"The bicameral Congress arose from the desire of the Founders to create a House "of the people" that would represent public opinion, balanced by a more deliberative Senate that would represent the governments of the individual states, and would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is often considered to be the "lower house," with the Senate as the "upper house," although the United States Constitution does not use such language. The Constitution provides that the approval of both houses is necessary for the passage of legislation. "
I was reminded of this when reflecting on Brian Baird's antics as of late. Baird got rightfully reamed in a town hall meeting last night for his recent 180 in support of the Bush administration's surge policy in Iraq after taking part in a dog n'pony visit to that country. His constituents, oddly enough, believe that he ought to follow their lead on this issue. I know it's a crazy idea, don't you think?
Look; I get the idea of representative democracy as opposed to straight democracy (i.e. "mob rule.") There are a whole ton of issues the details of which average citizens don't have the time to inform themselves on in the course of the busy daily lives. Citizens (myself included) can't make an informed judgement on what the optimum level for tariffs on Chinese sugar beets should be. That's why we elect and pay representatives.
But on the issue of Iraq there isn't a breathing American adult who doesn't have somewhat of an idea of what's going on there and, more importantly, what ought to be done in that country. Baird's contention that his opinion is somehow more "informed" because he spent some time with Bush's political cover-boy General Petraeus who he "trusts" doesn't exactly demonstrate good judgement on the congressman's part. Petraeus is not an honorable officer. Serving this administration in this war is proof enough of that.
Today I read in the Oregonian that we are to respect Baird as a political maverick. Idiocy, nor the willingess to let oneself be used as a tool by heartless assholes, does not make you a maverick. Baird is no profile in courage and the party needs to run someone against him NOW.
He has to go.