Unfortunately, I'm one of the old timers. I'm a Ted Kennedy Liberal with a capital "L" who remembers the glory days of John and Robert Kennedy, The Great Society, Henry "Scoop" Jackson, Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy.
We stood proudly on the really important principles of truth, integrity, the value of every human being, equality for women and minorities, fairness, reason, honesty, discussion and debate.
Republicans in those days were more single minded of purpose. Conservative meant, well, conservative. Holding on to old ideas and old ways, Tradition. Republican views were narrow. They actually made fun of the "big tent" of the Democrats.
Liberals worked to transcend the old societal rules to bring everyone to the "American Dream." A person wasn't held back because of the color of his or her skin. Society wasn't just meant to be colorblind, but blind to gender, religion, ethnic origin, education.
If one word defined the Democrat Party it was RESPECT. We "respected" one another. And intellectual honesty was a key.
Sadly those days are over. The Democrat Party has been hijacked by so-called "Progressives." They don't like to be called liberals, not even with a small "l." They have a plan of progressing from point "A" to point "B."
The "Big Tent" is long gone. Henry "Scoop" Jackson wouldn't be welcome in today's "Progressive" Democrat Party. Hubert Humphrey might not be welcome either.
We know that Joe Lieberman isn't welcome. He is the object of derision, ridicule and downright hatred.
Now you can add Democrat Representative Brian Baird of Washington State's 3rd District to that list. Baird's fatal flaw: He told the truth as he sees it.
He has always done that. He is brave and totally honest. He doesn't bend with each passing poll result. He has courage, honor, intelligence and an open mind. He certainly doesn't follow the crowd.
Braid was one of the very brave and very honest few who had the absolute courage to stand up against President Bush and the overwhelming majority of his fellow Democrats and the public and openly oppose President Bush's flawed and ultimately disastrous plan to invade and occupy Iraq.
While John Kerry and Hillary Clinton and John Edwards and the vast majority of the leaders of the party endorsed and voted for the invasion, Braid said "No." And we all know today that Baird was right. He was a man of strength in the eye of a post 9/11hurricane.
But that same open and inquisitive mind, that same intellectual honesty, that same courage has caused him, not to endorse Bush's folly, but just to say that there are aspects of the current "surge" that are working.
Here's a tiny part of Baird's statement:
|As a Democrat who voted against the war from the outset and who has been frankly critical of the administration and the post-invasion strategy, I am convinced by the evidence that the situation has at long last begun to change substantially for the better. I believe Iraq could have a positive future.|
Today's progressives can't stand that. In their mind Baird somehow stands in the way of the path from "A" to B." Today's progressive wing has a litmus test: "Oppose all things Bush."
Take a look at this! Moveon.org has marshaled their money and forces against the otherwise liberal Baird:
Here's just one of hundreds of hate posts on progressive blogs against Representative Baird:
|MoveOn.org has launched a television ad campaign in Representative Brian Baird's district in Washington State after the congressman publicly announced that he was in support of a troop surge in Iraq and flip-flopped on his support for a withdrawal timetable for our soldiers.|
Aparty [sic] from ignoring a sense of party loyalty, flip-flopping, and having no coherent position on the war, the disrespect of his constituents means that Rep. Baird deserves to be targeted by MoveOne.org. With the political power that this organization wields, he should be very nervous about his prospects for reelection.
What irritates me the most is the "flip flop" accusation. What absolute bullshit! Hillary Clinton has flip flopped! Edwards has flip flopped! John Kerry has flip flopped!!!! They all supported the invasion and now they don't. They flip flopped. And moveon.org doesn't complain about them.
Nope. Flip flopping is just today's ruse. It's what happens when you lose intellectual honesty. It's what happens when you can no longer tolerate anyone who disagrees with the specific progressive path.
So put me in the tiny old Democrat Party along with Joe Lieberman and Brian Baird and all those who genuinely dare to speak their own convictions, draw their own conclusions, review the facts and face the hurricane, whether it's segregation, 9/11 hysteria, prejudice or the "progressive" doctrine of the day.