A departing Democratic lawmaker says his party is paying a political price for doing the right thing and working to rescue the economy from the financial collapse of 2008.
In an interview with The Hill, US House Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) defended the Democrats’ decision to support the $700-billion TARP bailout of the Wall Street banks, which was signed by President George W. Bush shortly before he left office.
The representative from Washington’s 3rd district said the Democrats could have played games with the economy, letting the financial collapse run its course and blaming the whole thing on the previous administration.
“We could have said, ‘The economy is going to collapse. The world is going to go into a depression. You’re going to get the blame and your party is going to get the blame because you’re in power and we are going to ride this into the majority for the next 40 years.’ That is what the Democrats could have done,” Baird said.
“Had we wanted to, we could have let the president, President Bush … stew in his own juices.”
He noted the Democrats “got punished” for supporting the bailout, but “there are a lot of American families and working families who would get clobbered if [we] didn’t pass TARP.”
Baird’s logic seems to borrow a book from his Republican opponents, who have been accused of opposing economic aid — such as the extension of jobless benefits — in order to help their own electoral chances when the public blames the incumbent administration.
However, allowing an economic crisis to cascade in order to blame the previous White House is a risky and debatable strategy. Baird, considered a conservative Democrat, has not shied away from controversial opinions.
Following his electoral loss in November, Baird lashed out at the leadership of his party.
“I told people we would screw it up,” he reportedly said. “You should never underestimate the power of liberals to shoot themselves in the foot.”
Of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he said, “She doesn’t listen to other people. She only listens to people she agrees with unless she needs your vote.”
Seattle Weekly notes that Baird has a fairly conservative voting record. He opposed health care reform in its early stages, and voted for President Bush’s Iraq surge and against the Medicare prescription-drug benefit passed under the Bush administration.
However, unlike most of his centrist and conservative Democratic colleagues, Baird has been a strong advocate for Gaza and the creation of a Palestinian state.
Baird is expected to run for the US House again, in a different Washington state district, in 2012.
Trump’s lawyers slammed by CNN’s Toobin for ‘parade of lies’ about Biden’s involvement in Ukraine
On CNN Monday, chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin argued that the White House team's defense in the impeachment trial was disastrously bad.
"I thought Attorney General [Pam] Bondi did an effective job of showing how sleazy the hiring of Hunter Biden was," acknowledged Toobin. However, he added "her discussion, and Eric Herschmann's discussion, of the role of Joe Biden, vice president at the time, was a parade of lies. Just outrageously false in every fact, in every insinuation ... this idea that he engineered the fire firing of [Ukrainian prosecutor] Viktor Shokin to get his son in. Since Joe Biden is the one who is running for president, that seems to be enormously important."
Republicans claim Democrats leaked John Bolton’s book that was given to the White House — then quickly back down
In a bizarre twist, Republicans are blaming Democrats for releasing information included in John Bolton's.
Speaking in a line of Republicans, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) explained that it was clear Democrats were part of some kind of conspiracy to turn senators against the speedy trial the White House wanted. With the revelation that Bolton confirmed President Donald Trump was indeed trying to bribe Ukraine, a very few Republican senators are more willing to call him as a witness.
The problem, of course, with Meadows' accusations is that the manuscript was never sent to Democrats. According to the New York Times report, Bolton sent the book to the White House for security checks to ensure nothing he put in the book was classified.
Ken Starr defends Trump as Bolton revelations roil trial
Pressure mounted on Republicans on Monday to call former national security advisor John Bolton as a witness at Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial following explosive new revelations about the US president's dealings with Ukraine.
As Clinton impeachment investigator Ken Starr resumed the White House defense of Trump on the Senate floor, at least three Republican senators indicated they would favor hearing testimony from the 71-year-old Bolton.
According to The New York Times, Bolton, in a draft of his upcoming book, says that Trump told him in August that he wanted to freeze military aid to Ukraine until Kiev opened an investigation into his potential November election rival Joe Biden.