Third Party & Independents Archives

Close But No Cigar

Barney Frank is a tricky one. Between watching the banking industry, including Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac, fail and then finding anyone and everyone else to blame but himself on one hand and seemingly espousing libertarian ideals on the other, it makes a liberty minded individual scratch their heads. Unfortunately, it seems that, indeed, words are seldom as important as deeds.

So we see in this recent quote by Senator Frank:

"I would let people gamble on the Internet," Frank said. "I would let adults smoke marijuana; I would let adults do a lot of things, if they choose." He added: "But allowing them total freedom to take on economic obligations that spill over into the broader society? The individual is not the only one impacted here, when bad decisions get made in the economic sphere, it causes problems."

ooo, almost. It's the failure that many people have when talking about liberty, it's a great idea but I know people and people are idiots, we can't let just ANYONE have real freedom...

First, he says he would let people gamble on the internet. Yet, I don't recall him ever voting against such a law when it came up. It seemingly went by under his watch and his attempt to repeal it after the fact languished with little support. Then he would let adults smoke marijuana. Again, we see how this administration is treating legal marijuana sellers in California and no one is daring to think about lifting the federal ban, even though in a times of recession the cost/benefit analysis clearly supports it.

You see, saying you would allow freedom and liberty while doing little to actually promote it, unless it affects you directly, is what we call hypocrisy. And the defense that people can't be trusted with that kind of power? Well, we entrust people with decision making power all day long, with or without the laws, it is just how we treat those who make those decisions that is important. People are going to gamble online. People are going to smoke marijuana. People are going to make their own economic decisions. All we have now is a system where we criminalize those individuals, remove them from society and losing their productivity into our system, and then tell others who do similar things (like gamble in a legal casino, smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol and go to check cashing facilities and use high interest credit cards to purchase groceries) that they are worthy of their liberty.

We allow people to drink, knowing that there actions spill out into the economic and social spheres. We allow people to gamble in casinos, knowing that their actions spill out into the economic and social spheres. Yet, we just can't actually pull the trigger and allow everyone to have the right to liberty over their own bodies and the fruits of their own labor, can we?

No, our politicians know better, we can't be trusted with that kind of power on our own, we need their guidance and direction in our personal lives. I mean, how would we function effectively without our king and his court? It would surely mean the end of all humanity.

Posted by Rhinehold at April 27, 2009 6:44 PM
Comments
Comment #281016

Let me let you in on a little secret of mine: I don’t care whether these politicians are good people, so long as they get with the program and recognize the swiftness and power with which the public will kick their butts if they don’t shape up and do better.

I prefer people who don’t have to be so pressured, but in our current situation, I would let a person like Barney Frank act like a hypocrite and lie about his past actions, if he or she decides to correct the policy they instituted now.

Results matter more than ideology.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 27, 2009 8:09 PM
Comment #281017

S.D.
So you would trust a lier and a hypocrite over an honest politician from another party?

Posted by: KAP at April 27, 2009 8:20 PM
Comment #281018

So, Stephen, you’re saying that the only difference between you and the republicans who accepted Bush for their president and the current crop of senators and congressmen that they have is, well, ideology?

You are willing to look the other way, just as they did, because they were driving towards an end that they agreed with. Just as you are doing now.

So your suggestion of results mattering more than ideology is patently false on its face.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 27, 2009 8:27 PM
Comment #281024

Stephen & Rhinehold

The trouble with Frank is that he is both dishonest AND ineffective.

He gets away with a lot because he is quick on his feet, nasty to those who oppose him (which makes people a little afraid of crossing him) and gay, (which gives him the victimization cover.)

If you really did a cost benefit analysis of Barney, he would be a losing proposition for the people.

So - Stephen - he doesn’t recognize the swiftness that the people will kick his butt because he has managed to frighten some, PC others and just overrun the rest. He is a good politician, but not much of a human being and no statesman at all. In other words, an example of what is wrong with politics these days.

Posted by: Christine at April 27, 2009 10:18 PM
Comment #281027

RH
I am at a loss to see this hypocracy you are getting at. Legalizing pot and internet gambling while perhaps a good idea is not on the front burner. There are more important issues to deal with. Political capital is finite. Can you imagine the Rep shrieks if the Dems tried to do anything as controversial as legalize pot? Heck, they shriek when Dems try to do things like fund school repair.

