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Barney Frank Townhall Confrontation (Videos)

Apparently, even people in Barney Frank’s ultra-liberal Massachussets district are afraid and/or angry about ObamaCare. Frank, who has survived revelations of a gay escort service run out of his apartment, is rather confident he’ll be re-elected:

Most Congress members conducting town hall meetings this month have chosen a noncombative posture to deal with angry participants who disrupt the proceedings. Not Rep. Barney Frank.

At a lively two-hour meeting Tuesday night in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Frank gave as good as he got in confronting opponents of overhauling the nation’s health care system.

The crowded hall had both supporters and detractors, but the opposing side was much louder and more raucous, booing the Massachusetts Democrat from the moment he was introduced and shouting questions and challenges at him throughout.

“You want me to talk about it or do you want to yell?” he asked over and over when interrupted while trying to answer. Continued shouting brought a sterner rebuke. “Disruption never helps your cause,” he said more than once. “It just looks like you’re afraid to have rational discussion.”

While Frank attempted to respond to all questions, he gave up when one woman compared health care proposals favored by Frank and President Obama to policies of Nazi Germany. “When you ask me that question, I’m going to revert to my ethnic heritage and ask you a question: On what planet do you spend most of your time?” Frank asked.

From Larry King:

The folks at FOX can’t understand why Frank was so rude:

A slightly different take from Fox:

Like Will, I’m not among Barney Frank’s biggest fans. And I disagree with him vehemently on the direction we should take our health care system. But the refusal to take obnoxious lunatics seriously is fine by me.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Stan says:

    I have made stupid remarks in some of the threads on health care.
    So have others, both left and right, and not all the original posts are good. On the whole, though, the conversation here is rational and civil, and it’s a pleasure to read what people on both sides have to say. This is a tribute to you, Dr. Joyner, and to your colleagues.

    By contrast, the discussion in some of the Congressional town halls is beneath contempt. Like Barney Frank, I am Jewish. I’m older than he is, and I remember the nightmares I had as a small boy after the first photographs of the concentration camps appeared in the movie newsreels in 1945. Calling Obama’s attempt to insure wider health insurance coverage Nazi or Fascist is so brainless that it cuts off all possibility of rational discussion. And the same applied to my side, when they called Bush a Nazi after the onset of the Iraq War.

    So, thanks again Dr. Joyner for running a civilized, intelligent blog. I appreciate your efforts.

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  2. floyd says:

    “” the refusal to take obnoxious lunatics seriously is fine by me.””
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    I agree, and we have hundreds of them in congress,including Barney Frank!

    Who knows? Maybe Massachusetts is changing color and Barney could become a real “purple” dinosaur!

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  3. [...] Barney Frank Townhall Confrontation (Videos) (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  4. [...] James Joyner: Like Will, I’m not among Barney Frank’s biggest fans. And I disagree with him vehemently on the direction we should take our health care system. But the refusal to take obnoxious lunatics seriously is fine by me. [...]

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  5. kth says:

    Some of the conservative blogs are, like Will, cautiously embracing the Frank smackdown. That seems like the smart play. Neil Cavuto seems not to have gotten the memo.

    The Hannity video shows a lot of Frank being dismissive, but very little (i.e., none) of the questions and the questioners. That is indeed smart, though deeply dishonest (I know, big surprise).

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  6. Steve Plunk says:

    Barney Frank is an extreme example of how loathsome a politicians can become. His history of personal scandal and his history of legislative ineptitude, think Fanni Mae, makes most Americans sick.

    With his experience he should expect these extreme questions and statements when constituents are angry. Rather than nod politely he stoops to their level and shows his lack of self control. When forced into a defensive position Frank allows his contempt for average Americans to be seen.

    There are plenty of lunatics in every town hall meeting. It is telling how Rep. Frank treats them and how he sees himself.

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  7. andy says:

    Yes, Steve, it’s ridiculous to have contempt for crazy nazi rants!

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  8. wr says:

    I think it’s about time elected officials show their well-deserved contempt for these morons. People who scream “Hitler” and “death camps” have been allowed to hijack the debate over health care because whenever they show up with their “kill Obama” signs they’re treated as if they are somehow rational people worthy of respect. They are not. They are either clinically insane or they’re so stupid they’ll believe everything Glen Beck says. Either way, they have nothing to contribute.

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  9. kvc says:

    I recall that elected officials once went to office to represent the people who elected them to that office. Somewhere along the way the elected officials took the notion that because they were elected, we must accept what “they” believe is what we wanted. No matter how much conversation from the constituents, “their” opinion is what is correct. Well if these elected officials continue to get re-elected they must be right. The people of that district or state get what they deserve when these elected officials are continually elected. The only problem is, they get to office and everyone has to put up with them.

