Brent Hartinger

Barney Frank Press Conference

Filed By Brent Hartinger | October 12, 2007 12:28 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barney Frank, ENDA

Agree or disagree, it's worth a watch. Sadly, I think much of this debate has been people talking past each other, assuming the worst possible motives about the other side.

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The problem, Brent, is that we assume the worst motives of Barney Frank and the Human Rights Campaign because we're proven completely justified in doing so as often as we now, for example.

Barney Frank could have done a lot of things here, but what he chose to do was encourage his colleagues to ignore the community's lobbying efforts and pass a non-inclusive bill instead. Nancy Pelosi not only went along with Frank on this, but is clearly trying to offer him and the Human Rights Campaign as much political cover on this as she can.

The reason we have for assuming the worst is because when these people are involved, it's only the wealthy elite who they have any real interest in listening to.

You're proven right how? You know his motives based on his actions? You've lost me.

My whole point is that some people are assuming that he is not motivated by a genuine disagreement over political strategy, but by some bad faith resentment about transgender issues. You're assuming that Barney Frank (one of the most liberal members of congress, incidentally) is driven by the concerns of the "wealthy elite," that he's not acting because he believes his actions, his strategies, are what's best for the WHOLE community in the long run. You apparently KNOW that he's not concerned about the reelection prospects of freshman Democrats in Republican-leaning districts. No, he selfishly stabbing people in the back.

Do you see my point? I understand, you violently disagree with Barney Frank on this issue. But we as a community simply must stop all this name-calling and slandering of each other, these accusations that we're operating in the worst possible faith.

Why can't Barney Frank just disagree with you on this issue, pratical, strategic terms? He lays out his arguments effectively in that press conference. You can agree or disagree with him, but they're based on logic, based on his understanding of how Congress works.

Disagree with him, fine, but do it based on your own idea of strategy, your own logic. Calling him a "whore" (as someone did yesterday), and a back-stabber, and all the, I can't communicate what an incredible turn-off I think that is.

Some people express it differently, but the sentiment is the same, and no less valid. They all spouted trans-inclusiveness when it was the PC thing to do...right up until it started to inconvenience them in the slightest way...then they dropped all that PC pretense and immediately threw us under the bus.

While I try to personally phrase it a bit better (usually), Barney Frank is, in fact, a backstabber and a political whore...what's more, he's just clearly defined for both the LGBT Community and the US Congress exactly what his going rate for Transgender-American lives is.

Personally, I believe the time for being genteel and mild-mannered is over. It's gotten us nowhere. It's time to get out in the streets and into the media, and raise some hell.

Yes, let's demean and attack our political allies, and on a spiteful personal level too. Better yet, let's go do it out in public, for the media to document and see. Like I said, it can't POSSIBLY be that there's a genuine disagreement about strategy here; it can't POSSIBLY be that Barney Frank, considered one of the smartest people in Congress, genuinely thinks that this his is the best, and fastest, way to get rights for ALL our community, including trans folks. No, he's a whore, he's a backstabber, he hates trans folks, wants to throw them under the bus, etc. etc.

I don't know if Frank is right about strategy, but it's becoming clear to me that he's definitely about the irrationality of some of those attacking him.

Well, when the man tells us all we need to lobby and educate more, and then takes to the floor and the press in an attempt to convince people not to listen to our lobbying and educating, that is backstabbing and hypocrisy. Granted, it may be backstabbing and hypocrisy motivated by genuine strategic thinking, but it is still backstabbing and hypocrisy.

When the man keeps repeating over and over that we weren't there when he needed us, even though he was telling us that he didn't need us (by saying that it looked like they had the votes), that's finger-pointing and shirking personal culpability.

When he says over and over that trans people and our allies have our heads buried in the sand, that we can't handle the truth and don't understand the real world, that's just using personal attacks to cloud the issues and make your opponents look bad.

So how, exactly, is it hard to understand why so many of us hate the man and/or view him as - not just an ally with a different opinion - but an active and dangerous enemy?