Christine
The people of Franks district disagree with you. They think enough of Frank to send him back to Washington with margins that would make Saddam blush.It is fortunate that the people that know and rely on him to get the job done for them get to make the decision instead of petty partisans from other districts that prefer to spend their time tearing down a great American that helping to address the very real problems the country faces.

Posted by: bills at April 27, 2009 11:06 PM
Comment #281033

RH

I suspect that Frank was talking about a system of appraising financial instruments to determine if the effects of the instruments have the potential to cause great harm to the economy and prohibit, limit or perhaps design sensible rules to regulate them.The sub-prime mortgage business is a good example of regulatory failure, for example.At this point it is insanity not to adopt tough new rules.Our financial wizards are very good at dreaming up new ways of spinning straw into gold. Their motives simply do not allow them to take a long term view. By default that must be the province of government.This no more limits freedom than prohibiting melemine in milk or selling untested drugs etc. There is no other institution with the power.
How you conflate that with pot legalization might make more sense to me after I smoke a bowl.

Posted by: bills at April 28, 2009 5:06 AM
Comment #281035

Rhinehold,

Gotta agree with you on this one.

Posted by: gergle at April 28, 2009 5:37 AM
Comment #281039

All who defend this moron, Barney Frank, need to watch his Q & A at Harvard. A student asked him if he accepts any responsibility for what happened. His answer was: “What would you do in my place?”

When the House Banking Committee Chairman asks a 2nd year Harvard Law Student “what would you do in my place” that idiot doesn’t belong not only as a head of the banking committee but in the House of Representatives. He should be flipping burgers at the ACLU Lou outs.

My dog is quick on his feet, that doesn’t make him qualified to be a congressman.

Posted by: Crusader at April 28, 2009 10:54 AM
Comment #281042

crusader

“My dog is quick on his feet, that doesn’t make him qualified to be a congressman.”

you shouldn’t be so hard on your dog.

is he smart enough not to fly a commercial airliner ( AKA airforce one ) low along the manhatten skyline without notifying anyone he’s going to do it. if so he may even be smart enough to be our next president.

Posted by: dbs at April 28, 2009 11:46 AM
Comment #281043

Sorry, Rhinehold, your analysis completely missed what Franks was saying by your article’s interpretation: “ooo, almost. It’s the failure that many people have when talking about liberty, it’s a great idea but I know people and people are idiots, we can’t let just ANYONE have real freedom…”

Franks was distinguishing between personal behavior which affects only oneself, and social responsibility in positions that affect large numbers of others in our society. Hence those who would smoke pot, vs. those who would make economic policy. Too bad your analysis missed it. It was rather obvious.

It doesn’t take competence to decide whether to smoke pot on Saturday night or not. It takes enormous education, experience, and competence to design economic policy for the greater good of all in a nation teetering on economic depression.

Franks has a way of talking to intellectuals in analogies and metaphors instead of to paint by number folks who couldn’t see the finished painting if their life depended upon it, anyway. Kinda makes him arrogant and snobbish with airs of superiority, which turn a very lot of folks off. Franks would do well to remember his pedagogic role when speaking to the media and public. Not that doing so would alter articles like yours intent on pursuing their own partisan and political ends, regardless of the intent of the speaker being quoted.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 28, 2009 11:56 AM
Comment #281045

Crusader has apparently never misspoke or authored a social faux pas in their life, to judge Franks by a single flawed response to a questioner’s legitimate question, thus. This is in fact a prejudicial judgment, since a non-prejudicial assessment would consider the range of Frank’s career, on balance, in its assessment.

There are a lot of reasons ranging from prejudice to honest intellectual differences to explain why a person does might not like Barney Franks. But, you know, that is true of every public figure in America. So, it ain’t saying much.

Conservatives may wish to be careful wishing for Frank’s replacement when it comes to economics. Barney Franks is a true moderate on economics, proffering capitalism with checks and balances to prevent excesses from becoming recessionary bubbles. There are other far more extremist left wingers on economic policy who would be happy to take Barney Frank’s place. The furthest left wing Franks gets on economic policy is being pro-union. Which is not that far left anymore if public opinion directional shift is any indication.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 28, 2009 12:08 PM
Comment #281047

dbs, that wasn’t the pilot’s call. The FAA and even NY Police were informed of the photo shoot. The pilot doesn’t have a press spokesperson to inform the public of the pilot’s next flight plan.

