National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Why We Love Barney Frank

 |  NCR Today

Why do we love Congressman Barney Frank? Not only because he is the funniest male member of Congress, although that counts for a lot. (Congresswoman Linda Sanchez wins the prize for funniest female member of Congress.) Cong. Frank has attained that stage in life where he says what most politicians are afraid to say.

Last night at a town hall meeting in Dartmouth, Massachusetts a woman said that the health care reform effort was akin to what the Nazis did, deciding who should live or die. To illustrate her point, literally, she has a picture of President Obama that had been altered to make him look like Adolph Hitler. She repeatedly called reform effort a “Nazi policy.” Congressman Frank asked the woman what planet she spends most of her time living on and that he would just as soon argue with a dining room table as engage her argument, such as it was. You can see the video clip here, and it only takes two minutes.

One of the problems with what has been called the “dictatorship of relativism” is that some people think it is fine to assert crazy ideas, ridiculous and offensive metaphors, and bogus arguments, and insist that they be engaged. As Cong. Frank pointed out, it is a tribute to our love of the First Amendment that such nonsense is allowed even a bit of air. No one is suggesting the crazed woman in Dartmouth be imprisoned or exiled, but it is fair to say, as the congressman said, that it is beyond futile and no aid to democracy to engage in discussion with someone who insists the sun rises in the West. It doesn’t. People are entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts.

email-graphic.jpgThe latest news... right to your inbox. Sign up for NCR email alerts.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR2.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

April 11-24, 2014

04-11-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.