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Barney Frank’s Nazi Smackdown Was … AWESOME

“Ma’am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it.” And that was the, uh, lighter moments of Rep. Barney Frank’s exchange from a woman who asked at a Massachusetts town hall why Frank supported Obama’s “Nazi” healthcare reform.

On:           Aug 19, 2009
Tagged: , , ,
    • emb

      It’s about time a Democrat stood up to this nonsense. The woman here doesn’t deserve a thoughtful, respectful response because, as he says, it’d be like arguing with the furniture. Dems need to stop reaching out to people who have no intention of playing nicely, and stop trying to make healthcare reform into something palatable to the republicans: it just ain’t gonna happen, and the effort only undermines the chances of achieving any reform at all. If we engage with these people, we argue on their terms, and their terms are based on lies, racism, paranoia and insanity. Barney is a hero!

      Aug 19, 2009 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ADS

      I love me some Barney Frank. He’s spunky for an older gent. :)

      Aug 19, 2009 at 11:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      About time…

      The Huffington Post as had a series of articles on how the dem voting base is getting frustrated with the White House, so it isn’t only we gays… Here is an example.


      Aug 19, 2009 at 11:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexa

      Yes, about time. Definitely.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ohomo

      Barney comes from a lopsidedly demo district, so he can say pretty much whatever he wants. Its tougher for blue dog dems and moderate republicans. In much of America, you need to build a coalition to get elected. I for one don’t see that as a bad thing. What’s missing here is bi-partisan leadership. Its really frustrating.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 11:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • noah

      this nazi stuff is very scary — this is the kind of hateful raw sentiment on the ultra-right wing that was confined to the extreme paranoid talk radio stations during the Clinton years and manifested itself in the open as the impeachment witch-hunt. This is no more about health care than the Clinton impeachment was about Monica Lewinsky. Barney handled it well and the democrats need to be strong or else it will be Clinton II.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 11:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock

      I agree with you. On the other hand, if you have one side determined to derail the process you don’t have that luxury.


      True. It’s discouraging to read that Obama may be backtracking already, because I would expect the right wing to put up even more resistance.

      When medicare was launched in our province (the first jurisdiction in north america) it took breaking the back of a doctor’s strike – including the death of an infant – to bring in universal coverage.


      I don’t think it was an easy decision for a union-based political party to call in scabs, but that’s what it took.

      Hopefully the people in your white house will also find the guts to see this through. A retreat at this point would be very bad.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 12:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock

      In this respect, I wish Obama were more like George Bush.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 12:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz

      Puts me in a hard spot, because Universal health care is essential to our financial and medical well-being, (and ethical well-being), yet I am stubbornly going to oppose anything that homophobe Barak supports.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sal(the original)

      lmao that was hysterical!!!perfection

      Aug 19, 2009 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock


      You can’t be serious.
      Excuse me, but that is just silly.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jesse

      And this is why we keep re-electing him despite his speech impediment.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jesus Chryst

      @Fitz: lol you’re fucking retarded.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 12:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Erick

      @Fitz: You sound as crazy as the nazi lady.

      Barney Franks rocks, he is a queer firecracker.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 1:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emmy

      If only the town halls could focus on the issue and the ideas surrounding healthcare reform, instead of idiotic distractions like this one. Barney Frank was well within his right to shoot down dubious, irrational questions that hindered the town hall meeting discussions. Where do these wingnuts come from?

      In the meantime, an opinion piece from two years ago seems rather helpful in looking at American health care, and why it’s so important to consider the danger of accepting the status quo.


      Aug 19, 2009 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dennis

      Barney does us proud once again by being one of the ONLY Dems who have the balls to give a wingnut the bitchslap she so richly deserves…

      If only the rest of the Dems had a FRACTION of his ‘no bullshit’ honesty, we might actually be able to effectively counterpunch rethuglican insanity, and actually solve some of our nation’s problems.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 1:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dennis

      …”yet I am stubbornly going to oppose anything that homophobe Barak supports.”

      Thank you for the clear and honest admission of your mental limitations, and your latent wingnut status, now we are free to basically dismiss anything you post here.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 1:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Antonio

      I love me some Barney! Once again, the gay guy gets it right! I am so proud of Barney.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shelby

      @Fitz: You suck!! Barney rocks!!

