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eisely

I agree with Barney Frank

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Yes, she brought the discussion into the gutter, but Frank showed his real character when he followed her down there and wallowed in in with her. I expect elected representatives to show more character and restraint...and take the high road when offered a choice. No, Frank is not Scout material...for a variety of reasons. I think he's a buffoon, not unlike many of his colleagues and predecessors.

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Barney Franks response is light years from the disgusting nature of the protester he was mocking. To equate his statements with that of the women is disingenuous at the least.

 

If one of my Scouts started screaming Nazi at a meeting, it would be signs up, and the Scout would be removed from the meeting. We would hold an SMC at the earliest point. If he insisted that (to keep the analogy going) our local DE was a Nazi / Fascist / Communist / Socialist - I would ask him to explain to me his understanding of the term Nazi / Fascist / Communist / Socialist. If I found out he is just an idiot who is disrupting Troop meetings with his idiocy, he would no longer be welcome in my Troop.

 

I disagree with Barney Frank on many of his policy stances. However, I have no problem with how he treated this idiot. We should NOT give legitimacy to certain groups on the fringe. They do NOT deserve our respect, as they have not earned it. They exist only to destroy, never to build. I have no issue with protest, but the Godwinization of political discourse should not be tolerated.

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First, Horizon, I hope you would never refer to one of your scouts, or any child for that matter, as an idiot.

 

Second, courtesy isnt about giving respect only to those who have "earned it" but to all. One can vigorously, disagree without the use of insult and personal attack. Behaving with courtesy does not lend legitimacy to the other persons stance only recognizes their right to freely express their opinion, how ever ridiculous. This women's absurd position could have been addressed without the sarcasm and insult Frank used.

 

When a congressman holds a town hall meeting...it is open to the public, all of them, and they, as elected officials should expect that they will see the spectrum: rich & poor, right & left, educated & simple, etc. They, in addition, should be willing and able to constructively deal with what they hear and are confronted with at such meetings.

 

What Frank did wasnt courageous and it certainly wasnt helpful. We are not going to defuse the level of vitriol in our current public debate by use of mockery.

 

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Even "idiots" have first amendment rights. Thank God. Otherwise, a lot of politicians would be unemployed.

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I would not call a Scout an idiot, no.

 

But I would toss him out of the meeting for acting in a similar fashion.

 

Barney Frank had no obligation to treat that woman as anything other than a lunatic. Perhaps his language was questionable, but she deserved to be thrown out of the meeting. I have ZERO tolerance for people who wave the Nazi flag like she did. They need to be told to shut up and leave the room until they can act properly.

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You don't get to shout fire in a crowded theater.

You don't get to use racial epithets in my Troop.

You don't get to scream nazi at a townhall.

 

Your rights end where others begin. Disrupting a meeting is not practicing the First Amendment.

 

I have no obligation to give equal time to the Klan, and Barney Frank is welcome to tell a person at a meeting that he has called an idiot, and point her towards the door. Given how she was acting, I have no issue with it.

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Just curious...what about the Afro-American flag. Or the gay rainbow flag? Or the Gadsden Flag...or the Mexican flag...or the POW flag....or the...just where DO you draw the line? When you start whittling away at people's constitutional rights, it gets complicated real fast. Which, I believe, is the reason for her protest in the first place. And Frank confirmed her worst fears..."unless you agree with me, you're a lunatic (or racist) and have no right to speak." Hmmmmm...sounds REAL familiar to those who bothered to pay attention in History class.

 

"you don't get to scream Nazi in a townhall"..umm, I think the SCOTUS would disagree on that one. We all have the right to be offensive. If Frank can't stand the heat, then don't have a public meeting. That's what MY representatives did.(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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The First Amendment does NOT give you the right to a platform. I am under zero obligation to provide you with a printing press, a computer with internet access, or a microphone at a meeting that I have called.

 

There is also a difference between heat "Mr. Congressman, how are you going to pay for this given that we are already running a massive deficit, massive debt, and can not even run Medicaid or Medicare well?" and idiocy "The President is a Nazi!" The first is a tough debate, the second deserves nothing but contempt.

 

A Town Hall is held to engage in discussion with rational human beings. I have no problem drawing a line that puts someone who thinks that Obama and Nazis are remotely related on the other side of that line. She is welcome to wave her sign and flag in the public square, but in the meeting the big kids are talking.

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Horizon,

I didn't read anywhere where this woman was accused of disrupting the meeting. She had her turn at the microphone and asked the question "Why are you supporting this Nazi policy?"

 

The question might be ridiculous but I don't see it as being disruptive. You wrote "Your rights end where others begin", I dont see how anything she said stepped on anyone elses rights.

