what is to come in this country as for politics. .

    November 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  43. Tom Rush

    Pelosi and Reid have been the equivaant of school yard bullies trying to decide which classmates lunch to steal.

    November 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  44. Joe CE

    Not really more than average but a poor approach to PR.

    November 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  45. Rich - TX

    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. If the republicans do the same thing they will get the same results. The public is fed up!

    November 1, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  46. diridi

    no way....

    November 1, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  47. Lene', IL

    The Democratic leaders treat the American people like we are their kids and they are our parents. They have a need to tell us how we are to think, feel and act. We are expected to comply and conform to their demands and if we don't like it...TOO BAD!

    November 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  48. Jane (Minnesota)

    Probably they are but not as much as the Republicans on Capital Hill. A party that votes nearly 100% of the time in unison (in lockstep together) appears to be strong armed to me too.

    November 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  49. Brad Burnett


    You are kidding – right?

    Remember the "open health care negotiations? Behind closed doors and with limited cameras and reporters?

    Reid, Pelosi and Obama are worse than Bush

    November 1, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  50. Marc Grammenos

    Hello, in many key states like Ohio, Voters say they're not going to vote and cite the negative ads as the reason. This is foolish. I am reminded of the saying, "He is cutting his nose off to spite his face." If the GOP wins because of this, the Democrats that should have voted will only have themselves to blame and should not grumble when things get worse for them. Social Security may be gutted to pay for the tax cuts, Health Care will go back to the way it was, etc., and etc. So Vote, Vote, Vote...!!!! Marc

    November 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  51. Anthony from Swedesboro, NJ

    Today, perception trumps cogent observation. The Democrats appeared to shove their programs down our throats because the Republicans refused to offer any rational ideas to ameliorate our countries problems. Strangely, because the Democrats had an agenda and the Republicans had none, the public sees it as one-sided. They think by bringing more balance to power, things will go swimmingly. Forget about it!

    November 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  52. frankie

    Is Sarah Palin "brilliant" and "full of empathy"?

    November 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  53. Conor in Chicago

    I will say this much: If, once you sift through all of the nonsense that has been American politics in recent memory, it is determined that the Dems have been "authoritarian" and "closed", it should be defined as revenge for a Republican regime in the last decade that operated EXACTLY the same way. Monkey see, monkey do.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  54. John Hulse

    Authoritarian? Are you kidding me? The democratic party and their leadership have been weak, not authoritarian. They tried too hard to bend over backwards to compromise with uncompromising republicans. The democratic leadership allowed themselves to be swift boarded once again.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  55. Gary H. Boyd

    "Dictatorial" and "demanding" would be my definitiion Jack but "Authoritarian" and "closed" is okay too. Whatever ya call it, it stinks and tomorrow the American public is gonna run a whole bunch of 'em out of Washington on a rail.

    Gary Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    November 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  56. JackieinDallas

    I don't think so, Jack. What has happened (in my view) is that Republicans in general have moved to block votes to even essential legislation. What they have done is dug their feet in and acted like jerks. It is always easier to disagree with a direction already being taken than actually come up with an alternative.

    I would agree, though, that Pelosi and Reid haven't been exactly bipartisan-friendly, however.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  57. honest John in Vermont

    Democrats "authortarian" and "closed" ? Nothing to worry about since most of them will be packing their bags after the election. The Democrats were idiots who squandered their chance to be statesmen instead of mere politicians. They could have worked to pull America out of the deep hole the Republicans got us into–instead
    they postured and did nothing. We are in worse shape than 2 years ago. Now we stupid Americans will re-elect the stupid Republicans who put us in this mess. We stupid Americans...

    November 1, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  58. james in greenville, nc

    Yes, Jack, the Democratic Congressman is right. That's the only thing the Democrats have gotten right in the past two years.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  59. Steve from South Florida

    Don't make me laugh!! As a lifelong Democrat, our problem is total lack of Party discipline. If we stayed on message half as well as the Republicans, this election would be a romp...for Democrats.

    Our problem is we take the "big tent" idea WAY to seriously.

    Didn'r Will Rogers say "I don't belong to an organized party...I'm a Democrat!"

    November 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  60. Steve, Clifton, VA

    What goes around comes around!!

    November 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  61. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    The grownups (Democrats) took charge after the children (Republicans) trashed the place. If that's "authoritarian and closed," then so be it.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  62. rex in portland

    "Closed" as in oppositon to the Republican party's ideas in its leadership? You are asking a leading question, Jack, and it doesn't become you.

    Reid has be a totally ineffective SML and Pelosi has had worse press than Ted Bundy. But underneath all that there is not a trace of demagogery or an unwillingness to compromise. If you want those charateristics send some tea partiers to congress or check the republicans' voting records.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  63. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    I fail to see how the Democratic Party leadership could be any more authoritarian than those bullies in the Republican Party, who I see as being nothing but do-nothings and somewhat akin to the nutcases who ran Germany in 1939!

    November 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  64. Jeff In Minnesota

    Gee, let's see ... According to reports, it's been Pelosi's way or the highway. I think that's a bit authoritarian. She's gotten a big head and it got bigger with the election of Obama. She needs a severe reality check and is about to get a really big one if the elections pan out the way the pollsters and pundits see it. The problem is, if she doesn't get her posterior handed to her in tomorrow's elections, she'll be an even bigger problem than she already is. It's unfortunate because, while I think she might be a fairly bright individual, she is a prime example of power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  65. AL Brown

    The retiring congressman is absolutely right. Passing bills without going through committee conference, passing health care with backroom deals and reconciliation. I could go on and on but the bottom line is the Pelosi and Reid authoritian attitude. Remember what she said when she bacame speaker of the house – we're the majority so we make the rules. Arrogance to the Nth degree.
    Al Brown
    Gorham, NH

    November 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  66. Al

    From up here in Canada we wonder why you can't let American voters think for themselves with your anti Obama questions. Sounds like Stewart got it right with his comment about Cable news...... gee, can hardly wait until Nov 3rd to watch you and the Best Political Team,begin to help get Sarah elected as you will have 'full time' now to attack Obama. You are to well off Jack and know not who can really help Middle Class America and those near poverty.... move to Fox. PS... I wonder if Obama was out campaigning today if your question would deal with 'why he isn't in the White House doing the Nation's business'? I recall CNN so tied up in Clinton's Impeachment back then as the terrorists were plotting and growing into the threat they became. Your 'media negative sickness' is spreading into Canada. Why not just Report the News instead of trying to make it?

    November 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  67. Kevin L

    To a degree...it took authority to take charge of the "children" who was running the country. Daddy came home and they don't like it..; time to break out the belt!

    November 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  68. John from San Antonio

    Yes! The Republicrats are in total control and don't need to be open. We the people refuse to honor our duties and responsibilities as citizens of a democracy and hold our "public servants" accountable. We can expect nothing else.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  69. Cy Gardner

    Compared to who? Tom "Dancin'" DeLay? Stop jumping on the Dems because they seem down, Jack. I like you less and less every day. cy arlington, va

    November 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  70. Ken in Maryland

    Not even close. Dems gave in to Repubs on every issue trying to court votes. They weakened every bill from the Stimulus to Health Care to Financial Reform, and got 0 Repub votes for their effort. I actually think they were too weak!

    And don't expect Repubs to listen to voters. Just look at their position on Don't Ask Don't Tell. Even though almost 80% of Americans are in favor of repealing it, they're fighting it tooth and nail. Listening to voters? That's too funny.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  71. JENNA

    One retiring Democratic congressman says the party's leadership has been "authoritarian" and "closed." Is he right?

    Let me guess, the Democratic leadership expected the Democratic Congressman to vote party lines? Given that he probably took DNC dollars its called payback.

    Roseville CA

    November 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  72. Andrew Amherst NY

    Let me get back to you on this, I'm still waiting for my 3 days to read the Health Care Bill before it's voted on or signed.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  73. Jim - Michigan

    It is a shame that honesty comes at the end of a political career, but it is still refreshing to hear it, good job Congressman Baird. The democratshave used scare tactics to keep our vote, yet for the two years Obama has been in office they ignored the people.

    I find it convienient that democrats dont like to admit they have controlled congress for the past four years, not two. I would like to hear a democrat talk about the Fair Housing Act passed in 2007 and the effect it had on bringing down the housing market which started the economic collapse.

    The independents put Obama and the democrats in office, but we have been ignored ever since. I will let them know how I feel about that tomorrow.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  74. Scott Stodden

    Let's Face It Jack Democrats Didn't Come Through On Everything They Promised They Would Do When They Took Over The House And Senate In 2006 And After President Obama Came To Office They Still Haven't Done Everything They Promised They Would And That's The Problem! Im A Democrat And Always Will Be And Yes The Stimulus Saved The Country From Going Into A Depression, Yes Health Care Was Passed-Finally So Everyone Would Have Health Care And Yes Financial Reform Was Passed So That Wall Street And Big Banks Would Be Held Responsible But What About The Economy, What About Jobs, What About The Soaring Deficit, What About The War In Afghanistan? These Are The Issues Us Americans Worry About And Until Jobs Are Created And Unemployment Comes Down Hell Yeah American's Are Going To Be Upset And There's Always Going To Be A War Between Republicans And Democrats Until These Numbers Come Down!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    November 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  75. David from Herndon, VA

    I can't believe we're even discussing something like this. Who cares?

    The problem is that for two years the republicans have been sabotaging the government, holding up every appointment they can out of spite, voting lockstep to obstruct every single policy advanced. And what's their punishment? They're about to be handed back the majority in the house and possibly the senate.