      Aug 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue

      Awesome. Hardly.

      Keep in mind just exactly who Barney Franks is.

      He’s almost as fierce a defender of GLBT equality as Obama. Almost.

      He’s the jackass who gutted ENDA in 2007 to the delight of internalized homophobes, bigoted employers, christian rightists and homohaters everywhere. On behalf of bigoted employers Barney Frank accepted every amendment offered by right wing christer Democrats and Republicans. He even embraced a Republican amendment stipulating that ENDA could not be used to undercut Bill Clinton’s DOMA. As a result a new ENDA will have to be fought for to prevent a repetition of his gutting the original one in a Congress largely composed of right centrist Democrats and Republicans all to ready to pander to christian rightists.

      Barney Frank defended the vile bigotry of Obama’s DoJ when they filed briefs in support of Bill Clinton’s DOMA.

      He’s the same jackass from the same party of sellouts who opposed Nwewsomes granting same sex marriages in San Francisco.

      Clintoncare, Obamacare and McCaincare are all flawed in exactly the same way and for exactly the same reasons. They’re sellout measures meant to enrich the owners and managers of HMOs, insurance companies like AIG and Big Pharma. Why should activists for LGBT rights give a damn who wins this sham debate or who loses it.

      What’s the point of getting excited when Frank engages in political theatre defending a reactionary plan like Obama’s? It’s not our fight. It’s just the Republicans dogging a politician from a competing gang of hustlers and bigots. I’m sure the Democrats will respond in kind when next time they lose, and if Obama keeps it up that could be in 2012. No big deal one way or the other.

      If it’s not socialized medicine it’s not going to work. Obama began his campaign caving to the right on GLBT rights, the war, health care, welfare for the rich and austerity for working people. This is more of the same – a giveaway to the owners and obscenely overpaid managers of insurance companies like AIG, HMOs and Big Pharma. He’s rewarding the profit gougers and cheating us of real heath care reform.

      With Democrats like Frank and Obama (and Pelosi, Reid and the rest) who needs Republicans?

      Support the March on Washington! (Mainly because it’ll be an anti-Obama, anti-bigot rally and that scares the hell out of Democrats.)


      Aug 19, 2009 at 2:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw

      Stuff like this is why I dislike rethuglicans so much – this isn’t “differences of opinions” by the conservatives, most of this stuff they bring up is bald faced lies to scare people.

      Frankly, (not to make a pun) whatever side of the issue you’re on, health care IN TOTO in the country needs to be addressed, or at some point in the probably near future, it will implode.

      I say in toto, because Flush Limpnuts said on his radio show that Obama was a liar because he wanted to “fix” healthcare and also said “those of you who are happy with your present health plan” can keep it. Obama might not be able to keep that promise, but to suggest as Obama does, that health care for ALL has to be addressed is not lying, as Rush says.

      I’m glad Barney handled this gently but firmly. He needs to stand his ground but not be nasty about it, which is what he did I think.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock

      @Bill Perdue:

      Good afternoon, Bill.

      I think a march like this is a good idea, but do you honestly it is going to make all your reforms magically appear in a box, with a ribbon on top?

      As flawed as the system is, I think it is a good idea to work for whatever public system (not insurance company complot) you can get, then work to improve it.

      As it is it sounds like you’re cutting off your nose just like Fitz.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy

      @strumpetwindsock: Unfortunately, he’s another Clinton – the most effective REPUBLICAN president since Reagan.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • anyway

      Excuse me! Barney Frank owes dining room tables an apology!

      Aug 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane

      No. 5 · Ohomo: Bipartisanship is exactly what we don’t need. The illusion of that myth is killing democracy.
      The prevailing notion in Washington is that it is but what happens infact is that:
      (1)the republkicans never move at all to the left but stichk with their base and with anything always move right. So people trust who they are and what they represent as appaling as it is.
      (2) the democrats have virtually no reliable position anymore.They keep abandoning any position that would be their base: economic justice, civil rights, (the things that were kind of theirs in FDR’s time. ) They always feel intimidated by the right and think they can grab some of their base and so they keep moving Right to the point where there is hardly any differance between them and the REplugs and the no one relies on them tio stand strong for anything.
      The point is this: People vote their BELIEFS, not their BEST INTERESTS. Otherwise why would working class people ever vote republican. The Republicans have been abvle to gather the support of all of these poor bigots, by no means because it does them any good, but because they know that the Republicans won’t backdown on thatt(even though in fact they’ll rob them blind.) But it was Clinton who worked out Nafta: the worst single thing to happen to labor ever.

