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More from Barney Frank

Timothy Kincaid

September 14th, 2012

This year does not seem to be experiencing “a wave” (the change in political direction that shifts the make-up of the House). So, unless there is some anomaly in voting patterns, it is fairly likely that the Republicans will continue to hold the House of Representatives this fall, and with a significant margin. Barney Frank is doing what he can to make sure that one of them isn’t gay.

“The fact that Richard Tisei is openly gay is a good thing.” Frank said. “The problem is that it is of no use to us.”

Frank said if Tisei were elected, his first vote would be to keep Republican Rep. John Boehner as House Speaker. Boehner has opposed efforts to repeal the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act that denies tax, health and other benefits to married gay couples.

The fact that Tisei supports efforts to repeal the law is beside the point, Frank said.

“If he is helping them keep the majority that is irrelevant because the bill will not come up,” Frank said.

I think it is unlikely the bill will come up because DOMA isn’t going to withstand its Supreme Court challenge. Nor will electing Tierney encourage Boehner to present the bill.

But, in any case, Tisei certainly doesn’t share Frank’s no-gay-Republicans philosophy.

Tisei said the fact that he’s Republican is a good reason to back him, noting that most political observers assume the GOP will retain control of the House. Tisei said he’d be in a better position to advocate for the state with House leaders since Tierney would be in the minority party.

Tisei also said his election would be another step forward for the country.

“As a gay person we will never have true equality until we have people on both sides of the aisle who are willing to stand up for the concept that everybody should be treated fairly under the law.” Tisei said.

Personally, I too think our community desperately needs an out unapologetically gay congressperson in all parties. And I think that Tisei would be rather effective. He has shown himself to be skilled Senate Minority Leader and appears to have been respected. I suspect that, unlike many Republican house members, he is far too politically savvy and connected to be shuffled off into a corner. And I think that his assertion that his election would “send a strong message” has merit.

But I guess we’ll never know, if Barney Frank has his way.

Comments

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Lord_Byron
September 14th, 2012 | LINK

“I think it is unlikely the bill will come up because DOMA isn’t going to withstand its Supreme Court challenge. ”

I have a feeling that with the current make-up of the supreme court they would uphold DOMA as constitutional. We all know where all the old justices stand on LGBT issues particularly Scalia, so I am forecasting it will be held constitutional and if it is not well then we get to look forward to Romney, if he wins, possibly tilting the court even more conservatively.

Robert
September 14th, 2012 | LINK

I see you cannot resist the allure of hanging the albatross around your own neck.

And Frank is correct. If a republican is elected they will support the party, just as always, and Boehner won’t let it come up for a vote.

Keep spinning. I also find it hilarious that you think both parties should have unapologetically gay congress people, unless of course it’s Barney Frank. Your obsession is starting to make you look bad.

Tim
September 14th, 2012 | LINK

As a voter in the district where Tisei is trying to get elected, I think you’re kidding yourself. The national Republican party will do no favors for Tisei; they’ve barely tolerated Brown in the Senate.

And what do you think Tisei ever accomplished in the state senate?

MattNYC
September 14th, 2012 | LINK

I am slightly more optimistic than Timothy about the Democratic re-taking the House. Unfortunately, the sooner Romney implodes, the more time that Rove/Koch/Alderson and company will have to dump zillions into Congressional races.

There are some atrocious freshmen tea-baggers who are in trouble from traditionally Blue districts.

When I lived in Bethesda, MD, a far-left Republican (Connie Morella) used to get elected every time. But her vote in the first week of every new Congress for Speaker reminded everyone of the consequences of voting for her and eventually she got toppled by someone who voted for a Democratic Speaker. If the Democratic candidate loses to the Gay Republican, it doesn’t make up for him essentially handing the keys to the nut jobs on the Right and you can bet your a** Tisei won’t end up on any committees with any powers. I’d feel differently if Tierney were a blue dog, but he’s a solid Progressive.

So I will give money to him and not to Tisei. Because I refuse to ENABLE the GOP to continue to obstruct progress.