    There are a lot of bad actors out there throwing around a lot of spurious arguments - it's all distraction. At the core, the problem is that the electorate is uninformed and blitheringly stupid.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  76. jim

    If the Congressman from Washington thinks the Democrats are Authoritarian he needs to listen to what Palin had to say to Republicans. Today on Fox Guiliana all but threatened Moderate Republicans demanding they change or else. Can't wait for January 1 and watch all the changes that are going to happen. If people think civility is dead now, just watch what happens after the first of the year.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  77. Ken in NC

    Well a man on the inside tells it like he sees it and that from a better vantage point than we and all the pundits have. I think the dude is spot on.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  78. KDS Irvine, CA

    He is right on Jack,
    A lot of back room, closed door meetings/negotiations took place during this Congress. Nancy Pelosi thinks she could do it all by herself. She was wrong. When Congress finally figures out that all they had to do was act in the best interests of "The People" it will be to late!

    My advice for incoming Republicans is to stick to the main problems in our country: Social Security, Jobs, illegal immigration. Don't do anything behind closed doors and be honest about what your doing.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  79. Thom Richer

    I believe there is a great deal of truth to that statement. Democratic leadership, Pelosi and Reid specifically, have been been the wrong choice from day one of this presidency. Between the Rights obstructionism and Pelosi's and Reid's unyielding and we are in charge attitude toward leadership, they have only fueled unrest and lack of unity amongst themselves. This at a time when unity meant everything and the Right was self-destructing. The leadership failed to take the lead and truly take advantage of being the party in power. Now both parties are useless. The country is now fully lead by Corporate America and Congress is being lead instead doing the leading.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    November 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  80. Sara Collier

    The President on the John Daly program said that the Administration had a lot of accomplishments that the American people did not know about. I am an American person, why don't I know about the accomplishments? I have an average intelligence maybe above – doesn't the President trust my intellect?

    November 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  81. JD Palatine

    Let's see, Even before he took office "I want him to fail". As a block senate republicans voted no with little dissent ever. And then there was that televised meeting between the President and Republican legislators, and the out come, they said "never again". How many Republican leaders have had to change their statements within 24 hours of even suggesting there might be room of compromise. One would have a better chance negotiating with a brick wall, and just about the same mentality.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  82. katiec Pekin, IL

    Typical, Jack. You pick one Democrat to further your agenda of spreading negativity about our president and the Democrats.
    You fail to mention that more fillibusters were conducted by the republicans then ever in history, that they obstructed, tried to destroy improvements, advancements for our country and us, refused to help fix the crisises they created, have goals of total gridlock, bring back de-regulation and continue on with their quest to sell the American people down the river.
    Shame on you, Jack. What in the world happened to the Jack we once knew and respected?

    November 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  83. Meg from Troy

    He sounds like an honest guy to me wth 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. I'm glad tomorrow is election day. I just want it to be over.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  84. Joe in Kent Island, MD

    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? Ya, they stopped listening to their base a long time ago.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  85. EE Wiese

    No. the Dem leadership has been misguided to some extent,and the Republicans have no solutions.The Dems. are timid and not agressive enough.The Dems are not good salesmen,and need to learn how to lie like the Republicans.If the Republicans win,the middle class will lose and if the trend continues we will be a third world country. Gene

    November 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  86. tim in Texas

    And one retiring Republican senator, George Voinavich, broke the gridlock on the Jobs bill saying doing what was right for the American people was more important than 'messaging'. The Republican minority leader of the Senate has said that the Republican's only priority in the next two years is defeating Obama. How about jobs, Mitch? The future speaker of the House, should the Republicans win, said that there will be no compromise with the Democrats, Mitch McConnell and Mike Pence have said the same. No compromise. Let's not forget as well that the Republicans used the filibuster more than 100 times in two years – sometimes on bills that they themselves co-sponsored.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  87. EE Wiese

    No! you are biased. Gene

    November 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  88. Russ

    Not "authoritarian" and "closed" to me. Not sure how to explain what I feel about the Democratic Leadership in congress the only thing that sticks out and comes to mind reguarding the leadership of the current congress is "We have to pass the bill to see what's in it." Maybe it is just incompetence they didn't know WHAT they were selling because the insurance companies wrote it not them.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  89. Tonie

    This is nonsense. The Obama Administraiton has done a lot and been very successful but not in selilng their ideas before the Fox Republican Campaign Station and the Republicans defined them with all the misinformation.

    If they lose they deserve to lose for not being strong enough to come out sooner and brag. Health Care is part of the economy and will break this country if we go back. It should be better not made worse.

    The Republicans voted against penalizing corporations for sending jobs overseas and are ready to cut benefits to give the very rich tax cuts and charge the government 4 Trillion. Is that a winning hand?

    November 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  90. Nancy, Grand Ledge, MI

    He's absolutely right! They decided to make back room 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!!