      We;’ve got a bunch of weak kneed democrats now, which is practically the same as having one Republican party.
      Bipartisanship balony: we need democracy

      Aug 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jennifer

      I wish more people would slap these shitheads down. It’s time to STOP BEING POLITE and start telling these people that they are, in fact, deranged.

      Way to kick ass, Barney!

      Aug 19, 2009 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Gay Numbers

      I like this because we need a society where we can call an idiot by name rather than pussy footing around it. It is like some those people who say don’t touch my private healthcare coverage, don’t touch my medicare. They are stupid on a level that only be described as severe mental retardation. We should be able to say “wow, if you were any more ignorant, you probably would need a name tag to remember your own name.” Yes, we live in a democracy. But, free speech does not mean we should not call crazy or stupid people what they are.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BobP

      Good for Barney. The only politician with balls, and he’s one of us! So proud!

      Aug 19, 2009 at 6:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • G

      I am SO in love with Barney Frank! He looks like a hobbit, but he is smart, funny and quick! I would date him in heartbeat if he would have me. I’m cute but I hardly think that would be enough to match his prolific assets.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 7:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane

      Barney probably has someone permanent. politicians don’t have much time to date people.
      That’s a kind of job you marry. He’s someone we can really admire. There can’t be that awefully many years-well a fair amount I guess., between he and Milk. But he’s a real gay pioneer. in politics.

      That absurd woman had more than that coming. Those idiot beyond fucking belief Republicans have been going around calling public health On the one hand Socialist and on the other Fascist:(direct opposites) That people that incredibly stupid can even walk the streets is frightening. The Neocons are the Fascists.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 9:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair

      The queen makes me so proud. This isn’t the first time he’s shown it. But he’s probably the most articulate speaker in the house. And he’s ours. He’s also plenty smart, although I was disappointed when he endorsed that Keynesian blubber fest of a stimulus instead of the fiscally responsible Clintonomics we were promised.
      But nobody’s perfect. And I could listen to him jabber in his sleep right through until the party at Trocadero in October, which will be splendiferous if some of those bears lose a pound.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 9:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ohomo

      I just swung by this post after a long day. The mental masturbation on display here is tantamount to the polyester carpeted floor of Plato’s Retreat — the morning after.

      Aug 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert Zenckle

      Don’t you actually have to BE a nazi before you can be accused of doing nazi stuff? Apparently not, anymore.

      I think what this woman was getting at is the mistaken notion that simply because the administration policy and methodology exactly mirrors the same goals, same objectives, the same terminology and rationalization that were used by the nazi party to push through similar “health care” reengineering efforts in nazi germany, that therefore, somehow, by some magic means, Barack Obama must also be a nazi. FAIL.

      One criticism I have though, is that Barney’s tactic to simple refuse to answer isn’t gonna cut it for much longer. We are going to have to do a much better job of putting our viewpoint on the table ***AND*** defending it. Because facing the mounting criticism and just reacting with various variants of “nanny nanny boo boo” just ain’t working.

      Let’s face it. These same health care proposals have been tried and resulted in miserable failure and ruin, every single time. No exeptions. Ever. At least not yet. Hell, maybe Barack’s got some unique angle on it that’ll make it work. Money fer nothin’, and checks for free! I’m right there in it, man. Chicks dig it!

      But one thing is certain – we need a better sales pitch. I do not, for the life of me, understand why the moral imperative angle isn’t working. What’s more convincing that doing something simply because it’s the right thing to do? And it’s not like we can’t afford it. It might not be a popular thing to do, and people might not like paying taxes, but then again, taxes are what make a lot of things we get even possible.

      pax out! ;-)

      Aug 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw

      #33 Robert- the moral imperative angle is working to an extent, but it is being shouted out by a highly organized, (mostly lying) right wing agenda.

      Aug 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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