Congressman Baird Labels Constituents ‘Brown Shirts,’ Dodges Town Halls

by lewwaters

Brian Baird 2Democrat Congressman from Washington States Third Congressional District, who artfully stood up to moveon.org attacks and bused in protestors at town halls two years ago for his support of the war in Iraq, now “fears an ambush” should he hold a face to face meeting with constituents who have been expressing opposition to the proposed healthcare reform currently being whisked through Congress.

Articles in multiple news sources today quote Baird’s expression of fear as he states, “extremists would have the chance to shout and make YouTube videos.”

In that regard, Baird then said, “What we’re seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics. I mean that very seriously.”

Brown shirts, I’m sure you recall were a paramilitary organization of Germany’s Nazi Party that played a key role in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s.

Instead of addressing constituents real and honest concerns over the proposed healthcare reform, he labels us Nazi’s, then ducks and hides.

Did we elect him for this? No!

In announcing a “secret schedule” for a telephone conference in lieu of a Town hall, should you be fortunate enough to be invited and actually be by your phone if called, Baird said, “There is this national movement in blogs and on the Internet to go to town hall meetings solely to attack people. One colleague of mine recently was hung in effigy at a town hall meeting. Others needed police escorts.”

Seems I recall no concerns over protesters who disrupted Town halls of Republicans around the country and liberals even applauded an Iraqi throwing a shoe at President Bush at a news conference there.

Brian, if it didn’t cross your mind, voters can hang you in effigy any time. We don’t need a town hall for that. That is what effigy is, an expression of opposition without causing any harm to the individual.

Then again, wasn’t hanging Sarah Palin in effigy during last years campaign an “expression of free speech?”

But, when it comes to voters expressing concerns or opposition to a Democratic led proposition, Baird cries, “It’s a lynch-mob mentality out there. There is an ugliness to it,” in describing “an atmosphere of intimidation and harassment from right-wing opponents of Democratic health care reform efforts.”

So tell us, congressman Baird, what was the mentality expressed against President Bush and the Republican Party over the past 8 years while you were in office? I wonder just how that would be described by Brian Baird”

When facing anti-war critics in 2007, Baird said, “Somebody said to me, ‘Oh man, you’re going to get killed tonight.’ I said, ‘No, they get killed in Iraq. I’m going to get criticized.’”

But, opposition and concerns about healthcare reform is now “a lynch mob mentality?”

Constituents have a right to a face to face with their elected officials. If they are unwilling or too cowardly to appear, they need to be voted out.

I suspect the real reason Baird is refusing to hold a Town hall is that is mind is already made up and instead of serving his constituents; he is instead serving Nancy Pelosi. He has no real answers to our concerns and doesn’t have he guts to face us.

So instead, he will hold a secret telephone conference with selected people who will be lucky enough to be near their phone should he call with the invite.

Obviously, Brian Baird no longer represents us and holds his seat for personal gain and political power.

Fortunately, we have two challengers willing to face off against Brian Baird and both are willing to actually listen to us and represent us.

David Castillo of Olympia, who has picked up key endorsements and Clark County’s Jon Russell who has announced 4 Town halls of his own, since Baird chickened out.

Russell says, “There appears to be a leadership void on national issues which will impact residents of Southwest Washington. I want to hear from the constituents of Washington’s 3rd Congressional District about issues and concerns they have with Congress and the direction of our country. Even if we do not agree on everything, it is important that I hear from them.”

Pam Benson of Clark County and a constituent of Bairds said, “He’s supposed to be our representative. He’s supposed to listen to us, whether he’s on our side or not. We are not nut cases that disagree with this issue. There are a lot of very well-informed people that are against this health care thing.”

Yes, Ms Benson, we are not “nut cases” nor are we a “lynch mob” and certainly not “Nazi Brown Shirts.”

We are constituents, voters who are not being listened to but instead are being dictated to.

That is not “Representative Government.” We need to replace Brian Baird with someone willing to listen to and actually represent Southwest Washington voters.

We need to take our country back!

UPDATE: Jon Vogel, DCCC Executive Director has sent out an email claiming, “If there was any more doubt that the right wing fringe is reaching shocking new lows by the day, Rush Limbaugh is now openly comparing the Democratic Party to Nazis and using swastikas on his website.”

Mr. Vogel, perhaps you should speak to Congressman Baird before you cry this.

14 Responses to “Congressman Baird Labels Constituents ‘Brown Shirts,’ Dodges Town Halls”

  1. I propose we ALL show up in BROWN SHIRTS to protest NATIONAL SOCIALISM.

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  2. I agree, David.

    Unfortunately, Baird will be nowhere around and he is who we should do it front of.

    Then again, should Russell’s townhalls get any press, a sea of brown shirts might make the news.

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  3. I have been calling Congressman Brian Baird’s office daily requesting the opportunity for a town hall meeting. We have tentatively scheduled Skyview High School Auditorium for August 27th at 6PM. The intern answering the phone is relaying messages from Cindy that she is waiting on a response from Lisa (his Chief of Staff). Cindy has committed to contacting me this week.

