Open Thread: Barney Frank Should Live A Thousand Years

[For the record: I had this in draft *before* BettyC’s last post.]

In the New Yorker, Isaac Chotiner — who is usually smarter than this — get his lunch handed to him: “Barney Frank Defends Nancy Pelosi from Her Critics“:

To discuss the state of the Democratic Party, and Pelosi’s leadership, I spoke by phone on Monday with Barney Frank, the former congressman, who represented his district in Massachusetts for more than three decades in the House before retiring, in 2013. He is best known for his outspokenness and his role in crafting the eponymous Dodd-Frank Act, which sought to regulate the financial industry after the crash last decade. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed why he thinks the criticism of Pelosi is unfair, whether there is a divide in the Democratic Party, and his belief that this dispute is not really a generational one.

What have you made of the internal split between Pelosi and some of her members?

I’m disappointed by it. I think the first thing to say is that it is not nearly as big a split as people think. They are a fraction, a splinter. The overwhelming majority of the Democrats agree with [Pelosi]. Frankly, I think there is a conspiracy among Ocasio-Cortez, the media, and the Republican Party to make her look much more influential than she is. Every time I debate a Republican, they want to talk about them. And I think, in fact, that there is not such a big splinter. There have always been, on the Democratic side—Howard Dean, etc.—people who are very passionate and are frustrated because reality isn’t as pliable as they wish. They are people who I think make the fundamental mistake—I often agree with them on substance—but they make the fundamental mistake of thinking the general public is much more in agreement with them than it is, and forget about or just reject the notion of trying to figure out how to get things done.

I agree with you that Ocasio-Cortez represents a minority of the Party, even though I think she is probably fairly similar on politics to [Bernie] Sanders and [Elizabeth] Warren, who I think combined make up a somewhat—

No, here’s the fundamental difference. I said I agree with a lot of them on substance. The issue is not substance. I have worked very closely with Elizabeth Warren. The fundamental difference is that these people—certainly Ocasio-Cortez—they appear to think that the majority is ready to adopt what they want, and it’s a strategic and tactical difference.

Elizabeth Warren would never have had a sit-in protesting Nancy Pelosi. It’s a matter of how you go about things. It is their view that the only reason that their platform isn’t being adopted is the political timidity, maybe the malign influence of money. The notion that there is significant political opposition among many people, including maybe a majority on some issues, they disregard that and denounce other Democrats, saying they don’t have the courage. It’s not the courage. We don’t have the votes sometimes. Sanders did that a little bit more. Elizabeth never does that…

I understand not wanting to do impeachment, even if you think the President deserves to be impeached. I understand—

By the way, two-thirds of the House Democrats agree with [Pelosi].
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Russiagate Open Thread: One Step At A Time…

Note carefully, he’s not disagreeing with Pelosi — this is the next step in the essential choreography to block off every Repub bolthole:

Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, who as recently as last month cautioned Democrats about the perils of pursuing President Trump’s impeachment, now says the House should open an impeachment inquiry that might or might not lead to a formal effort to remove him from office.

“It’s not the right thing to do nothing,” Reid said in an interview Monday with USA TODAY. “It’s not the right thing to jump into impeachment without doing an inquiry.”

The most important goal, he said, would be to “give the American people a view of what’s going on.”

The House could establish an impeachment panel to investigate the allegations that some say amount to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” necessary under the Constitution to remove a president from office. But such a panel wouldn’t necessarily vote to impeach Trump — that is, to approve Articles of Impeachment that would send the process to the Senate for a trial….

Reid’s comments are also notable because he had what he called “a front-row seat” at the nation’s last impeachment trial, when Reid was Senate minority leader. Then, the Republican-controlled House voted to impeach Clinton, but the Senate didn’t convict him in the trial that followed.

That impeachment effort rebounded politically against GOP candidates in the 1998 midterm elections.

Reid acknowledged the potential political blowback and the likelihood that the current GOP-controlled Senate would never vote to remove Trump from office…

In the end, he said, “I just think that Republicans are going arm-in-arm with Trump, right over the cliff.” But he said public opinion might be affected by a systematic effort to explore allegations that Trump tried to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation and engaged in other wrongdoing….








Ohio Jackals – Contact Info For Your Legislators

If you are enraged about Ohio’s vile forced-pregnancy bill (H.B. 182), debbie has compiled a list of the sponsor and co-sponsors the members of the Insurance Committee who began hearings on the bill last week.. I’m going to put them below the fold. Keep in mind that the Insurance Committee is hearing the bill and is not responsible for it. The Sponsor and Co-Sponsors want the bill to become law. Write, call, demonstrate! Let these people know what you think! Read more








Registration tables vs. Mortality tables

American politics right now is basically a race of the registration tables against the mortality  tables.

Charles Franklin has a great graph on Twitter looking at mid-term voter participation rates by age for 2010, 2014, and 2018.

There are a few take-aways here. First, the probability of voting by age pretty steadily increases as cohorts age until about age 75 or so and then it drops off. Secondly, the slopes are fairly similar over time; it is a matter of levels for the differences in turn-out.  Young voters increased their voting rates faster than almost any one else in 2018.

Age is a strong dividing line. Pew shows this nicely from a poll in January 2019:

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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Tell It, Senator Warren!

As is her wont, Warren is serving as point-person here. And — as is hers — Speaker Pelosi is proceeding, with all due deliberation, along the same path: