When I asked if Frank planned to apologize for Ready’s behavior, Frank said: “Jim should have broken it off and not responded. But Bielat shouldn’t have initiated the conversation. I don’t see what was inappropriate about taking his picture.’’Nice, Barney. Blame Bielat for the obnoxious behavior of your pothead boyfriend. Very classy.
I’ll mark that down as a no.
A few moments later, my phone rang again. It was Frank, adding, “Jim’s new to political campaigning. He takes it more personally than someone who’s used to it.’’Likely they did it out of fear.
After we hung up, Frank called again, saying, “You know, he calls me dude. I didn’t realize that was troubling people. He calls all sorts of people dude.’’
There’s a larger point to all of this. For the last three decades, the political establishments in Boston and Washington have excused Frank’s consistently obnoxious behavior as Barney being Barney. Maybe they’ve done it because he was unique as an openly gay congressman. Maybe it was out of deference for the way he unapologetically and effectively carried the flag for the most liberal of causes. Maybe it was out of fear that he’d train his quick wit and substantial intellect against anyone who happened in his path.
But now voters are looking to D.C. and wondering what has gone wrong in a city and a system that is having such a hard time getting things right. The same character flaws that were forgiven in good times might wear thin when times are tough.
Congressman Frank has never hesitated to use his power ruthlessly. On one occasion, he threatened bankers with summoning them before his committee and forcing them to reveal their home addresses — which would of course put their spouses and children at the mercy of any kooks that might come along.Let's hope Frank gets some justice on November 2 and gets to spend more quality time with his dude.
Meanwhile, Congressman Frank could piously invoke "social justice" in defense of similarly ruthless community activist groups like Acorn or National People's Action, which had in fact besieged the homes not only of bankers but also of public officials who dared to oppose their agendas.
In Frank's words, these groups were simply people who "cared about equity" and who were just "trying very hard to preserve some equity and some social justice."
How unpopular is Frank looking these days? Bielat has outraised him in his hometown. Ouch. No wonder Bawney had to lend his campaign $200,000. Ready might have to grow a lot of weed to help offset that.
Update: Jacoby also weighs in on Frank today. It's not a pretty picture.
Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link.
Update: Another good read on Barney Frank's nonsense.