Tag Archive: Barney Frank


. . . so to speak . . .

22 October 2009

I watched an excellent Frontline episode (The Warning, aired Oct. 20th), and was poking around their website, reading interviews, looking at a timeline on the financial meltdown, and clicking here and there.  Clicked over to an interview with Barney Frank, featured in a previous Frontline episode, Inside the Meltdown, and found this nugget.  He is, in this case, talking about the difference between Republicans in the House and Senate and how it influenced the failure of the TARP bill when it first came before the House.

There was a difference between the House and Senate Republicans. The House Republicans have been more ideologically conservative. Maybe to win a whole state you can’t have quite the same ideological fervor. … And what you saw was conservative Republicans rebelling. [emphasis mine]

Now, I had marked in my mind that there is a higher proportion of extremely right-wing members in the House as compared to the Senate, but I had never thought about why.  I think this may be it.  House Representatives need only justify and explain themselves to their smaller districts, need only represent what may be homogenous communities, as opposed to a state-wide diversity in political and social values.

It explains why I can never envision a Michelle Bachmann or a Virginia Fox in the Senate.  Not to say they can’t sneak into that more austere body of 100 souls.  But it’s harder to envision, and harder for them to get there.

Seems rather obvious now.  Still, better understood late than never.

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22 August 2009

Dear Barney Frank,

God love ya!  Days later, I’m still chuckling over your sharp and sweet retort to the Obama/Hitler flyer bearing woman at your Town Hall Meeting.  I confess, like a lot of people, I thought you were kind of rude to the poor ignorant citizen, but I just can’t be mad at you.  She was so much ruder, after all, as have been so many of her fellow protesters, to suggest some bizarre connection between Hitler and Obama’s health reform.  Some things are just beyond the pale, you know, and deserve to be called out.  Finally, some one did, and hopefully it will spill over to a lot of people holding those smear-wielding wing nuts accountable for what they are saying.  One blogger already has, articulating his objection both personally and a politically.

So anyway, Mr. Frank, thanks for speaking out, for cutting that blithering idiot off before she could get started, for naming her ridiculous question for what it was: vile contemptible speech.  Thanks for equating trying to hold reasonable discussion with someone who asks their questions from such a bizarre world view as no more worthy than discussing something with a dining room table.  And actually, the table might provide better company.

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