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.
‘Pretty brutal day on Wall St’: CNN explains impact of Trump’s trade wars and Twitter tirades
On Friday, President Donald Trump went on a Twitter tirade against China.
....better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
Google tells workers to avoid arguing politics in house
Google on Friday told employees to focus on work instead of heated debates about politics with colleagues at the internet company, which has long been known for encouraging people to speak their minds.
Updated workplace guidelines for "Googlers" called on them to be responsible, helpful, and thoughtful during exchanges on internal message boards or other conversation forums.
"While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not," the updated guidelines stated.
"Our primary responsibility is to do the work we?ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics."
Trump administration urges US Supreme Court to declare firing a worker for being gay is legal
The Trump administration has just urged the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that firing an employee simply because they are gay is perfectly legal. The request comes in the form of a 34-page amicus brief, which was not required, but voluntary.
The brief, signed by Trump Solicitor General Noel Francisco, tells the Court it is the opinion of the administration’s Dept. of Justice that a “plain text” reading of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 do9es not protect gay people in the workplace from discrimination, including firing for being gay, as The Washington Blade, which was first to report, notes.