    November 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  91. EE Wiese

    About 50%.and 50% to Ignorance. Gene

    November 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  92. Mr. Bill - Georgia

    Yes, they are. Speaker Pelosi early on indicated that the House would follow her agenda, not the President's. Major problems need addressing, but were not because not enough members of the House would follow Pelosi. And she had no intention of trying to work out compromises with Republicans. You could almost call this Congress the "Do nothing Congress" for what little has been accomplished in the past two years to tackle the key issues – jobs and immigration.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  93. Gary


    Gary, MO

    November 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  94. TomFL

    With the Republicans voting lock-step in unison, I would say there isn't a whole lot of free thinking going on in Washington anywhere at the moment. They are are all paralyzed by trying to defeat the enemy's team.

    They don't realize they are all actually on the same team, team USA.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  95. John, Fort Collins,CO

    Since he is now probably toast with the Democratic Party, I would encourage him to run for President in 2012 as an Independent. We in the moderate (screw the term "silent") majority are desperate for such a rational voice to represent us.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  96. Ed's Kate

    No, I don't think he is right. He is a grown man and was elected to do whatever was best for his constituents and the country. When he could have done something about it he did not. I am sick and tired of these so-called "Loyal Democrats" making statements like his. If he really felt the way he says he does why isn't he criticizing the politicians who put the skids on everything and plan on doing the same in the future. It is not all the leaders fault, he and plenty of other so-called "loyalists" who should have fought harder to stop the obstrucion did not do so, hence, they are just as much to blame for the mess that was caused by the obstructionists.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  97. Bruce

    Yes, but that is what both party's corporate controllers want. It is not going to change until later this year when the economy totally collapses. By mid-December

    November 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  98. scott

    Our insurance co just sent the changes for Jan. 1. We get to choose all hospitals, docs and other providers. Instead of paying 80% after our deductible, insurance pays 100% of our deductible. Instead of paying preventive care (mammograms, colonoscopies and the like, it is all paid at 100%. Instead of lifetime limits, there are no limits at all. Nursing home care is covered at 100% after deductible. And kids stay on the plan until age 26. The Republican fearmongers are all wrong. This plan puts money in our pocket and gives us choice.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  99. Nancy, Cunningham, Tennessee

    The Democrats have been closed by force. We all know that the Republicans have said no to everything brought. They were just biding their time until now. They are yelling loud and long that the Democrats have not accomplished anything and what they did pass was not the right thing for America. The Republicans were united in their plan to make lawmaking as difficult as possible for the past two years. The Dems may not have done everything they should have, but I will not vote for the Republicans who put their agenda ahead of the country and at a time when our country was in serious trouble. I blame the Republicans for the watered down health care reform because they hinted that they would support it if they took out the public option.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  100. Jamie Tacoma

    There's that old song lyric, "Look at all the indolent classes sitting on their indolent asses". The fault is in both parties more interested in preserving their privileges and that of their financiers than they are in working for the betterment and well bein of the American public.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  101. Marietta Hipskind

    I believe that democratic leadership has been both authoritarian and closed to any ideas other than their own

    November 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  102. Ron: Kansas City

    If the Democrats had placed the same emphasis to stop sending jobs overseas as was spent on healthcare, more of the people would be behind him. More than 8 million jobs were sent overseas during the Bush administration. Most of those jobs were middle class that would have been paying taxes. Then, the next thing to tackle should have been spending on two wars that we cannot afford. We have elected, through public policy, to send our jobs overseas and to spend enormous sums of money on defense contracting. Imagine if we had those 8 million jobs all paying taxes today and had the trillion dollars spent on Iraq? It would be difficult to campaign against entitlements under such a scenario. Perhaps it wasn't authoritarianism as much as it was misplaced priorities.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  103. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Queen Nancy and King Harry are about to be dethroned! I think that concisely answers the question.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  104. Richard

    Yes, The democrats, like the republicans treat us, the voters, more like subject, whose loyalty is only courted during election cycles. shouldn't they be treating us more like the populous if they want to be re-elected?
    Richard Ashburn, VA

    November 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  105. kaci

    Slithering to the right, Jack? You do know that Republicans will step on you, don't you? So, what? There has been lots of Republicans disenchanted with their party too. Pandering doesn't do you justice.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  106. Russ

    Nancy Pelosi takes the approach of "do as I say, not as I do." As an independent voter, Pelosi, Reid and company have not only turned me off, but have me anxious to wake up tomorrow and vote for every Republican on the ballot. And I will do just that.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  107. Lewis, Nashville,TN

    Jack, is "my way or the highway" authoritarian?

    November 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  108. Maria Houser Conzemius

    Absolutely, the Democratic Party is authoritarian and closed. The Johnson County Democratic Central Committee in Iowa is a case in point. Leadership is from the top down and dissent is not tolerated. I'm resigning from the central committee on Thursday, Nov. 4th. The Democratic Party is not a big tent any more, Jack. It's a very narrow-minded private party for the politically correct only.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  109. Stephanie

    Always questions about the Democrats, Jack. How about a question about the Republicans and what they propose to do or not do??

