At the town hall meeting in Centralia on Wednesday night, Rep. Brian Baird turned the tables on a city of Centralia candidate for mayor named Matthew Trent. The Columbian included an account of the exchange in an article this morning:
One of the more contentious exchanges of the evening came when Centralia City Council candidate Matthew Trent approached the microphone.
Trent read quotes from a number of founding fathers, among them Declaration of Independence author and third president Thomas Jefferson.
Trent, who is opposing Centralia Mayor Tim Browning in the November general election, said that he had no doubt Jefferson would consider Baird “an enemy of God and the Republic” for his record on spending and supporting government controls.
Baird responded strongly, refuting the notion that Jefferson would frown upon his record.
“It’s not just my ilk, my friend,” Baird said, noting that there was no budget deficit when former President Bill Clinton left office.
It’s great that Baird responded forcefully, but with great dignity, and one can hope the lesson he will take back to D.C. to share with leadership is that there is no negotiating with people like this. They’ve concocted a fantasy world of black and white in which they are the sole arbiters of the meaning of the Constitution, and of what the Founders actually intended.
They can puff up their chests and say stuff like this until the cows come home, but until and unless the U.S. Supreme Court agrees with them, they’re simply delusional fringe characters who deserve to be rhetorically smacked down with a vengeance.
It would be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic. Good luck with your campaign, there, Mr. Trent.