Not informing the public was someone’s horrendous bad call, but, it surely wasn’t the pilot’s bad call.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 28, 2009 12:11 PM
Comment #281049

Barney Frank is more of a pragmatic realist, And not a pure idealogue ,I have some issues with him he is very popular in his district he gets the job done most of the time if there was wrong doing in the Fannie/Freddie dealings it will come out.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 28, 2009 1:14 PM
Comment #281056

Rhinegold did you see this about Frank and online gambling?
Kind of bad timing on your part.

Posted by: Schwamp at April 28, 2009 3:08 PM
Comment #281080

Schwamp,

No, it’s not much different than the bill he introduced 2 years ago that got 36 cosponsors and was never brought to the floor for a vote. I’m sure this one will be ignored as well. And I wonder how much pressure he will be putting on getting that done, as much as last time? It’s easy to introduce legislation that you know doesn’t have a chance to succeed.

I am hopeful that he will pay more than lip service to liberty this time, time will tell.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 28, 2009 7:05 PM
Comment #281090

BF is a disgrace

Posted by: sam at April 28, 2009 11:18 PM
Comment #281092

sam

“BF is a disgrace” BF is a moron etc. That’s why he chairs the banking committee and you spit non-sensical bile on an obscure political blog. Its all so clear now. Thank for the insight.

Seems The Honorable Senator Arlen Spector has had an attack moronism also and changed parties.
Welcome Arlen

Posted by: bills at April 29, 2009 12:23 AM
Comment #281097

RH
So because Franks bill did not get far because of a political party that you usually support, HE”S a hypocrit?

Posted by: bills at April 29, 2009 8:40 AM
Comment #281166
So because Franks bill did not get far because of a political party that you usually support, HE”S a hypocrit?

Why didn’t he get far because of the libertarians?

I surely don’t support the republicans or democrats usually…

And he didn’t get very far because of both parties. Because he is playing lip service, not really trying to get the law changed. He has enough political clout to get it done if it was a priority of his, that’s my opinion.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 30, 2009 5:43 PM
Comment #281207

RH
I have been reading your post for some time. You usually support the Rep Party economic agenda, moe or less. Your take on the stimulus package is an example.That may be because it often co-incides with your wing of the libs but that is beside the point.
Frank is chairman of the banking committee. I hope for all our sake, that online gambling is NOT a high prioity of his at this point.

Posted by: bills at May 2, 2009 3:14 AM
Comment #281232

Bills wrote :”The people of Franks district disagree with you. They think enough of Frank to send him back to Washington with margins that would make Saddam blush.It is fortunate that the people that know and rely on him to get the job done for them get to make the decision instead of petty partisans from other districts that prefer to spend their time tearing down a great American that helping to address the very real problems the country faces”

Being someone from this district I can tell you most people don’t know who their Rep is. Here in Massachusetts, there is a high percentage of voters who just fill in the circles for the Democrat no matter the name or their policies. Barney has a gerrymandered district that has a low percentage of producers and a high percentage of dependants. It has also helped that the Mass GOP (a joke) hasn’t run an endorsed candidate against him since I’ve been voting.
The idea that politicians shouldn’t be criticized by people outside their districts would hold weight if we lived in a society of a knowledgable constituency or a real multiple party system but here in Taxachusetts there is only 7 Repubs. in the whole state legislature and only vote for Republicans when the Mass GOP really backs a candidate, Governors race.

Posted by: scott at May 3, 2009 8:42 AM
Comment #281245
You usually support the Rep Party economic agenda, more or less.

No, I support a liberty based agenda, as expoused by the libertarians. That the republicans occasionally get it right (if for wrong reasons) doesn’t equate to me supporting their agenda.

Your take on the stimulus package is an example.

What is my take on the stimulus package? I can assure you it is a different one than the republicans, other than that we both don’t agree with it. It is the reasons why that are the difference though…

That may be because it often co-incides with your wing of the libs but that is beside the point.