    November 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  110. Ron, WA

    He’s as right as rain. Closed & authoritarian doesn’t even begin to describe the Pelosi/Reid agenda – elitist, condescending, dictatorial, & arrogant are just a few more. What ever happened to “the consent of the governed”?

    November 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  111. David A Whitaker

    Jack I am a democrat and I stand for what I believe in. If those dog gone Democrats In the Senate & Congress had some back bone we could of done more productive work. They at like a bunch of chickens, just like the Health Care Bill it good that we got something,but it could of been much more. If they stick to their guns.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  112. Gigi Oregon

    Jack I think you have your parties mixed up. Brian Baird from Washington needs to improve his attitude and be a positive representative for the Democrat party, the party for people and not self or big business. I do understand the frustration in feeling your party just doesn't get it, but tearing your party down is not what they sent you to Washington to do.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  113. bbinoakland

    Hmmm... jobs? The best recipe for creating jobs is rooted in demand, right? First priority of Obama's administration? What about a $787 billion stimulus bill was not about investing in demand? Who stood in the way of the bill and made it smaller, saying we couldn't afford it? Look it up. It wasn't the president or his party.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  114. Harlon Katz

    When the Republicans are told "We won, you lost, shut up" and are not allowed to participate in legislation (and in the case of the HC bill, represent the majority of the country), I think Dictatorial is a better adjective. The Republicans could do NOTHING to stop the Democrats, they had complete control – the Democrats could not even get their own party in order without threats and bribes.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  115. Michael Perks

    Sometimes the truth just plain old hurts. Dems in control since 2006 and Obama just keeps on blaming Bush and Repubs. Wake up America Please. The world really needs you as a leader.....

    M Perks
    Parksville BC Canada

    November 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  116. Jennifer P., Charlotte, NC

    He is right. Ever since Obama and those who support him seized control of the Democratic Party, they have displayed an arrogance never seen in the Democratic Party before. Good Democrats have been punished under Obama/Pelosi, and many will lose tomorrow after providing years of good service to their constituents. Most of those Democrats are Clinton Democrats. Clinton Democrats are not arrogant, because they are populist and committed to the people. Obama Democrats are arrogant, as they are tied to corporations and to Obama's cult of celebrity. Pelosi and Obama ruined the Democratic Party.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  117. Linda in Arizona

    I'm sure he knows more about how authoritarian and closed the party leaders are. What I know is that most of them are virtually indistinguishable from republicans. I was furious when pelosi took investigating cheneybush for war crimes "off the table". Then when Obama got in and made the DLC corporate tool, Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, I knew we were finished. Watching him staff his cabinet wasn't shocking after that, just redundant.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  118. Bill

    Democrats have become a self serving far left of middle group let by a few. They are ridiculous and have ruined this country by paying those who have not to keep voting them in, so those that actually work and dont have time to riot and go to political protest keep paying for there votes of all those on entitlements.

    I will this election vote for some of the democrats that I support but will DEFINITELY vote across the party line on a few like Dan Maffei, who proved to be a Pelosi bobble head.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  119. Bill von Gremp

    I am not a congressperson so my opinion about how the Dem leadership handles those in its caucus would be pure conjecture. But I do think the Congress as a whole views the people as children and/or sheep who need to be told what is best for them. I don't know when or how it happened, but our citizen-legislators have become the lords and ladies of a monarchy and do not seem to care much for responding to what the people want. Worse, they seem not to be considerate of the US Constituion and they have created a government that is far from limited. This election is a restraining order on the growth of big government and future elections will hopefully re-establish the tenets of the US Constitution which clearly states that the Government that governs least, governs best. God Bless America. In God We Trust. One Nation Under God.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  120. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    We live more in a patriarchal system where we build walls with our absolute ideologies, where we do not let anyone in that does not think or act like us. Where there are certain things you can or cannot say, a sort of totalism.

    These totalistic, absolute, these ideological patriarchal cities offer an extraordinary fascination for the souls of fearful men and women.

    And it matters neither what party or religion controls these non-human cities, the final irony is we will always make war upon one another until we can build a city of mankind.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  121. americangypsy

    Considering Rep. Baird serves the 3rd district in the State of Washington, it is safe to assume he is closer to the blue dogs than to a liberal progressive democrat. The 3rd district was carried by Bush 43, twice. Good riddance, Rep. Baird

    November 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  122. Wendy Truth

    How many ways can we say arrogance, hubris, superiority attitude, divisiveness, contempt and down right dislike of the American people that they were supposed to be champions for?? When Obama and Pelosi told us that we would like the healthcare bill when they passed it – that they knew better than the American people they lost whatever good will and support that they had.

    The country was screaming for jobs and those two were pushing their socialist (yes, that's right – socialist) agenda. Obama doesn't like the constitution – he thinks that it limits his right to re-distribute wealth and I cannot even begin to comment on her royal highness Pelosi.