    I disapprove of Congressman Baird’s remarks, but I feel we can no longer allow our selves to be distracted with political games. Misrepresentations, inflammatory responses, and bully tactics are just distractions designed precisely to interfere with our ability to effectively assert civic ownership.

    Given the current situation, I no longer expect Congressman Baird to accept a town hall invitation. This is extremely disappointing given the grave concerns I have with the healthcare legislation and my need to understand it.

    Is it Constitutional – I don’t think it is.
    How will it be funded – I don’t think we can afford it.
    Does it solve the current healthcare problems – I’m not convinced it will.
    I’m still reading the bill.

    I will continue to write and call and request a town hall.

    I am proposing a civil discourse where we take the high road. With a moderator of the right caliber, we set some ground rules and enforce them. Congressman Baird should be allowed an appropriate opportunity to speak, uninterrupted. Available alternatives to the healthcare proposal should then be presented in an equal amount of time.

    We, The People, are then allowed to speak in a respectful manner regarding support or opposition to the legislation (including why).

    When we are done, we raise our expectations for representation. It will be clear whether we support or oppose this legislation. We ask Congressman Baird to recognize the desires of his constituency and seek a commitment to represent us.

    His next vote determines our next vote.

    If you believe we can take the high road, please write or call Congressman Baird and tell him you will commit to maintaining a respectful meeting. Let him know this legislation warrants a face-to-face meeting and that we plan to meet WITH or WITHOUT him. Request he attend a town hall on August 27th at 6PM.

    Let’s be the statesmen that we seek in him and remain focused on the issue at hand.

    Respectfully,

    Thomas Hann

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  4. An idea…instead of a townhall style meeting, how about having a panel of 4 concerned citizens representing small business, healthcare, parents, and senior citizens that would ask questions and debate health care. If those 4 were known to be impartial or opposed to Obamacare and they were responsible for collecting and asking questions from the audience as well as their own, we’d be guaranteed a lively and realistic discussion without the shouts and protests.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think ANYBODY in Washington is listening to the taxpayers anymore.

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  5. I agree with Michael Ballenger and would strongly support his initive. We must defeat the heart of the health care bill, we must defeat cap and trade, and we must turn back the spending. America should not be ruled by tzars and idiots and we should not be spending our children and grandchildren into certain slavery.

    What is important is that “We, The People” from the 3rd district choose our own candidates for 2010 soon and make them such a shoe in that they could choose any party (or no party) to run with. We don’t have to look only to the incumbants and the established structure. Certainly not Brian Baird, the coward and illiterate or the Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians as they currently represent themselves.

    I will vote with my time, wealth, and pen for that person who best represents the Constitution of this United States of America.

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  6. I’ve been trying to get the congressman to hear my opinion for weeks on this topic. I can’t get through at his office, he won’t respond to emails, and today I heard that he won’t even hold a public meeting. What a coward! What can I do????

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  7. Jeremy, do exactly what you did here. Speak out!

    Write letters to the editor. Support candidates who are willing to listen to you. Comment on blogs and if need be, stand on a street corner and speak out.

    It is easy to become frustrated, but keep your focus.

    Attend the meetings John Russell and Thomas Hann have scheduled. Share your views with others.

    Email both candidates running against Baird and support who you feel is best suited.

    If you have something you wish to get off of your chest, feel free to write it out and send it to me, I’ll post it. Or, leave it in comments.

    Above all, stand your ground and exercise your freedoms to speak out. We are being heard by the people.

    Replies from Baird are meaningless, just form letters your name might be added to.

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  8. I wrote to Congressman Baird in October protesting the Federal bailout. I received a nothing-sort of answer only a couple weeks ago, in July. He did apologize for the late response. Wasn’t that nice? So, I’m not expecting any discourse with him, in any format, over Healthcare.
    We definitely need better representation, but as long as there are more people getting handouts from the government than not – we’ll continue to have voters voting for whoever supports “more for me” and they’re the majority, it seems.

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  9. I am also very concerned about the speed at which new legislation is being crammed down our throats. It seems the Democrats are very misguided in thinking that those who disagree with them are kooks and crazy mobs. In fact, I think it is actually a tactic they are using to distract the general public from the real issues. Has Congressman Baird himself actually been threatened? It doesn’t sound like it.

    Running and hiding behind a telephone because a supposed wacko very far from here threatened somebody else is a pretty weak response. I know a lot of people who are very concerned about the potentially horrible consequences of the government playing a larger role in our health care. None of them are the type who would shout down another speaker or turn into a lynch mob! To describe the general public this way and to assert that there is some evil plot to attack the congressman is highly offensive.

