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Barney Frank Sees Brown Win as Reason to Change Course on Health Care

By "change course" I am referring to a call for a revised version. Is this statement as earth shattering as it sounds to me? Barney Frank (D-MA) released this statement following Brown's win tonight. (Transcribed by me from MSNBC):

"I have two reactions to the election in Massachusetts. One, I am disappointed. Two, I feel strongly that the Democratic majority in Congress must respect the process and make no effort to bypass the electoral results. If Martha Coakley had won, I believe we could have worked out a reasonable compromise between the House and Senate health care bills. But since Scott Brown has won and the Republicans now have 41 votes in the Senate, that approach is no longer appropriate. I am hopeful that some Republican senators will be willing to discuss a revised version of health care reform because I do not think that the country would be well served by the healthcare status quo. But our respect for democratic procedures must rule out any effort to pass a health care bill as if the Massachusetts election had not happened. Going forward, I hope there will be a serious effort to change the Senate rule which means that 59 votes are not enough to pass major legislation, but those are the rules by which the health care bill was considered, and it would be wrong to change them in the middle of this process."
I don't know if Frank has said anything similar before, but this is the first I am hearing it. It sounds to me like at least some Democrats have gotten the message and don't want to own this stinker of a health care bill. They have seen what the voters in even Massachusetts think about it and they don't want to go down in flames over it. They want some bipartisan cover. This win gives them an "out." That's my take anyway.

Update: Philip Klein transcribed the Frank statement off of MSNBC, too, and has the same take I did on it. This is a big deal.


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Comments (34)

A quote from a real teabagg... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

A quote from a real teabagger.

Barney Frank is a lot of th... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Barney Frank is a lot of things. STUPID (most of the time) is not one of them. He's in full CYA mode. If a conservative can take TEDDY'S seat, a conservative can take BARNEY'S seat. And Barney is too old to go looking for a new job.

Fuck you Barney! All you ever do is vote the straight Democratic ticket. Suck it up buddy, your turn is coming!

Yep... i didn't misread the... (Below threshold)
Mark S.:

Yep... i didn't misread the quote on the screen then.

Looks like Barney's begging the House Democrats NOT to pass the Senate version of the bill?

You'll notice that Barney i... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

You'll notice that Barney is hinting to Obama to start sucking up to Snowe and Collins again. Question is, are those two dumbasses stupid enough to listen after being kicked to the curb by Barry.

I don't know if Fr... (Below threshold)
Brett Buck:
I don't know if Frank has said anything similar before, but this is the first I am hearing it. It sounds to me like at least some Democrats have gotten the message and don't want to own this stinker of a health care bill.

Hard to say exactly why he seems to have had a change in heart - I presume he is looking into the crystal ball and seeing his future - but I read it as genuine. And it does seem quite responsible and statesmanlike.

I think the old-line Liberals like Frank are far more likely to consider the good of all than the current johnny-come-latelys like Obama, Pelosi, etc. Not that they are right about what to do or will change their spots, but I have never gotten the impression that they were actively doing something they knew was wrong. I can't say the same for most of them.

Of course, to get to be an "old-line liberal" you need to stick around a while, and you don't make a long career in politics by not being able to read the mood of the electorate and adapt.

Bawney Fwank "I am ho... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Bawney Fwank "I am hopeful that some Republican senators will be willing to discuss a revised version of health care reform because I do not think that the country would be well served by the healthcare status quo."

Revised version?

Status quo?

Bullshit, nothing short of a complete do over, one that doesn't completely remake health care, one that includes serious tort reform, includes serious measures to cut fraud from medicare and medicaid etc.

Until that happens Bawney Fwank can go fuck himself. [and his pot growing butt buddy]

"Question is, are those two... (Below threshold)
Rick13:

"Question is, are those two dumbasses stupid enough to listen after being kicked to the curb by Barry."

Answer: Yes, they are!

Hard to say exactl... (Below threshold)
Mark S.:
Hard to say exactly why he seems to have had a change in heart - I presume he is looking into the crystal ball and seeing his future - but I read it as genuine. And it does seem quite responsible and statesmanlike.

Disagree, Brett... i read two things out of the quote:

1) Barney sees a BUNCH of Democrats losing seats in the Senate if the House passes their bill unchanged... enough to give it back to Republicans? (Doubt it, but it's possible...)

2) If the Senate tries to go the reconciliation/Nuclear route, they're losing more than 9 Senators votes if they try it and he knows it's not going to work (fear of losing the Senate again? Possibly)

Genuine? The only thing Genuine is that BF sees some major loss, and he's trying to minimize it as quickly as possible by convincing the House Democrats not to pass the bill, and then they can figure out how to spin it back on the "41" Republican votes now.

