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Can Barney Frank Acknowledge his Mistakes?

Until recently, I never thought particularly highly of Bill O’Reilly. I found him boorish, self-important and a bit arrogant. He didn’t seem to allow his guests to express themselves. But, then once, I saw a bit of a conversation he had on the issues raised by the Terry Schiavo case. I was impressed at how well he understood the complexity of the situation.

Later, I saw (and read) portions of his interview with Hillary Clinton, again, tough but fair. It helped elevate my opinion of that Democrat whom I didn’t much care for. And he was aggressive in pursuing Obama for his non-answers in their exchange.

But, not until I saw him confront Barney Frank did I full appreciate the TV host’s style:

Despite being one of the major players on the House Banking Committee, Frank did little in his tenure to push for reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. To be sure, he did get his reform bill through last year, but he’d been blocking reform going back at least to 1992, one year after he moved in with a Fannnie Mae executive.

In the summer of 2003, when “Freddie Mac’s multibillion-dollar accounting scandal” became public, the Massachusetts Democrat said, “I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis.” Later that year, he claimed Fannie and Freddie posed no “threat to the Treasury.”

Yet, when O’Reilly confronted him, Frank attempted to shift the blame to Republicans and the Administration. Barney leaves out how frequently he thwarted the Administration’s numerous pleas for reform. To be sure, given the scope of this crisis, there is much blame to go around. And many Republicans deserve considerable opprobrium.

Their responsibility for this mess pales in comparison to the Massachusetts Democrat.  Indeed, few Congress have as long a record of blocking reforms at Fannie and Freddie as does Barney Frank. (Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd may have a claim on that crown.)

At this time of year, we Jews examine our past, look at our mistakes and seek to correct them. Barney seems to have forgotten the spirit of the season; he won’t acknowledge any responsibility for the current mess. Kudos to Bill O’Reilly for calling him on that failure.

In any other industry, someone would a record like Barney Frank would have long since lost his job.

It’s simply amazing that this man who was so for so long spectacularly wrong on Fannie and Freddie’s financial health seek to pass judgment on Republicans who tried to do something to reform those two government-sponsored enterprises before their collapse posed a threat to our Treasury (a threat that Democrat dismissed).

For his past mistakes alone, Frank should step down as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.  His failure to take responsibility provides one more reason we shouldn’t have this man as the helm of this important committee as Congress attempts to fix teh current mess — and prevent it from ever happening again.

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31 Comments

  1. This clip is the same reason O’Reilly is both so good and so bad. Yes, he was right to get really angry at Frank, but he does the same thing to a lot of other people who don’t deserve the same treatment.

    Comment by Mitchell Blatt — October 6, 2008 @ 10:27 pm - October 6, 2008

  2. Thank you for posting this, GPW! I commented earlier on the “Waxman Holds No Hearings…” post and I was all doom, gloom and depression in light of Frank getting away with labeling GOP criticism of his performance “racism.” But then I saw the O’Reilly clip and felt much better. I’m not a big fan of O’Reilly either because I’ve never really dug his style, but his handling of Frank tonight was perfection. I really just wanted someone to yell at that loser and that’s exactly what O’Reilly did. Love him or hate him–it’s just downright refreshing to see one of the elites get a dose of O’Reilly’s unhinged, screw-the-pleasantries bullying.

    Comment by Sean A — October 6, 2008 @ 11:04 pm - October 6, 2008

  3. He must be feeling some heat to unleash the race card.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 6, 2008 @ 11:05 pm - October 6, 2008

  4. #3: I really hope that’s what it is, TGC. I was thinking that earlier, but I was feeling far too pessimistic to type it. Could it be that Frank is feeling some cold winds blowing behind the scenes from the same places that gave him a pass for running a hooker-ring out of his own house? God, I hope so. Afterall, the one good thing about the race card is that it is always the last card played, usually out of desperation. I really hope he plays a price for this–not just for his involvement in this mess, but for his unmitigated ARROGANCE that anyone would dare to suggest that perhaps it’s time to let someone else have a turn on that precious committee of his.

    That’s what gets me. It’s not like anyone is calling for him to give up his seat in Congress and demanding that he return to Massachusetts and live out the rest of his days behind closed doors (though that would be nice). We are talking about a COMMITTEE CHAIR. Two federal lending institutions have literally turned upside-down on his watch, necessitating a $700 billion taxpayer bailout, and he’s acting prissy, offended and downright mortified that anyone would suggest that he step down from his financial services committee position. Why, the very idea!

    These people are unbelievable.

    Comment by Sean A — October 6, 2008 @ 11:37 pm - October 6, 2008

  5. Frank was on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal a few weeks ago, and serveral callers were slamming him on his role .. and he dodged and deflected all criticism… typical

    Comment by Vince P — October 7, 2008 @ 12:06 am - October 7, 2008

  6. Two federal lending institutions have literally turned upside-down on his watch, necessitating a $700 billion taxpayer bailout, and he’s acting prissy, offended and downright mortified that anyone would suggest that he step down from his financial services committee position.