    Tomorrow is their payback – and we all know what payback is.

    Montreal, Canada

    November 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  123. d besson

    Nice tie jack. And as far as a comment "who cares were just changing one loon for another.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  124. Annie, Atlanta

    No. Bush Administration’s you’re either with us or against us attitude, along with his right wing member’s only rallies, will hopefully never be topped. I do, however, find fault with Obama thinking the GOP would actually do what’s best to get us out of this mess. Hopefully he’s learned they can only follow their corporate masters’ instructions.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  125. Patricia Roy

    I feel that they have been just the opposite. They have been way too lienent with the Republicans. After what the Republicans did to this country, Democrats should have passed bills that were far more reaching. If the Republicans did not like this, then let them filibuster. Let them look like the obstructionists that they are. If they gain power again, they will balance the budget on the backs of the middle class. Not one cent will come from the wealthy. Social security and Medicare will be in grave jeopardy!

    November 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  126. Luci

    This administration is more open than the previous one ever was. The last 22 months our President has tried very hard to be bipartisian and look what he got for it. The wealthy , elite other party is the one that is closed and the authoritiarians.
    I feel so bad for our Country and the way the GOP say they are going do for us. No social security, no health care, no medicare, etc.
    God be with us.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  127. William

    Yes of course and they have RUINED our country!

    Obama has ruined the Democrat party and his values do not represent most of the Democrats whom supported him 2 years ago. Sick of him and the party blaming everything on Bush and not working on the economy.


    November 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  128. Dick, Roswell, GA

    Yes, Dems have regrettably been authoritarian & closed. Obama & his party had an immense opportunity to truly cause positive change after 2008. But, Pelosi, Reid, Obama, et al totally wasted that opportunity by pushing their agendas and not listening to the people, nor proactively inviting Republicans into the mix. They still don't get it - Obama is still saying put to them in the back of the car, they're our "enemies", etc. When will politicians learn that their first responsibility is to the people that elected them? I only hope that the Republicans coming into power don't make the same mistake and that the President changes his way to bring Republicans into the fold, rather than fighting them to push his own liberal agenda.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  129. Robby Bowling

    Yes and if we had term limits there would be even more. Honesty and politics that don't belong together. Then again he has all he needs benefits, money under the table, and a job working for a lobby.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  130. hurricanepaul from Hawaii

    Starting tomorrow Jack, it won't matter what the Democtats think or feel because Nanci Pelosi & Harry Reid will no longer be running the show.

    Today feels just like it felt the night before Christmas, when I was a little kid.

    I can't wait for tomorrow to come so I can vote out ALL of the ruling elit, self-serving, career Democrats.

    Merry Christmas Jack.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  131. Ron Portland, OR

    Lets get this straight! Baird retires because he is unelectable! Republicans set the agenda, Get Obama out of office! What did you ask again? CNN has turned into a nonsense based news (?) outlet!

    November 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  132. Jack Goode

    Not only does Bush turn a Billion Doller surplus into a multi Trillion doller deficit but he starts a war that only He, God, and Dick Cheny know why. All this after he stole the election and people are going to put his party back in power. HUH? I know it's not polite to get mixed up in another countries politics but it's not just American blood being spilled into the sand.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  133. Russ in Arizona

    I agree with the congressman. The leaders of the democratic party (President-Speaker-Senate Majority Leader) have all gone back on their earlier promises and are acting like pompus asses. They have forgotten that they were elected to serve all the people, not just their croonies or financial backers.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  134. JC

    Boehner's assumptive, pre-victory dialog clearly defines who the obstructionists are..."not time for compromise"? Ask the real 20-30% of 40-60 year-olds that can't get a job (and likely NEVER will again), how this "non-compromise" is working for them, and which party is addressing things that matter to the average American.!

    November 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  135. Anne

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been "authoritarian", as well as arrogant in her leadership, demanding that her Democratic Representatives fall in line like little lambs to the slaughter.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  136. jay crawford

    Yes, I agree with Congressman. These past two years, our citizens have all been treated like children. We have been talked down to and dismissed. Our elected officials need to more attention to those that put them into office- no matter what the party. I feel strongly the only way to try and get this gridlock moving is term limits and having the Congress and Senate abid by the laws THEY passed for the rest of the people!
    And to Scott, my insurance just went up $70 a month!!!! Wouldn't it be great if those in ANY state could choose their insurance and take it with them not matter where they live!!!

