April 8, 2009

Having watched-- with a great deal of pride-- Barney Frank's congressional career for nearly 3 decades, it's with a real sense of awe that John and I are hosting him live today at Crooks and Liars. I hope you'll join us in the live comments forum to get to know the man who Roll Call rated the 7th most powerful member of the House, the man who Out just named the 5th most powerful gay person in America, and who is surely rated by Republican members in Congress as the person they least want to tangle with.

In fact the Chairman's unflappability gave me the idea of marrying his images to a classic Tom Petty song, "I Won't Back Down," something he has earned the reputation for never doing. Please enjoy the music, but also enjoy the Chairman looking very much like he's about to give Fox-thug Bill O'Reilly a coronary as Bill-O the Clown's attempts to ambush and bully him fall dismally flat. Last month when a barely literate obstructionist Missouri Congressman with a very fancy toupee attempted to read a staffer's talking points blaming the Bush-Republican economic meltdown on Barney, the Chairman let loose with a rebuttal that Todd Akin is probably still puzzling over and trying to comprehend. When congressional staffers vote in the semi-annual Washingtonian poll, somehow Todd Akin doesn't get mentioned but the Chairman always comes in at the #1 brainiest, the #1 funniest and always in the top 3 hardest working and top 3 most eloquent.

The Almanac of American Politics describes every member of Congress, They go on and on about Barney but before we start our conversation with the chairman, I thought I'd share a few lines with you:

In the House, Frank quickly gained a reputation as one of the smartest talkers and best debaters in the chamber-- maybe one of the best of all time. Frank listens to others’ arguments and engages them in his inimitable rapid-fire delivery... He is admired even by Republicans for his intellectual rigor and honesty; at the same time he is a wily political operator. He does not profess to be a political theoretician, though few in the House exceed him as such.

(h/t Heather)

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