    My theory is that Baird has already heard from so many of us who are opposed to what is being proposed that he knows that any town hall meeting will be filled with people who want him to vote “no” on the bill. Trying to explain why he might still vote for the bill might be a bit uncomfortable for him. By doing some random phone thing, he is much more likely to avoid the well-prepared constituent with the hard questions.

    In early July I emailed Mr. Baird that I think Congress should prove to the public that they can fix the funding and other problems with Medicare BEFORE addressing the entire heath care of country. After several weeks, I received a form letter outlining what it would take for him to support the current bill. Hopefully, we can convince him that massive government involvement is not the solution.

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  10. I just awakened from my sleep after working a night shift as an RN, and was immediately met by my very angry husband who says he’d received an email from Mr. Baird expressing regret that they had tried to call him to invite him to join the telephone conference on healthcare, but that he was unreachable. My husband did a thorough search of our phone records, and received NO SUCH CALL, and felt like he’d been lied to and misled! So he has emailed him a message expressing his anger and concern over this deceit and about what has been going on re: healthcare, in this country. It sounds like others are unhappy with Mr. Baird and his poor behaviors!

    As an RN, I do believe we need some healthcare reform, but believe me we do NOT want a socialized healthcare system. We have family in Canada as well as close Canadian friends who’ve experienced it first hand! While they do provide basic care for all, if you become ill, you can end up in BIG trouble! One Canadian nurse friend shared with me that she had a relative who had to wait 6 months for surgery related to cancer. My best friend, also a nurse–educator, (who’s Canadian) has a niece living in Canada being treated for lupus and feels the treatment she’s received has not met met the basic “standard of care” and her condition reflects that! My mother-in-law (who lives there) did not receive her abnormal pap smear results for 6 MONTHS! If you’re older, 60’s and beyond, you may not receive needed heart surgery to keep you alive….as it has to be rationed, so the younger population would be the only recipients in many cases.

    I know there are things that can be done so that healthcare is more affordable for the “working poor” who cannot afford high monthly healthcare premiums, or who don’t qualify for Medicaid. How about throwing out “junk lawsuits”—many physicians pay in excess of $100,000 a year for malpractice insurance, and the trial lawyers who support these “junk lawsuits” are not helping matters! Also, we need to be doing a better job of regulating the healthcare companies’ profit margins. I have big issues with CEO’s of such companies making several million a year, while our premiums keep going up!!! They are “playing with peoples’ health” by making it inaccessible for many!

    Anyway, we do not need more BIG GOVERNMENT in our lives….who are not efficient at running such massive programs. Our country does not need more massive debt as well! And, our congressmen need to REALLY LISTEN to their constituents, instead of labelling them as “brown shirts” because we are very concerned that decisions are being made at the top, against the will of the majority! My understanding is that 80%+ of Americans are happy with their healthcare. So I believe we need to keep the current system, and improve on it so that it is more easily accessible, to those who don’t have coverage. But I’m not sure that we are being really listened to, and offensive labels by Mr. Baird end up making us feel disrespected and marginalized. Let’s keep talking and sending feedback to all our congressmen, as our health and futures, are in their hands!!!!!

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  11. I received no notification from Baird’s office of the tele-conference either. I received it from a third party who received an email notification, 40 minutes before it was to begin. I had called last week and asked about town hall schedules. The perky little assistant who took my call asked for name, address, phone number and email so I could be contacted. And then today, nothing!

    I did call and surprisingly, got through and was able to speak to Baird.

    I asked if he would support measures to place citizens and congress on the same healthcare plan, as promised by then candidate Obama in September 2008.

    He said he absolutely would support such measures.

    Personally, I have a problem accepting his reply as he was just a little too quick with assuring we all would be under the same plan.

    What you describe is right and sound like proper measures to reform healthcare without bankrupting future generations.

    I receive VA Medical and overall am satisified with it. But, appointments are made weeks in advance and you better not miss one, you’ll have a hard time getting another.

    Last September I had an emergency and was taken to Salmon Creek Legacy ER where I was taken in immediately and given excellent care. I also had private insurance then and they paid all but the $125 co-pay.

    Referred to the VA as they are my Primary care, a follow-up with a Neurologist was recommended by the ER. The VA ruled against it based off of the ER report without ever seeing or examining me.

    While this is a minor example and I haven’t had any further problems, do we really want others deciding what care we should get? Especially if a bureaucrat sitting in an office hundreds of miles away and weighing cost versus whether or not you merit the care?

    There is a lot Baird and others are not coming clean about with this reform proposal.

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  12. I received a phone call about the phone meeting but sadly was unable to take part. Personally I would have been surprised if it would have made a difference to OUR elected representative anyway. I would have just been labeled one of those extremist mob members that doesn’t know anything anyway. I have written about 3 emails expressing my disfavor for the direction our Country is headed and received nothing but form letters back basically saying, I want to that you for your concern, but I think I know best.”

    What we need to do is show OUR elected representatives that we are not happy with the jobs they doing, and either start lessening to us or WE will get new people to sit in those chairs!!!

    Like

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