Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Another week of Baird?

For those who are tired of hearing from Brian Baird about Iraq, (and who isn't?) get ready for more next week. From The Seattle Times:
Congress awaits another major update Monday, when Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, is scheduled to brief lawmakers.

Meantime, Baird has so many requests for interviews that he already has offered a two-hour media availability Monday, after Petraeus and the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, testify before the House.

Baird has a right to say what he wants, and he was the target of some incredibly vicious statements. For every nasty comment he endured there were likely dozens of us who preferred to state our disagreement more gently. I'm afraid that the actions of Move On and VoteVets simply made things worse in the district. Yeah, it ain't beanbag, but you go after people hard enough they stop listening and they get bitter.

While it's true that Baird deserves criticism from outside the district, since the occupation of Iraq is the number one issue facing the country, Democratic activists in the district will have to ask themselves some hard questions about whether to continue supporting Baird. It is, in the end, for Democrats in the district to decide whether to challenge him in the primary.

While this may be an easy call for some folks, the decision might not be so simple for those who recall the Linda Smith days and the positive things Baird has done. In short, he's not a Lieberman, even if a lot of us think he's wrong about Iraq.

But enough is enough. There are 435 members of the House, and while Baird is an intelligent, thoughtful member, he's just one guy. And really, it's not exactly Baird's fault that the traditional media operates in the fashion it does. He drew a lot of attention simply because he is a Democrat who voted against the initial invasion and held pretty firmly to a dim view of the occupation until late August. The real story is that there's only one Baird.

He's not the Most Important Democrat in America, as Atrios dubbed him a few weeks ago. Nobody outside the Northwest had really heard of him before he made his recent pro-esclation pronouncements.

Now that he's famous and has studied the region, maybe he can offer some opinions about Iran in the coming weeks. If it comes up, you know.

<< Home