MsRowena
September 14th, 2012 | LINK

It’s unlikely that overturning DOMA could make it through both the House and the Senate. Parliamentarian tricks will keep it from making it through the Senate regardless, unless the Democrats had something like a 63-vote majority, to compensate for those who somehow weren’t present for the vote or for their own reasons voted against us or abstained.

Thus it’s not logical to decide to support or not support Tisei on the basis of DOMA. It is logical to consider it on the damage Boehner could do. But the odds are not great that that Republicans would lose the House without Tisei, without that one representative in place. So that’s not a strong issue. And Tisei actually has a better voting record on social issues, including not just gay ones or ones of orientation equality, but mental health, elder care, whistleblower protection, etc., than do many Democrats.

So, what am I saying? If you figure it out, please let me know, lol. I like the relativistic path. I can’t crab about Timothy too much here, because he’s advocating something I’ve done and will do again in my life: supporting the gay over the straight simply because he (or she) IS gay. There’s not a whole lot of difference between Tisei and his opponent on many issues, after all.

I certainly have hired gay men and women over str8s when I was in a position to do a lot of hiring, some years back, because I felt we had been held down and held back by society for so long, we deserved a damn break. How many times did WE not get the job because they guessed or suspected or knew we were gay? So I’d be a hypocrite to bitch at someone else for doing what I myself have done, and with no regrets.

What Timothy is proposing is basically the same in many ways as affirmative action back in my youth, and I certainly had no problem with that then or now.

But, Timothy, perhaps you could start a blog devoted to your opinions and perceptions of Barney, and direct your postings here to other matters. You seem more than a little obsessed with him, and determined to prove that you are “right” and everyone else is “wrong.” It honestly doesn’t seem healthy.

I’m all for tilting at windmills and bucking the crowd. But if your purpose is to persuade others, there’s something to said for giving things a rest once in a while. These back to back postings on Barney (and I actually don’t like him much) seem OCD-ish.

When people with opposing views keep getting backed into opposite corners, not much is going to be communicated anyhow. And if nothing’s really being communicated, other than “I’m right!” “No, I’m right!” ……… well, what’s the point?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my Necco Wafers. I don’t love all of them equally, but I damn sure love them all.

Richard Rush
September 14th, 2012 | LINK

I agree with Barney Frank. I don’t expect to ever vote for a Republican again in my lifetime. And for many years I was registered as an independent. My problems with Republicans go far beyond gay issues. Nelson Rockefeller wouldn’t recognize the GOP today.

David Waite
September 14th, 2012 | LINK

I hope you’ll have the grace to apologize to this community on 11/07/2012, for this demonstration of political ignorance and inattention to current events.
“This year does not seem to be experiencing “a wave” (the change in political direction that shifts the make-up of the House). So, unless there is some anomaly in voting patterns, it is fairly likely that the Republicans will continue to hold the House of Representatives this fall, and with a significant margin.”

On second thought, when the Democrats narrowly take the House and hold onto both the Senate and the White House on 11/06, please don’t feel you owe us an apology for expressing your honestly-held opinion. Just write a very short column saying “I was wrong, and maybe someday I’ll figure out why, but please don’t try to help me out in your comments.”

David Waite
September 14th, 2012 | LINK

@ MsRowena: On 01/03/2013, 50 Democratic senators and Vice President Joe Biden will change the Rules of the Senate, for the 2 year life of the incoming Congress. Thereafter, 50 senators and the president of the senate will pass whatever the 51 of them wish to pass. This doesn’t mean that legislative overturn of DOMA will necessarily occur, but it won’t take 63 votes in the Senate to pass water anymore.

tristram
September 14th, 2012 | LINK

@David Waite –

“On second thought, when the Democrats narrowly take the House and hold onto both the Senate and the White House on 11/06 . . . . ”

Wow! I wish I could muster that sort of optimism. I think it’s more likely the R’s will take all three – and with them the Supreme Court. A GOP sweep, even though it might include victories by the likes of Tisei and Scott Brown, would be viewed as a mandate for teaparty policies including the socially conservative anti-gay policies that are being espoused at this very moment at the ‘Values Voter Summit.’

And the SC justices notice such things. If there’s a GOP sweep (and particularly if 3 or all 4 of the marriage equality referendums also go against us), the DOMA/Prop 8 cases will all be decided against us or decisions delayed until Romney can add a couple of his NOMinees to the Court.

David Waite
September 15th, 2012 | LINK

Obama will get at least 315 ECVs and I’m being deliberately as conservative as possible in that estimate. The Senate is beginning to look more and more like a Democratic caucus hold. Angus King will caucus with the Dems and Bernie Sanders will continue to do so. Tester will hold his seat. Hirono will win Hawaii. McCaskill will hold her seat. Ohio and Florida are both holds for Democrats. The caucus will lose Nebraska, may lose Connecticut, but might pick up North Dakota (!)

Winning the House is iffy, but the Dems are, for a number of reasons, better positioned to take it back than the GOP are to retain it. I’d only bet 5 bucks on Dems taking the House, but I’d bet 25 on them keeping the Senate, and a grand on never ever hearing the word president followed by the name Mitt Romney. At this point Mitt’s father has a better shot at the presidency than he does.

None of my conclusions are based on or informed by optimism. They are based on a lifetime of successful interpretation of pre-election data. There are factors at work in 2012 that make this a likely wave year: The GOP have stonewalled government while being in government for 3 and a half years. American voters have noticed that, and are somewhat annoyed about it.

The R/R ticket’s most signature achievement is to give the impression of producing a disaster a day, and the candidates haven’t even debated yet. The pool of undecided voters is historically low historically early. Although the economic numbers should doom Obama’s re-election chances, the GOP would have had to produce a at least halfway credible plan and promoted it. They are now stuck with both the Ryan budget and denying the Ryan budget, sometimes in the same sentence.

Thanks to the Koch-fueled Tea Party, the daily more outrageous and transparent lies of both Romney and Ryan, the GOP’s clearly missing alternative for the recessed economy and lost jobs and the GOP’s inability to win women, latinos, blacks or young people, the Republicans have snatched defeat from the jaws of a victory that should always have been theirs for the taking. Turns out, they can’t pick that ripe fruit because they’ve cut off their own hands.

Andrew
September 15th, 2012 | LINK

A vote for Tisei is a vote for the GOP leadership. Happy to talk shop and do the gay bonding thing. But I really can’t stomach more GOP leadership in Congress. Why would I vote for some guy who’s going to side against us along party lines in order to keep his seat?

Donny D.
September 15th, 2012 | LINK

David Waite,
Where do you see Republican voter suppression measures playing into all this?

David Waite
September 15th, 2012 | LINK

Donny D,
I see Republican voter suppression measures actually hurting the GOP in 2012. Two months ago though, voter suppression was still my big worry, especially in Florida and Ohio. It didn’t worry me over Pennsylvania even then, for the same reason it no longer worries me in Ohio. It will still have some influence over Florida’s turnout.

But the Dems don’t need Florida, as long as they take the ECVs of every state which has been solidly blue for months (PA, MI) or for years –and Ohio. Virgil Goode’s presence on the ballot may well help return Virginia to Obama’s ECV count, but he doesn’t need them to reach 270.

The GOP ticket has no path to 270 ECVs without Ohio’s 18. Even if the GOP wins all the other 7 “battleground” states –and that won’t happen either– they still can’t hit 270. They must win Ohio, and this year they won’t. The state is polling 50% Obama, 44% Romney and only 5% undecided on 09/14. Ohio is over.

Voter suppression only works effectively when the state in question polls as within the margin of error of an aggregate of non-partisan polls, right up to election day. Once a state’s voters have firmly decided for one side or the other by any amount beyond that MoE, voter suppression no longer works.