Barney,......how's that bal... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Barney,......how's that ball gag taste now?

Pssst... an acute case of d... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Pssst... an acute case of denial here: [not to mention bush derangement syndrome]

"The reason Ted Kennedy's seat is no longer controlled by a Democrat is clear: Washington's inability to deliver the change voters demanded in November 2008. Make no mistake, political paralysis resulted in electoral failure," Stern of SEIU said.

"During the past year, Republicans refused to do anything but stand in the way of change and Democratic Senators took too long to do too little.

I predict this is the same thing you will see from the WH, all its sycophants, political operatives and most of the moonbats in congress.

These assholes not only think they know what they're are doing but worse, think they know what's good for America.

Andy Stern is so full of sh... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Andy Stern is so full of shit, it's pathetic.

Barney Frank's re-election ... (Below threshold)
Loyola:

Barney Frank's re-election campaign begins.

They are running scared now... (Below threshold)
Staylor:

They are running scared now. Half the Dems want to bolt and the rest want to pretend nothing had happened. I look forward to watching them eat each other.

Genuine? The only ... (Below threshold)
Brett:
Genuine? The only thing Genuine is that BF sees some major loss, and he's trying to minimize it as quickly as possible by convincing the House Democrats not to pass the bill, and then they can figure out how to spin it back on the "41" Republican votes now.

Of course he sees a major loss. That is exactly *why* I think he is serious about what he said. I am sure that if it was up to him we would have the most sickeningly socialist system that their diseased minds could devise. But they are cutting their losses. He wants to be *seen* doing the right thing and appearing ethical, so I think he will. That's the basic feedback mechanism of democracy.

I wonder though, if Frank a... (Below threshold)

I wonder though, if Frank and other top-dog Democrats really understand that if Democrats had originally made an effort to discuss the health care legislation with Republicans (and for that matter, treat constituents at Town Hall meetings with respect and listen to what they were saying) then they would not have lost tonight?

Funny how that works in a Democracy, isn't it?

A weak moment for Barney. ... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

A weak moment for Barney. His head still belongs a pike.

Finish well, Massachusetts, this flourish deserves an encore.

Brett Buck, you give Barney... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Brett Buck, you give Barney waaaay to much credit. Barney Frank is a disingenuous twat. He has a long and sordid history of saying reasonable things then acting differently. When he said, "I believe we could have worked out a reasonable compromise between the House and Senate health care bills."

What he would have loved to have added is: "...strictly between us Democrats including only our ideas.". He's lamenting the fact that they need to include Republicans now. You can read it in every word he says.

Well it is obvious that re-... (Below threshold)
Prairie:

Well it is obvious that re-election trumps party loyalty and old Barney is the poster board for that saying.

I am hopeful that some R... (Below threshold)

I am hopeful that some Republican senators will be willing to discuss a revised version of health care reform

Why lookee here, seems like the GOP has been putting all sorts of reform (as opposed to remaking) proposals all along. Except suddenly Obey-Won is going to be willing to meet with them. Suddenly the doors to the negotiation rooms won't be locked to them. Suddenly all their amendments won't go down in party line votes to defeat. Suddenly 'bipartisanship' will be reborn, actual bipartisanship, not the kind where one side says to shut up and get out of the way but vote for whatever is put in front of them or be insulted and degraded publicly.

CAreful about pressing for ... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

CAreful about pressing for removing that FIllibuster, Barney> If you push too hard you might end up needing and wanting it yourself.

Signed: Proud Member of the "Ungovernable Nation."

This was a defeat for commu... (Below threshold)
KansasGirl:

This was a defeat for communism.

Time to ramp up the campaig... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Time to ramp up the campaign ads using Barney's statements that there was nothing wrong with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and that Social Security was safe and sound and didn't need reform.

I don't care what Barney Fr... (Below threshold)
Hank:

I don't care what Barney Frank says.
He's a sanctimoneous, rude, pompous ass.
With any luck at all, he's going to be voted out also.

As on the National level, dems here in Ma never listen to the people. They might now, but it's too late.

Devals days are numbered and hopefully, so are Franks as the next elections draw near.

Barney Frank is just lookin... (Below threshold)
jim2:

Barney Frank is just looking for cover. The Dems could not pass any healthcare change simply because the House Dems and the Senate Dems could not agree with each other. Hell, they might NEVER have been able to do it.

Now, they have an excuse, and Frank has jumped on it.

