Politics

Barney Frank: Don’t interrupt me

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Jonathan Strong
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      Jonathan Strong

      Jonathan Strong, 27, is a reporter for the Daily Caller covering Congress. Previously, he was a reporter for Inside EPA where he wrote about environmental regulation in great detail, and before that a staffer for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA). Strong graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in political science in 2006. He is a huge fan of and season ticket holder to the Washington Capitals hockey team. Strong and his wife reside in Arlington.

In his first debate with his Republican challenger today, the famously cantankerous Rep. Barney Frank discussed many issues. But on none was he as passionate as telling his opponent to stop interrupting him.

On eight separate occasions throughout the radio debate, Frank protested that Sean Bielat, his challenger, was interrupting him. And lest one thinks The Daily Caller is being petty – we got the idea from Frank, who was counting himself.

Frank started early. “Can I just ask what the rules are? Can I ask what the rules are about interrupting?” he urgently asked the debate’s moderator.

A short while later, the interruption issue erupted.

After Frank offered a less than sympathetic characterization of what Bielat had just said, Bielat interjected to clarify, at which point Frank said, “Mr. Bielat, please stop interrupting me.”

Bielat retorted that, “Before I had opened my mouth, you said to stop interrupting me. I know that’s one of your favorite debating tactics.”

“I haven’t interrupted Mr. Beilat once,” Frank said, which was false — he had interrupted him twice. “He’s interrupted me four times,” Frank complained. Indeed, it was true, or at least, that was the fourth time Frank complained about it.

The moderator, who frequently appeared exasperated with the interrupting meta-debate, asked the two to cool it. “Why are you guys so tense with each other? We can just relax and have a conversation,” he said.

Frank explained that, “I’m not tense, but I find that the voters don’t like it when people interrupt each other.”

The fifth time Frank complained about Bielat interrupting him, he said “I’m sorry, Mr. Bielat!”

The sixth time Frank complained about Bielat interrupting him, he actually denied his interruption obsession was a debate tactic. “Mr. Bielat thinks complaining about interruptions is a debating tactic. It’s, not. It’s really an effort to have things said that he might not like to be said. He distorts what I say,” Frank said.

The seventh time time Frank complained about Bielat interrupting him, he again said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Bielat!”

At this point, interruption was a gorilla in the room, and Bielat mocked Frank, saying “You’re interrupting me, you’re interrupting me!” and then laughing. Frank claimed he hadn’t been.

The eighth time, Frank sarcastically asked, “May I?” before speaking and then offered this sarcastic take: “I’m going to say some things you may not like, and I hope you can hold off while I finish. “

Frank, who recently morphed into a nice guy who cares what people think, was far less acerbic than his normal self, at least for most of the debate. It was only when he was interrupted that he could no longer help himself.

  • gibralto

    I am convinced Barney Franks & Boston beans is a direct descendant of the Flintstone family. And only in Taxachussetts would a prehistoric elected official keep winning.

  • votersofny

    How does a moron like Barney Frank keep getting reelected? Oh I forgot, it’s Massachusetts where the dumbest voters on the planet are.

    They kept reelecting a murderer for decades by the name of Ted “the murderer” Kennedy.

    They also have Senator John Kerry who got 3 purple hearts in Vietnam for what were basically scratches requiring only a band-aid. If a someone gets injured 3 times, they can transfer out of a combat zone, which is exactly what Kerry did. He went back to the states after 4 months.

    Then there’s the RINO Senator Scott Brown.

    Yeah, there are some really dumb voters in that state.

  • Supernatural Witness

    Bawny Fwank can’t even pwonounce intewupt. However, we conservatives don’t oppose him for being gay or dorky or his lisp. We oppose him because he is a liberal of the worst kind and having him regulating banking is the like having the proverbial fox watching the hen house. He more than any other person in govt is personally culpable in the subprime mortgage debacle.

    Most voters never really pay attention to what their congressman are actually up too. Bawny has received quite a lot of media exposure in the last two years. Perhaps, this will help unseat him.

  • dahni

    Frank has been smart enough to keep telling people what they want to hear and thus continuing to get re-elected. He will do whatever is necessary to maintain his exalted position. I’ve never seen him in a conversation; he has the habit of talking over everyone and of being unable to stop talking. He is a source of behavior which is anathema to what we middle Americans need just now.

  • tom kinney

    The Blarney is comically rude. To everyone. Every single time I’ve seen him interviewed on TV, and for some unknown reason, he’s on a lot, he pulls this stunt. Often he threatens to leave the set, a tactic that works because on live TV it’s death for that to happen. It’s his schtick. I agree with Pink that he’s intelligent, but his manners are antediluvian and his personal hygiene is at red alert levels. Beware ye who venture too near The Blarney.

    My suggestion is that The Blarney take some social skill refresher courses and learn how to treat other humans like….well, other humans, providing he is one in the first place.

  • recovered dem

    Saw this elsewhere and it is too apropos not to post it!

    Word on the street is:

    If only Barney had kept his Frank out of Freddie Mac’s Fannie, we Mae not have ended up in this mess …