    November 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  137. Jacqueline Mongeot

    He says, she said...Do we need a referee? The 2 parties (teams) are playing foorball with all the trickeries, low blows of the gane and the intense desire to destroy the opponent. This not what DEMOCRACY should be in order to govern fairly and intelligently. I am so disappointed in the current state of affairs, We elected a President with an agenda most of us approved, now diluted and partly destroyed because of the opposition. Every lawmaker should remember that it took 8 years to reach the low level where we stagnate, could'nt we give a little more than 2 years for the present administration to try to achieve their goal?
    Jacqueline San Diego CA

    November 1, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  138. Ken

    The reason problem with the democrats is that they actually think the republicans will work with them. The republicans have dragged their feet, using every trick in the book to make the President’s agenda fail, even at the risk of damaging the country. It’s time to the democrats realize the republican party will never work with them. George W. Bush said it best, ‘bipartisanship is when the other side comes to our way of thinking.’ Democrats represent all walks of America—from liberal to conservative, the Republicans represent conservative to very conservative. Authoritarian and closed are a much better fit for the Republican Party.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  139. Bill

    Closed? YES!

    After the republicans slow played Obama when he first arrived, the Dem's acted like a private fraternity, and all the talk about hands across the isle was tossed. Obama came to washington and didn't attempt to build the relationships needed to get the job done without closing ranks and beating up his party members to get his legislation passed. Nancy Pelosi has been tough ... but mostly because of Obama's failure to climb off his elitist platform and get in the dirt.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  140. Stephen from Florida

    No the conservatives are the real authoritarians. If it hadn't been for liberals, the US wouldn't even exist. It was the liberals who wanted to free themselves from Great Britain. The conservatives, Tories, or United Empire Loyalists were the ones who were in favour of remaining part of Great Britain.
    Conservatives always press their ideology on other people. They preach constantly that because society is run by liberal the country is losing its morals. The liberals and progressives are the ones who want more social freedoms for people.
    Floridians do not vote for Rick Scott, he wants to cut sinkhole insurance and if that happens my brother will lose his job. Vote for Alex Sink for Governor.
    However, Democrats and Republicans are now one in the same.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  141. Shari from Madison

    It depends on how you define closed and authoritarian. I look at it this way: Republicans are that too. Unfortunately, both parties are behaving the same way. I will stick with democrats because I do not think of myself as an elitist Republican who only cares about the shamefully rich and who want to treat the middle and lower class as serfs and slaves.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  142. Phil, Jersey

    Hell No!! At every turn the President was trying to compromise with republicans and implement alot of their policies even though they did not win.
    Republicans with their minorities were trying to bully the majority. And even when Democrats bent over backwards to work with republicans they still did not give any votes even for the betterment of all Americans.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  143. buz nay

    Authoritarian, and Closed, Rep Baird has spoken the truth. When Rep. Pelosi is the Minority leader as it appears to be today. She will have learned the lesson of defeat. Her masterful use of the Rules of the House to gain her success, were only thwarted by the Senate. Closed, the entire body it self is closed, we are not "in the loop" cloak room politics are historical, and now hysterical. I can only hope that with humility and grace the Democrats and Republicans realize that it is we the people who have suffered from the lack of willingness to play fair. Get the millionaires out of congress! If you make more than 250,000 a year, you are not suited to represent the common folk. I live on 1% of that amount.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  144. Clifton

    Where were these comments before he decided to retire. I dont agree with him at all. The Dems are just working against the three R's (Racism, Rich People, Republicans).

    November 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  145. Mark from Michigan

    Flint, Michigan...unfortunately, all the elections I've voted in have been for what "I" thought was the best choice of the candidates available. Usually the best of the worst. Anybody who could really get anything done generally does not choose to work for the government. They tend to concern themselves with their family and children. There really isn't anything more important. I feel they (members of congress) are out for themselves more than anybody. I can't believe the jobs are all that strenuous. So, they get in there, learn the ropes, and figure out what's best for them. I find it curious that so many "former" politicians are now lobbyists, or worse, talking heads. Think Palin. She showed exactly how much politicians are for the people. Resignation from governorship, wrote book, became rich. Now a talking head for fox (a semi-news network!)

    November 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  146. Phil, Jersey

    Hell No!! At every turn the President was trying to compromise with republicans and implement alot of their policies even though they did not win.
    Republicans with their minorities were trying to bully the majority. And even when Democrats bent over backwards to work with republicans they still did not give any votes even for the betterment of all Americans.
    America No Republicans!!!

    November 1, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  147. Norm, -Austin, TX

    Authoritive + Closed = Arrogance. Both parties are guilty, but the Dems have self destructed their opportunity. Obama is not the President of the People, but see's himself as a Democratic leader of Congress. He is a polarizing president, out of touch with the diversity of Americans. He is not leading. He is lecturing us an what we should believe. And if we don't agree, we are the enemy. Them or us. He scares me. He's a borderline demogog.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  148. Brian from Pennsylvania

    Well Jack, I listened to Obama's state of the Union speech where he said he gets the picture, Americans want jobs so we'll put the healthcare bill on the shelf and focus on jobs and he wouldn't rest until every American who wants a job has one. Next day he was back pounding us on the healthcare bill, ignoring the jobs issue. Then when Arizona stepped up to the plate to secure our borders, which the federal government wasn't doing, he called them irresponsable. That was six vacations ago and the job situation hasn't changed and the borders are still wide open, So yes, I would call that closed.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  149. Frank From Florida