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  10. Tlaloc says:

    The folks at FOX can’t understand why Frank was so rude

    Unintentional irony for the win.

    (just to clarify the unintentional is almost certainly on Fox’s part not Joyner’s)

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  11. Eneils Bailey says:

    On what planet do you spend most of your time?” Frank asked.

    Certainly not Uranus….

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  12. James says:

    The woman in the video is evidently a LaRouchie. Kudos to Barney for not putting up with it. Sometimes, there are NOT two sides to a debate, and bringing Nazis into the mix means you have just forfeited your credibility.

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  13. I find Frank’s ability to steal the thunder of these protesters and put them in their places quite refresing in regards to the issue of health care reform. I only wish other pro-health care reformers had the stones to give as good as they get at these town hall “meetings.” Where was the concern about “overspending” & “deficits” when it came to funding two wars (one which didn’t have to be fought) while giving tax cuts (what kind of math is THAT?)?

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  14. Triumph says:

    Frank is an immoral moron.

    The health care plan is not only inspired by nazism, but it is also the sort of thing that al-Quaeda, Castro, Kim Jong-Il, Chavez, Barry Bonds, Bill Ayers, and the Zapatistas support.

    With Frank’s reaction, we see EXACTLY who he is throwing his allegiances to–the Nazi, death-panel, terrorists.

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  15. RW Rogers says:

    Barry Bonds?

    IIRC, Bonds is a registered Republican as was his father.

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  16. An Interested Party says:

    I would assume that no matter how obnoxious anyone thinks that Frank is, comparing the president’s plans on health care to what the Nazis did is beyond contempt and is so absurd that everyone should be ridiculing such a silly comparison, right? And it looks like the meme is spreading…

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  17. [...] Barney Frank Townhall Confrontation (Videos) (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  18. Wayne says:

    “one woman compared health care proposals favored by Frank and President Obama to “policies” of Nazi Germany “

    The key word there is “policies”. The health care policies of Obama and many of the Democrats I is very similar to that of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Trying to claim that she was claiming that Obama wants to commit genocide is taking her completely out of context. Socialist policies are Socialist policies however offensive that may offend some people. Sometime the truth is offensive. Socialist policies tend to offend me and calling it another name isn’t going to help.

    That said I do believe that many overdo the Hitler\Stalin comparison from both side. It just amazes me how it seems to be all right for Pelosi and the Democrats to call Republicans and conservative Nazi and what not but not the other way around.

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  19. Brett says:

    Good. Frankly, if some dumbass wants to make some silly comment comparing the current health care reform to Nazi Germany, then they can should expect a brutal response.

    This is pretty typical for Frank. I remember turning on CSPAN once and seeing him taking questions at some event. Some person started asking this long-winded comment instead of a question, and he quickly cut them off with “Do you have a question?”

    I remember immediately liking him for that – jerks who use a Questions period to speechify out a desire to hear themselves talk are really annoying.

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  20. Jim Treacher says:

    I think it’s about time elected officials show their well-deserved contempt for these morons. People who scream “Hitler” and “death camps” have been allowed to hijack the debate over health care because whenever they show up with their “kill Obama” signs they’re treated as if they are somehow rational people worthy of respect. They are not. They are either clinically insane or they’re so stupid they’ll believe everything Glen Beck Lyndon LaRouche says.

    Fixed that for you.

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  21. Eneils Bailey says:

    That said I do believe that many overdo the Hitler\Stalin comparison from both side. It just amazes me how it seems to be all right for Pelosi and the Democrats to call Republicans and conservative Nazi and what not but not the other way around.

    Yes, both sides overdo it at times. I am sure the people complaining now about the lady in the audience with the sign were among those first in line to condemn those who went after Bush, Cheney, and our military as acting like Nazi’s.

    Some want to commend Frank for standing up the the onslaught. He’s in a very safe district. almost a shoo-in for 2010.

    I will give him credit for showing up at a town hall meeting. The crowd did seem to be a good mix of both sides. I do think both sides were too loud and overreacted. It makes good press, especially if both side are wrong.

    I would be interested to see how his next meeting is put together and attended. As long as Frank does not load up the meeting hall with a posse of his little rump rangers, he should be OK.