No, that is exactly the point. Supporting a single law or position matters little if the REASONS for it are different. Those reasons are important.

And it may surprise you that one can be against the policies of the Democrats in many areas and not be a supporter of Republican policies as well. At least, I believe it would surprise most of the democratic hacks that view their game as a bi-polar slugfest.

Frank is chairman of the banking committee. I hope for all our sake, that online gambling is NOT a high prioity of his at this point.

Given his track record on banking matters, I would suggest he move over for someone much more qualified and take up the cause of freedom instead.

If he really believed in it.

Of which I have become highly doubtful.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 3, 2009 2:05 PM
Comment #281255

scott,
I believe your characterization of the fourth district of Massachusets is incorrect. MA-4 consists of a part of the extremely prosperous route 128 corridor as well as the surrounding affluent suburbs. Not exactly “a low percentage of producers and a high percentage of dependants”. In fact, it is one of the top 20 tax paying districts in the country, with an average tax burden of 15.19% of Adjusted Gross Income.

The GOP would be more competitive in Massachusetts if it adopted positions desired by the electorate. I used to be represented by a Republican in the State House, and guess what? She lost her seat a few years ago because she wouldn’t support same-sex marriage. I don’t think voters here blindly check off the Democratic candidate, often when a Green party candidate is running he/she gets a good chunk of the vote despite the way our electoral system is rigged against them. I think that points to an electorate where many people are willing to evaluate all the different candidates until they make their choice.

Are there flaws in the Massachusetts electoral system? Yes, but it is impossible to have a perfect system. Massachusetts is where Gerrymandering was invented, and the shape of Frank’s district is a relic of that. I also recognize that my representative in Congress (Niki Tsongas, widow of Paul Tsongas) relied on quite a bit of nepotism to win the special election in 2007. That’s why I have never voted for her in my life, instead I’ve voted for Third-Party Candidates or written in the name of my state senator. Nevertheless, Massachusetts is in much bettter shape than most of the nation is right now.

Posted by: Warren P at May 3, 2009 8:03 PM
Comment #281289

I will agree that the Mass GOP hasn’t adopted positions that the 4th district wants to hear because noone from any party has run against him except Sholley who hasn’t been a write-in. The area is proportionally a well to do area with a median income of 65k but when half the votes of the area come from New Bedford, Fall River, and Taunton, then the cards are stacked against any candidate that calls for less government and lower taxes.
As for your experiences finding that the electorate will actually strongly consider another candidate besides the democrat Ihaven’t seen it. As someone who lives in Foxboro and works in Taunton (blue collar job), I have found that most people aren’t knowledgable about politics and have fallen into my father voted Democrat so I’m a Democrat (much of this is due to the Kennedy legacy, a historically weak MassGop except in Govenor’s races).
As for Massachusetts doing much better than the rest of the nation I’d contend that our unemploymeny rate of 8.2 % matches the national average.
My point of the previous post was that because of the lack of competition of ideas in the 4th district, an ingrained Democratic bias in the electorate (whether through familial or economic grounds) the fact that Barney Frank is voted in numbers that would make Saddam blush isn’t a reflection of Barney Frank’s effectiveness as a legislator but more of a historical degradation of a multiparty (never mind 2 party system) in Massachusetts.

Posted by: scott at May 4, 2009 9:16 AM
Comment #281569

Barney Frank should have been arrested back when it was discovered that he was running a gay brothel from his home. Anybody with a sense of decency would have resigned and apologized to his constituents. He is the lowest of the low.

Posted by: JandRontherightside at May 14, 2009 3:38 PM
Comment #281570

You people dare to talk about liberty?????? And in the same breath as “Barney Frank”???? Are you completely ignorant as to the events of the last two years? Forget about the last four months. Where is the amendment in the Constitution which states that the Federal government has the right to interfere in the operation of any business? Forget about the hostile takeover of AIG, Chrysler, and many of our nation’s banks. You people had better wake up.

Posted by: JandRon the rightside at May 14, 2009 3:44 PM
Comment #281601

And you, JandRon, had better read and comply with WatchBlog’s rules for participation if you wish to continue to leave comments here. This will be your only warning.

Posted by: WatchBlog Manager at May 15, 2009 12:10 PM
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