The country could use a Democratic Howard Baker these days
I was thinking about Howard Baker the other day when the IRS Commissioner was before Congress. I got so frustrated watching "safe seat" Democrats just play partisan games with something that should not be partisan, i.e. allegations that the IRS was playing politics.
I said to myself: Where is the Democratic Howard Baker? Where is the Democrat who will put country above party and ask a difficult question?
We learned today that former Senator Howard Baker passed away at 88.
He was a very accomplished legislator and public servant, as we read in the Washington Post obituary:
"Mr. Baker was the first popularly elected Republican senator from Tennessee, cultivating a moderate image despite an often conservative voting record. He shuffled about, rumpled and snapping away with his Leica whether in Senate committee meetings or the White House Cabinet Room.
When he was named vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities — the Senate Watergate committee formed to investigate the 1972 break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office building — Republicans were confident that the second-term southerner and trial lawyer with the boyish look and aw-shucks manner would defend the White House. His 1972 campaign literature described him as a “close friend and trusted advisor of our President, Richard M. Nixon.”
As scandals pile up, from "Fast & furious" to "Benghazi" to the "IRS," we remember a man who was willing to ask hard questions and take off his party uniform for the good of the country.
I ask again: Where is the Democratic Howard Baker?
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