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  22. Oh, here we go with the “Socialism” Boogey Man! The notion of affordable (or “free”)
    health care is no more “Socialism” than free public school, or Social Security,
    which was labeled the same way when IT was introduced. It’s the same thing
    as when people were organizing for Civil Rights, Women’s Sufferage, labor rights,
    workplace safety, and anti-war movements…any anti-status quo proposal is labeled
    “Communist,” “radical,” or “Socialist.” Please grow up people…you sound like
    children afraid of some imaginary bump under the bed! There are no “death panels,”
    no black helicopters, and no Nazi-sympathizers at work here; just the desire to
    help those who can’t afford to pay for medical treatment! I would think that a
    person capable of rational thought would avoid such a 50′s-era tactic like
    Red-baiting!

    Beyond-The-Political-Spectrum (Blogspot)

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  23. [...] Barney Frank Townhall Confrontation (Videos) (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  24. G.A.Phillips says:

    I’ll stop comparing liberals to the Nazi when they stop rabidly supporting the, and murdering a million some babies every year, and a few other things.

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  25. Wayne says:

    BTPS
    Is that the same social Security that is insolvent and a good portion of people’s paycheck go into to pay and yet will unlikely get the promises it made? The one which both parties say needs to be fix but they won’t fix it?

    Do you have any reference on “Socialism” than free public school remark? Isn’t these anything but free public schools the same ones who have hard time even with the amount of money they get in keeping up with the rest of the world? Also did the Federal Government use the excuse of financing a very small part of the public schools with our own tax money (most of the schools are still mostly finance locally) as a way to put all sort of rules and regulation on those school thereby taking power away from local government ?

    Remember how many said the imminent domain decision was a slippery slope that would lead to the Federal Government assuming a great deal more power which did happen?

    Next you will be saying how the US Post Office is a good example of a efficient government run agency.

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  26. An Interested Party says:

    It just amazes me how it seems to be all right for Pelosi and the Democrats to call Republicans and conservative Nazi and what not but not the other way around.

    When did she/they do that?

    The health care policies of Obama and many of the Democrats I is very similar to that of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

    That’s like saying that “Shock and Awe” is similar to “Blitzkrieg”…accusing the president of pushing socialist policies when he isn’t is quite offensive…universal or single-payer health care isn’t “socialism” in and of themselves no matter how much screaming/arguing some might do to try to make the point…

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  27. Wayne says:

    Socialism
    Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating state, public or common worker (through cooperatives) ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with an egalitarian method of compensation

    Sounds like the Obama health care plan to me.
    As for Dems calling conservatives and republicans Nazi(neo—Nazis) and other names
    http://semiskimmed.net/bushhitler.html

    One senior aide has been circulating a document to the media that debunks the effort as one driven by corporate lobbyists and attended by neo-Nazis.

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/33987-1.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

    Pelosi calling Bush a Facist

    Had to eliminated some of my links since their filter block me as spam.

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  28. ZRegime says:

    Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who defends Barney Frank on this behavior has already given in to the idea that the concept of “Of The People, For The People, By The People” is passe and irrelevant. HE IS OUR SERVANT. HE SERVES US. You douchebags defending him would be absolutely OUTRAGED if some Sandwich Artist at Subway started berating you for taking too long deciding what kind of bread you wanted, or changing your mind on the toppings mid-stream. You people are effing sick. And your boys and girls are gonna get shipped outta the House and Senate next November like an Amazon Prime order. It’ll be fun watching…I cannot wait.

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  29. An Interested Party says:

    Sounds like the Obama health care plan to me.

    Actually, it sounds like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid…now, you can call these things “socialism” if you like (which people of your ilk tried to do when these programs were first being legislated and enacted), but good luck trying to get rid of any of them…so, horror of horrors, according to your logic, many, if not most, of the American people like “socialist” programs…keep trying with the bogeyman, though…

    As for your links, none of them show Nancy Pelosi or the Democratic Party accusing Republicans/conservatives of being “Nazis” which was your original complaint (that particular aide/document should prove that neo-Nazis are actually attending these events, but even still, that’s not the same thing as painting Republicans/conservatives as “Nazis”)…do both sides have their fringe elements that refer to their political enemies as “Nazis” or “Fascists” or “Socialists”? Of course they do…but when that is done, it should be ridiculed and lampooned as the bullshit that it is…

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  30. G.A.Phillips says:

    Wat we all will admit to and say, and what WE ALL ARE GUILTY OFF!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP_L60wbtNM

    Listen to sumtin!!!!!DANG!!!!

    you must have been cool and imposer, oops, and unposer like for a moment in your lives?????????????????

