Not many senators have had a political species named for them. Sen. Henry M. Jackson of Washington did. A ''Jackson Democrat'' has for years been as identifiable as a ''Taft Republican'' used to be, when rock-solid conservative Robert Taft was the last previous senator whose name was similarly enshrined.
In the midst of the eulogies to Senator Jackson, following his sudden passing last week, it might be noted that the kind of Democrat he was could not be separated from the kind of man he was. He was in the American grain of the immigrants' son who became a hard-working paperboy, a union member, a working-his-way-through-college dishwasher, a law student, a lawyer, and on into public life.
Here were the roots for Jackson the Democrat. Protect this glorious land that can do so much for so many. More than enough military might is better than the risk of too little to keep the nation safe. More than enough government is better than the risk of too little to keep the rights of the people secure, meet their needs, preserve the environment in which they live.
This simplified version of Henry Jacksonian democracy hardly suggests the difficulty of affixing the conservative and liberal labels that were always being thrown at one side or another of what he said and did. Allowing for all the political considerations in a political career, Mr. Jackson seemed to seek the difficult path of judging each decision on its merits. Sometimes this made it equally difficult for the same people to agree with him twice in succession. Unless, of course, they were Jackson Americans.