As per the comment of Frank... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

As per the comment of Frank: That is what the republicans have been asking for from the beginning. No one was denying the current healthcare system is in need of modifying, just to the insanely large replacement of the system. ww

Last night over at MSDNC, M... (Below threshold)
Neo:

Last night over at MSDNC, Maddow and Kos took this election outcome as a sign that Democrats must now pass HCR even if it means "reconciliation"

Let's see ... Republican running as 41th vote against HCR in "bluest" state wins .. it's a sign the "blue" team must pass HCR by all means necessary. This level of political tone deafness is unbelievable. Talk about dense. Massachusetts voters weren't mad because there is no health care reform bill or Republican obstructionism.

Massachusetts already has a rough equivalent of ObamaCare with 98% coverage. They were mad because the party in power had lost it's mind and was on a spending spree that will damage our country for decades to come. Congress was writing checks that the taxpayers couldn't and now wouldn't pay. Meanwhile, the economy lays there .. like a greasy meatball. Let's hope Congress learns that every problem doesn't demand a solution from Washington, and just because you can doesn't mean you have to.

Perhaps there are Democrats who want to complete their "lemmings" death march as they kamikaze their way into the history books. Let's hope it's less than 50% of the Congress.

Let's see ... Republican... (Below threshold)
Jlawson:

Let's see ... Republican running as 41th vote against HCR in "bluest" state wins .. it's a sign the "blue" team must pass HCR by all means necessary. This level of political tone deafness is unbelievable. Talk about dense. Massachusetts voters weren't mad because there is no health care reform bill or Republican obstructionism.

The pols aren't playing this for the long term. They're acting like it's the last quarter of the Super Bowl, the refs have all been bribed to look the other way or lured off the field, and they'll do everything they can to win - regardless of the cost to the Dems down the line, or to the people of the country as a whole. That the political pendulum always swings towards the center is completely lost on them - they're trying to stop the swing and they're going to find that the pendulum edge is sharp enough to cut their political tenure into large chunks...

Anyone who thinks that Fran... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Anyone who thinks that Frank actually BELIEVES any of this is just the sort of gullible, soft-headed twit to whom the comment was directed. Frank is a typical leftist thug, a fact blatantly obvious from his snide, nasty remarks to critics or indeed anyone willing to ask a civil, though UNWELCOME question. He lied like a dollar watch at his "townhall", maintaining that illegals would NOT be covered by the existing health-care bill, knowing full well that it would not be legal to ASK if someone was in the US illegally!! When Frank becomes indulgent, watch out.

Garand: "If a conservative ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Garand: "If a conservative can take TEDDY'S seat, a conservative can take BARNEY'S seat. "

Easy there, fella. Don't confuse 'Republican' with 'Conservative'.

I'm glad Brown won, too, but he is a moderate at best.

Has it occurred to any of t... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Has it occurred to any of these jerks that Mass voters were speaking against healthcare "reform" because they've already gotten a taste of it through their own state "reform" and they don't like it?

Just a thought.

Guys, I think you were mi... (Below threshold)
Brett:

Guys, I think you were missing my point. Election results are the ultimate reality check, and for the most part the only reality for these guys. That's why I think his actions will be consistent with his words. i don't deny that it's self-serving, in fact, that's exactly my point.

The beauty of Western Society, and the American system specifically, is that it both recognizes and effectively harnesses self-interest. The founding fathers were geniuses in that regard. Socialism/Communism is intrinsically flawed and consistently fails precisely because it counts on everyone sacrificing or compromising their goals to "collective action". Individuals can do that, but as a group it's completely at odds with human nature. Our system forces and counts on even parasites like Barney Frank to act in his own best interests, and thus serve the best interests of everyone else.

Look at ol weenie washer do... (Below threshold)
olsoljer:

Look at ol weenie washer double speak. Could it be he remembers telling one of his constitutents talking to her was like talking to a table? Could it be the ghosts of congress past whispering "barney, you f ed up Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and social security? Is he hearing the footsteps of the independant voters of Mass catching up with him? Bend over barney, here it comes again! BOHICA

TAKING BACK AMERICA ONE ELECTION AT A TIME

Barney Frank is just lookin... (Below threshold)
914:

Barney Frank is just looking for cover. The Dems could not pass any healthcare change simply because the House Dems and the Senate Dems could not agree with each other. Hell, they might NEVER have been able to do it.

Now, they have an excuse, and Frank has jumped on it.

What? Did they add a NAMBLA provision?

Don't forget, just a couple... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Don't forget, just a couple months ago, Barney was pushing for the 'public option'. When asked why it wasn't in the Senate bill, he said "We'll get there."

Barney and Kerry need to be NEXT!




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