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  31. G.A.Phillips says:

    Or if your really an intellectual you Will ponder this….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD5HBs6o7G0

    ****Was that Adrian Smith playing the violin too?****A clue? lol…………

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  32. G.A.Phillips says:

    O.K. I’m sorry I forget that a lot of you are as old or older then me, lol, your gonna get Deathpanneled…….first….unless they start with the dumb people, then I’m ******!!!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw6_VXPwm6U

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  33. anjin-san says:

    But the refusal to take obnoxious lunatics seriously is fine by me.

    Bitsy was at the forum?

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  34. G.A.Phillips says:

    lol….

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  35. Joey Buzz says:

    There is a tad bit of irony in the fact that pro-choicers that used to show up at abortion rallies with signs that read along the lines of “keep your laws off my body” are now pushing for a government single payer system to regulate the care of that same body.

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  36. Wayne says:

    “many, if not most, of the American people like “socialist” programs”

    I actually agree that. Socialism is a natural tendency for humans. Almost all do not like seeing others suffer. Only problem is History has shown us Socialism is very ineffective form of government and a Republic Capitalist government like the U.S. use to be is much more efficient. In case you haven’t been paying attention Medicare, and Medicaid are in need of a fix. It two programs that I don’t have a problem keeping but need some major work.

    Problem with the slippery slope theory is sometimes it doesn’t happen but more often it does. Showing one or two cases where it doesn’t doesn’t negate the many instances that it does.

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  37. Wayne says:

    What about Pelosi saying protestors are carrying Swastika’s which there was no reported instances of it until a Dem worker was caught with one then later caught working for the Dem Rep?

    Granted maybe she wasn’t calling them Nazis but being a long time Politician she knew or should have known that many would take it that way. As the House speaker she should have been clear on it like when she was push by reporters in a news briefing and she came straight out on call the CIA liars. She insinuates it several times until she finally admitted to what she was saying. A professional politician should be held a little higher than some woman off the street in being clear.

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  38. An Interested Party says:

    In case you haven’t been paying attention Medicare, and Medicaid are in need of a fix. It two programs that I don’t have a problem keeping but need some major work.

    Umm, thank you so much for that important update…without you, I would of had no idea about that! By the way, I notice that you don’t mind keeping these programs…the nation is, no doubt, eternally grateful…

    …until a Dem worker was caught with one then later caught working for the Dem Rep?

    Proof please…and would this have allegedly occurred here, or here? Let me guess, these are all part of some evil Democratic conspiracy…

    Granted maybe she wasn’t calling them Nazis…

    Exactly, she wasn’t, despite your previous claim…

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  39. Wayne says:

    “Exactly, she wasn’t, despite your previous claim…”

    You don’t know that. Most even in the liberal friendly Press thought that is what she was implying. Masterful politicians are very good with implications and avoiding any easy misinterpretations. Granted they can’t avoid those who want to misrepresent their intent entirely but usually avoid giving them easy ones unless the politician wants them to.

    Are you doing what you are condemning others of doing by claiming to be able to read her intent?

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  40. the q says:

    Some of you infants out there railing against “socialism”, I have a simple question for you.

    China has kicked our butts the last decade as far as increases in GNP.

    While we consider a 4% growth rate as robust, the Chinese regularly double that.

    So, by your flawed logic, since their system produces much more growth, it has to be better than our system.

    So, ipso facto, we should emulate the Chinese economic model since the goal of all capitalist endeavors is to maximize growth and profit.

    By this metric, the Chinese are much more “capitalistic” than we are because they achieve more growth.

    However, as Americans, we abhor the idea of putting children to work in sweatshops, using slave labor from dissidents, polluting rivers, and streams with poisons etc.

    If any of you Neanderthal repubs are curious, look at the battle progressives fought in the 1830s and 40s over universal education via public schools.

    The forces of darkness (make no mistake it is conservatives) fought this as being bad for the kids.

    It took enlightened intelligent progressive liberals to explain to morons like you that a short term sacrifice of child labor in the fields would be necessary in order to move the country onto a much higher level of productivity because of the educated masses being able to read, write and communicate.

    It took decades to convince the brain dead right wingers at the time toenroll their kids in the school houses on the prairie in order to raise up eventually the standard of living in this country.

    All these present arguments about health care are coming from the same narrow minded brain washed manipulated fools who slavishly cling to the empty shibboleths of the conservatives, who will destroy America through their selfish, myopic mindset.

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  41. An Interested Party says:

    Granted they can’t avoid those who want to misrepresent their intent entirely…

    Indeed, you’re living proof of that…

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  42. eldon bloedorn says:

    Barney Frank is merely dealing with “plants” that are trying to disrupt an otherwise intelligent discussion of an important issue. “as you believe, so shall it be done unto you.” What else can he do? The Golden Rule is somewhat useless with yellers and screamers.

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