    Yes Jack they have. Think back to one of the early news conferences when their white house spoksman was asked about republican objections to one thing or another the kurt answer was "the last i looked...we won" They took partisanship to extreme by holding closed door meetings and discussions on important issues and then giving virtually minites for a vote.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  150. leon zelby

    Approximately 2500 years ago, Plato anticipated what is happening: he contended that governments start with timocracy, which tthen trend to oligarchy, which become to democracy, which decay into tyranny.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  151. grant marcus

    I suggest you look at the background of Brian Baird. He is a bluedog
    democrat from the State of Washington who has never supported Obama on anything, including healthcare, financial reform, and increased taxes for the rich. Since he is in one of the more liberal states voting to tax the rich to insure public education, it is obvious his constituency no longer appreciates his conservative, repugnican viewpoints. The only
    losers, however, will be Washingtonians, who again will be without a true
    representative for yet another two years.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  152. Paul New Port Richey, Fl

    Dictatorial, unconstitutional and treasonous fit better. Pattycake is over.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  153. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    No, he has a book in the making, this is just a slow introduction to get us curious enough to buy.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  154. Patricia Budak

    Yes, Jack, especially here in Texas the Democratic Party is a heavy handed top down group that takes big money from a few fat cats and then ignores the little guys. That's why African American, Hispanic, and working class Democrats thumb their noses at the party and don't vote.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  155. grant marcus

    Brian Baird is a bluedog democrat who had no real democratic priciples
    or convictions. Like Arnold Spector, or Lieberman, he will go with the wind, which means he'll try to go to whichever party the voters are leaning
    toward next. My bet is, that if things get any worse for democrats in the
    next few years, Spector will change colors again too. Isn't this the latest
    political bait and switch going on in Washington/and/or Washington State
    these days? One term a repuGnican, the next term a demoRat, or the

    November 1, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  156. Cody

    I don't know if that is the issue at hand. Maybe the real problem is that the cable-media zeitgeist in this nation has depicted such a stiff division in Red vs. Blue that both parties as well and their constituents have felt no choice but to villify and demonize one another. There was an event that touched on this weekend that your network erroneously touted as an anti-Glenn Beck/Tea party rally. I guess it would have been bad for business, though if you were to report accurately on a rally that stood up to Right/Left demigogues that want us to paint both parties with such broad strokes as this question uses. Maybe you should ask your audience if they really feel THAT divided against their friends and loved ones who have opposing political views. Maybe a reminder of our common decency would be a better selling point than a constant narrative about what makes us different. We're sick of that product.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  157. buz nay

    Thank you Jack! I have never participated in dialogue on a nation wide venue, we all suffer from the Closed and Authoritarian attitudes of the leadership, and well as the inability of the Republicans to step forth and ensure that the once honored insituitions of the House and Senate be maintained and returned to the stature it once held. No blame for President Obama, he is thoughtful and is aware of where he will find troubles getting issues accomplished. But I do not trust the State house and State Senate any more than the Nations House of Representives and Senate. As a gay man, I tire of seeing my community used as a divisive issue, I'm trying to live a life here.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  158. Phil in Vancouver, Canada

    How would anybody actually know? Even if you polled the members of the Democratic caucus, few if any would give you their real opinions if they agreed with Congressman Baird. It's impossible to get the truth about most of what goes on in Washington, same as in Canada's political capital, Ottawa. I don't imagine it's different anywhere else, either.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  159. Brian from Pennsylvania

    Well Jack, In his State of the Union speech, Mr Obama said he got the mssage, that Americans want jobs, so he was going to put the healthcare bill on the shelf and focus on jobs and he wouldn't rest until every American who wanted a job had one. The next day he was back to hammering the healthcare bill on us completely ignoring the jobs issue. Then, when Arizona stepped up to the plate to enforce border control, witch the federal government refused to do, he called them irresponsable and filed a lawsuit against them. That was six vacations ago and the job situation hasn't changed, the healthcare got rammed through, and our borders are wide open. So yes, I would say it is closed.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  160. grant marcus

    There were reasons–or used to be– why we had democrats and republicans. They were both "closed parties" because they had specific
    platforms and principles, and you honored your part'y principles. Now,
    in the name of "getting along," there are no party principles to uphold,
    so Brian Baird, the bluedog democrat, attacks principles he never upheld
    in the first place. He'll likely follow Spector and Lieberman, and go where the wind blows next election, which leads me to say with disgust, we no longer have a two party system, just one big corporate party held at the expense of all of us.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  161. M.Mengelkamp

    The opportunity the Dems missed stems from the simple caft that they failed to listen to the majority of the American people, instead of those that screamed louder. Just because the noise someone makes is louder doesnt make them right, or popular. Now the Dems get to hear what it sounds like when the majority make a noise, and I dont think they are going to like what they hear.

    November 1, 2010 at 6:55 pm |