 

"You don't get to shout fire in a crowded theater." - Correct

"You don't get to use racial epithets in my Troop." - A private group, you can do what ever you like.

"You don't get to scream nazi at a townhall." - Not so sure this would stand up to a legal challenge. If your disrupting the meeting maybe if your following the rules of the meeting, I wouldnt think so.

 

I would fundamentally disagree with you that opposing or offensive views can and should be censored at governmental events such as town hall meetings. If you as a private citizen wanted to hold a meeting to talk about a policy topic, it would be one thing for you to limit the discussion. I think it is entirely something else for an elected offical to do it at a public event. If Frank didnt want to answer the question or thought it didnt warrant an answer he could have said just that.

 

The test in our belief in First Amendment rights isnt in our willingness to allow speech we agree with or at least tolerate, its what we do when we hear speech that makes our blood boil.

 

The underlying issue is there is a great deal of change being considered regarding healthcare but not much information about what the real impacts of this change will be (both good and bad). I think the President and our Congress has done a horrible job of communicating the specifics other than to say we cant keep the status quo.

 

This absence of information makes people nervous and worried, contemplative of the worst possible outcome.

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by erickelly65)

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Interesting question whether or not the town hall meeting should be considered the public square, and therefore open to all comments and participants. Bush used to limit attendees at his meetings, and the Left protested - so it is only appropriate that the Right should protest if a member of the Left does the same.

 

Perhaps Mr. Frank would have been better to answer, "That question deserves no response. Next person please." The intent would be the same, the answer perhaps more palatable. I personally have no respect for people who claim "Nazi" every time something is not going their way.

 

Interesting side note that Mr. Frank only voted "present" for the censure of Mr. Wilson, and commented that it was all a waste of time.

 

As for the Health Care issue - I agree that the President has done a poor job of communicating on this issue. The problem being that this issue is simply too complicated to easily communicate in sound bites, bumper stickers and 30 second TV advertisements.

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I have noticed that people very often determine whether something is "right" or "wrong" depending on their political party, and the political party of the person committing the act.

 

For example, a left-wing nut might say, "You're a Nazi" to Dick Cheney and Democrats would say that's acceptable speech while a Republican would call it unfair and uncivil. Then, when a right-wing nut says something similar to Barney Frank at a town hall, the Republican says "free speech" and the Democrat says, "but it's true, talking to her really is like talking to a table." In the end it's just a bunch of partisan politics.

 

Next time people get fired up about something political, take a step back and think about whether you would come to the same conclusions if you did not know who the characters involved were. Or better yet, whether it even affects you enough to cause you to get fired up.

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>>I would ask him to explain to me his understanding of the term Nazi / Fascist / Communist / Socialist. If I found out he is just an idiot who is disrupting Troop meetings with his idiocy, he would no longer be welcome in my Troop.

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I am not speaking from either side of the isle. I simply think people should behave more civily and courtousely. This should start with our elected officials, who should act in a manner fitting the honor bestowed on them by the voting public.

 

As a practical matter, I think it is impractical to think that berating, mocking and insulting people that are acting poorly will some how generate better behavior. To the contrary, the back and forth sniping on topics such as these is only taking our polictical process in a downward spiral.

 

 

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Thanks, Eric for explaining it better than I did. Was the lady rude and boorish? Of course. But a "townhall" meeting is open to the public and is conducted at the taxpayers' expense, including Mr. Frank's salary and benefits while he conducts them. Therefore, Mr. Frank has an obligation to listen to all opinions...not just the ones which agree with his. And I don't remember her actually using the word "Nazi"...she was just holding that Hitler poster which I also find distasteful. I may be wrong about that, though.

 

And a little about the term "Nazi". As one who was almost fluent in German at one time, the term comes from the "National Socialist Democratic Workers Party" or "National Socialistisch Demokratisch Arbeits Partei", or NSDAP. The first two syllables of the word "National" pronounced in German comes out "Nazi". Of course, Adolph Hitler turned out to be an evil person and gave the word "Nazi" a bad reputation, when originally it was just another political party. Just like he did to the Swastika, a native American good luck symbol used by Baden-Powell.

 

But there are a lot of Americans who believe that the term "National Socialist" describes perfectly what's happening to the United States right now, and that's why you hear BHO described in those terms...not that we believe he will try to commit genocide. It's about his policies and the attitude of "I know what's best for you, therefore this is the way it's going to be, like it or not".

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Scoutldr as I bet you know the political platform of the German national socialist party was not exactly about providing better social services to all...

 

People who don't understand the historical context of names and phrases might, indeed, attempt to argue that the words "national" and "socialism" are somehow an apt combination to describe what Obama is doing. But to anybody with any historical knowledge of inter-war and WW II era German politics, that's a pretty big leap to make.

 

 

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