Note also that it is difficult to apply in most states successfully if the DoJ is watching closely, and then agressively fighting each state’s attempts in federal court. It always has to be narrowly and unequally targeted against Democratic-leaning voter blocs while sparing GOP-leaning groups, and that is always easy to spot and to rule against.

In Florida, in 2000, the GOP openly and completely illegally purged 15,000 black voters from the roll of eligible voters and the Democratic Party failed to challenge those purges effectively pre-election. It would have been simple to challenge, based on the decades-old civil rights/voter suppression judgements against Florida and other Southern states.

Nader didn’t defeat the Democrats in 2000 and the butterfly ballot didn’t do the trick either. The Gore campaign’s failure to challenge those 15,000 purges did the job of leaving Florida (with an illegally stopped recount shut down by threat of violence) close enough for those SCOTUS members who will forever be known in future legal history as the FFD to do what the SCOTUS of 1876 wouldn’t have dared to attempt.

Ohio in 2004 needed to suppress or completely deny the votes of both poor and middle class blacks, college students and working women, by selectively denying voting machines to those strongholds, and the Dem-leaning state had to be within the MoE for the complex of tactics used to successfully throw it to the GOP. The outcry over that made the state institute changes in 2008 that prevented those tactics from being deployed, and the Dems took Ohio’s ECVs.

This year, the state GOP’s attempt to roll back the reforms of 2008 have been vigorously and successfully challenged by the Dems in federal court. The attempt itself, along with other GOP overreach and a despised-by-Ohioans R/R ticket, have all backfired against the GOP and placed Ohio well outside the MoE. Voter suppression won’t factor into who wins Ohio’s ECVs this year.

John
September 16th, 2012 | LINK

Sure, vote for a Republican simply because he is gay. Maybe, as part of the House majority (not such a sure thing anymore) he’ll work on the inside for gay issues. At the same time he’ll be working on all the other issues that will lead to the downfall of this country.

Doug
September 16th, 2012 | LINK

@David Waite

“The state is polling 50% Obama, 44% Romney and only 5% undecided on 09/14. Ohio is over.”

Nope. Obama is leading by just 3.5 % in the most recent state poll average, and political guru Nate Silver of the NYT is still giving Romney a 1 in 4 chance of winning the state. To say Obama has locked up the state with 7 weeks to go before the election is silly. He has locked up New York and California, not Ohio.

Doug
September 16th, 2012 | LINK

If the Democrats win a slim Senate and House majority in 2013, I doubt that even then there would be the votes for a DOMA repeal. Is there near unity in the Democratic caucus in opposition to DOMA? I doubt it.

And I wouldn’t count on them eliminating the filibuster. We’ve heard that tune before…

Robert
September 16th, 2012 | LINK

@Doug:

A 26 percent chance of a Romney win in Ohio, is pretty much a sure bet that Obama is going to win it. I find it HILARIOUS that you (so it seems) just couldn’t bear to write 26 % but had to phrase it in terms that look better for Romney. A 1 in 4 chances of winning sounds better, I suppose, but it doesn’t change the fact that he only has a 26 percent chance of winning the state. Pretty rare for anyone to win a state that at 7 weeks out is only a 26 percent chance of them winning.

Robert
September 16th, 2012 | LINK

@Doug, in the Senate there is indeed a near unity on the issue of DOMA repeal, since the Senate Democrats already got the Respect For Marriage Act out of the Judiciary Committee with a passage in that committee. It also has a coresponding bill in the House that has over 150 co-sponsers. So yes, we could very well see this brought to vote in both chambers if the Democrats gain full control. Not to mention, just having the Dems take the House would change a ton in regards to DOMA. If the House goes Dem then the Democratic Speaker can stop the House defense of DOMA as Speaker, just as JB used his position to defend it. That would be a huge boon.

Carlo
September 19th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy,

Are you even capable of reasoned argumentation anymore? At least MsRowena made some sense in her reasoning. Lately you’re work just comes off as playground bullying. Are you suffering from an ego-trip? Cause it’s really tarnishing your work.

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