    Sort of like how Pelosi is acting all huffy about people expecting her to follow the ethics rules she endorsed.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 7, 2008 @ 12:24 am - October 7, 2008

  7. Watching Blowhard O’Reilly may have provided catharsis for some viewer but I just can’t stand the guy and don’t know why anyone would appear on his show. His “guest” serve as little more than props and punching bags.

    What would be really cool is to get Frank cornered by Brit Hume, Chris Wallace, or (can’t think of anyone at the Big-3 or CNN)…. a reporter able to ask probing questions and then sit quietly while Barney twists in the wind. I can dream.

    There was probably a time in the past when men of honor would 1) refrain from this sort of corruption OR 2) resign if they were caught.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — October 7, 2008 @ 12:25 am - October 7, 2008

  8. Seems some of you guys anticipated my next post on Barney throwing around the racism charge.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — October 7, 2008 @ 2:09 am - October 7, 2008

  9. His “guest” serve as little more than props and punching bags.

    Well, if I think you’re full of shit, I’ll tell you. I’m not going to act like the king on The Princess Bride and say “Won’t that be nice?”. Call me unsophisticated, but I prefer a simple bullshit! to hifalutin words like Dan or National Review, God love ‘em, use.

    Not to mention that it jams a finger in the eye of the PC crowd. Eschew Obfuscation!

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 7, 2008 @ 3:07 am - October 7, 2008

  10. As far as Chris Wallace goes, I’d of given a paycheck if he had broken BJ’s finger when he was jabbing him. I would have started a legal defense fund for Chris.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — October 7, 2008 @ 3:09 am - October 7, 2008

  11. You know, whenever I see Barney Frank on TV, all I can think is:
    1) He needs a comb
    2) He needs a shirt that fits
    3) He needs to learn how to tie a tie
    4) He needs his put his teeth in
    How do the people of MA really want him to represent them?

    Comment by The other Peter H — October 7, 2008 @ 7:33 am - October 7, 2008

  12. [...] Can Barney Frank Acknowledge his Mistakes? [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Has Barney Frank No Shame? — October 7, 2008 @ 7:42 am - October 7, 2008

  13. How do the people of MA really want him to represent them?

    The people of Massachusetts also give us Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Bill Delahunt. Not too mention depraved pervert Gerry Studds, who was re-elected 9x for doing what Mark Foley only dreamed about.

    I’m convinced the people of Massachusetts just hate America, and so they repeatedly send the most wretched scum and villainy to Washington.

    Comment by V the K — October 7, 2008 @ 8:19 am - October 7, 2008

  14. SoCalRobert — October 7, 2008 @ 12:25 am

    Ditto. The shoutfest was somewhat cathartic, but it was a missed opportunity to really crush Frank’s career and drive a stake in the meme that this is the fault of deregulation and “8 years of bad policies” on the part of Bush.

    Comment by Laura — October 7, 2008 @ 9:13 am - October 7, 2008

  15. 10 points for Mos Eisley reference.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 7, 2008 @ 10:27 am - October 7, 2008

  16. #11: Barney Frank is a slobbering Looney Tunes reject. Whenever I see him “speaking” on television, all I can think is:

    SUUUUHHHFFFERRRIN’ SUUUUHHHCCCOTASSSHHH!

    That and:

    YOOOUUU’RRRE DESPICABLE!

    Comment by Sean A — October 7, 2008 @ 10:32 am - October 7, 2008

  17. But Frank wouldnt “twist and turn”. It’s easy to forget with that unfortunate impediment of his, but he is actually a very shrewd intelligent and very weasley man. He can weasle his way out of just about anything.

    Wouldnt hurt to contact your representatives and the queen bitch herself.

    My prediction: the homophobe card is next.

    As for O’Reilly, he’s an ass. His tirades are obviously performances. I dont think he’s as stupid as he appears, worse, I think he intentionally dumbs down his content, which shows in what regard he holds his audience.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 7, 2008 @ 10:34 am - October 7, 2008

  18. #15: These aren’t the droids we’re looking for:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2008/10/04/video-the-obligatory-obama-youth-fraternity/

    Comment by Sean A — October 7, 2008 @ 10:36 am - October 7, 2008

  19. then again, sometimes I think he is exactly as stupid as he appears.

    Comment by American Elephant — October 7, 2008 @ 10:36 am - October 7, 2008

  20. ummm, are you sure that you all aren’t missing the root cause of it all??? CDSs!!! but then again narrow vision yeilds narrow thought.

    Comment by michael — October 7, 2008 @ 11:02 am - October 7, 2008

  21. What do Compact Discs have to do with Bawney Fwank being a crapweasel, Mikey?

    Comment by The Livewire — October 7, 2008 @ 11:56 am - October 7, 2008

  22. First, I vote we have michael explain what exactly the acronym means, since there is an Obama talking point circulating that doesn’t. Let’s see if the lower-case folks actually are doing any research before they open their mouths.

    The reason I think he isn’t is because, if he actually knew anything about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he would realize their business model is as follows:

    1) Buy loan from mortgage originator

    2) Package loan as mortgage-backed securities with a guarantee that the interest and principal will be paid

    3) Sell mortgage-backed securities to investors

    In short, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were themselves encouraging banks to make these bad loans, purchasing them, packaging them as securities backed by a guarantee that they would pay off, and then selling them to investors — all under the direct order of Barney Frank and Congressional Democrats to do exactly that, and over the objections of Bush and McCain, who thought it was too risky.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 7, 2008 @ 12:29 pm - October 7, 2008

  23. ignorance can be bliss. but before any of you start pontificating about blame and cause, i would suggest you familiarize yourselves with the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. and if you can’t figure out, spend a few bucks on Antonia Juhanz’s, “The Tyranny of Oil”. ya betcha, goll darnit, she’s the theodore roosevelt of our time.

    Comment by michael — October 7, 2008 @ 12:38 pm - October 7, 2008

  24. I don’t particularly dislike O’Reilly. I don’t like talking heads, period, and that includes Hannity. Still, O’Reilly has a popular show that a lot of people watch, and it’s good he did this, since the MSM has been carrying water for him and the Dems on this issue.

    Comment by rightwingprof — October 7, 2008 @ 12:55 pm - October 7, 2008

  25. And the Obamabot spews out another talking point rather than answering the question.

    The funny part is that now the Obamabot is attempting to blame a law that was pushed, signed, and endorsed by Bill Clinton, and that passed in the House with the full support of the Massachusetts delegation, which includes Barney Frank.

    And he still hasn’t demonstrated that he even knows to what CDSs refers — which, coupled with the fact that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were clearly involved in repackaging and selling risky mortgages as securities with the full consent and support of Barney Frank, Barack Obama, and Congressional Democrats, leads me to believe that he doesn’t know and in fact was just repeating Obama talking points.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — October 7, 2008 @ 1:40 pm - October 7, 2008

  26. Is the two-year-old claiming that Big Oil runs America? Huh? Funny how even though they run America, they’re not allowed to drill anywhere.

    Comment by V the K — October 7, 2008 @ 2:51 pm - October 7, 2008

  27. [...] see Barney Frank refuses to take any responsibility for the mortgage mess.  He accuses Republicans of racism when they fault government programs for causing the [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Crybaby Barney Frank Plays the Gay Card — October 29, 2008 @ 7:48 pm - October 29, 2008

  28. [...] federal bailout money, that self-important House Financial Services Committee Chairman with an incapacity to admit mistakes now seeks to extend those salary curbs. So, even if you don’t take federal money, in [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » The Best Thing Barney Frank Could Do For Gay People . . . — February 7, 2009 @ 1:45 pm - February 7, 2009

  29. Mr Frank is an embarassment to the Democratic party, and a humiliation to the US democratic process. Short-tempered, vain, petty, and willfully ignorant of any responsibility he personally has for decisions that have hurt millions, it is shamefull that he sits in self-righteous judgment over anyone in the economic crisis he helped foment. If he had the character he hypocritically portrays himself as having he would resign and go home. The only consolation to the US is that history will include him in its growing list of powerful but dangerously ruinous members of Congress. I doubt he is corrupt, in the sense of taking bribes, etc. The only reason he is probably not corrupt is that he doesn’t have the intelligence.

    Comment by ODIrony — March 19, 2009 @ 8:20 am - March 19, 2009

  30. Mr Frank is an embarassment to the Democratic party, and a humiliation to the US democratic process. Short-tempered, vain, petty, and willfully ignorant of any responsibility he personally has for decisions that have hurt millions, it is shamefull that he sits in self-righteous judgment over anyone in the economic crisis he helped foment. If he had the character he hypocritically portrays himself as having he would resign and go home. The only consolation to the US is that history will include him in its growing list of powerful but dangerously ruinous members of Congress. I doubt he is corrupt, in the sense of taking bribes, etc. The only reason he is probably not corrupt is that he doesn’t have the intelligence.

    Comment by ODIrony — March 19, 2009 @ 8:20 am - March 19, 2009

  31. [...] I first became a fan of Bill O’Reilly when I watched him take down Barney Frank, I feel it only fair that I commend the Massachusetts Democrat for his recent appearance on the [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Barney Frank Explains his About-Face on ACORN — September 25, 2009 @ 2:40 am - September 25, 2009

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