Voters Find A Career Politician Still Not Listening To Their Message
This past Tuesday, over midway through the current Congressional August Recess, Brian Baird, the current Member of Congress from Washington’s 3rd District, came out to face constituents for the first time during this season. As you may know, this was a reversal of Baird’s earlier decision, refusing to meet with voters up to this point. Of course, I can only speculate about what led to Baird reversing course on this but the political pressure to do so was obvious. The fact that Baird’s Republican opponent, Jon Russell, had scheduled a series of Town Halls throughout the district, in order to give the people opportunities to be heard, had to be a key factor in this. And, in light of the bad press Baird was getting on this, it was just as obvious that this was a case of a seasoned Career Politician producing lemons and trying to turn them into lemonade.
In other accounts of this event, you can read about Baird humbling himself in apologizing for “some statements I regret”, in referring to protestors at Town Hall meetings as “Brownshirts” and likening them to Timothy McVeigh. You can, also, read the specifics of discussions at this event, touted as a “Healthcare Town Hall”. However, for me, the most interesting aspect of the entire Town Hall event was just observing Brian Baird’s behavior, as our Congressional Representative. His reaction to many of the questions coming from those he is sworn to represent was most telling. Out of the 38 questions posed at this event, the one I saw as being most poignant came out of a statement from a Vancouver woman who first quoted the Patriot, Patrick Henry and then said,
“It seems to me that most of the time lately our Congressmen and Representatives have been representing the President to the people instead of representing the people to the President.”
Baird’s only response was to say that his kids’ middle names are Washington and Franklin.
For me, there couldn’t have been a better underscore to the fact that, while Brian Baird has acquired some skills allowing him to function with some aplomb, as a Career Politician, he lacks one major quality necessary to truly be a Representative of the people … the heart of a servant.
Not long ago, I heard Victoria Taft, KPAM 860AM Radio’s evening drive-time Talk Show Host, interview Baird. Although she disagrees with Baird on many issues, after the interview, she said that she thought Baird “seems to be a nice guy.” I agree. And he looks the role of a yuppie middle-manager who would be up to the duties of Congressman. Likewise, he seems to be intelligent and well educated. But Washington’s 3rd Congressional District is not wonting for people with these qualities who are willing to go to Washington D.C. What we are sorely lacking, as evidenced by Brian Baird’s non-response to that Vancouver woman’s passionate plea is a person whose heart is to seek to truly understand all that underlies her question in order to be able to fully represent her in the U.S. Congress. With this in mind, if I get to ask Brian Baird a question during the current Congressional August Recess, it will be:
“What have you learned from the 3rd district’s constituents this month that will cause you to behave differently in representing them when you return to DC?”
If I get to ask Baird this question, my expectation is that he will just spout partisan views and not really answer the question. But, I’d love to find out. So, if you get the chance to ask Baird a question and I don’t, please consider posing this question for me.