Barney Frank 'appalled' by Obama administration
No longer in office and safely on a Congressional pension, Barney Frank is doing some truth-telling about the Obama administration. Speaking with the Huffington Post, he expressed dismay with the party’s lame duck president. Zach Carter writes:
President Barack Obama made a major political mistake by lying about the details of his health care plan, according to former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
"The rollout was so bad, and I was appalled -- I don't understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis," Frank told HuffPost during a July interview. "But frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. That wasn't true. And you shouldn't lie to people. And they just lied to people."
Now, for all his faults, Barney is a smart guy. It’s puzzling, therefore, that he doesn’t understand that the reason Obama just “sat there” was that this is all he knows how to do. He’s not a hands-on leader, preferring to let others do the hard work while he shoots hoops, plays golf, and schmoozes with people at parties.
As for the lying part, again it’s obvious that the plan wouldn’t have passed if he’d told the truth.
"He should have said, 'Look, in some cases the health care plans that you've got are really inadequate, and in your own interests, we're going to change them,'" Frank said. "But that's not what he said."
Sorry, Barney, that sort of condescension doesn’t sell. Red state Democrats wouldn’t have voted for a plan sold on that basis.
Barney also reveals his own conception of the truth:
"Any smart political adviser would have said, 'Don't lie to people, because you're gonna get caught up in it and it's gonna have this tsunami that you now have,'" Frank told HuffPost. "My political motto, very simple. I have always told the truth, and nothing but the truth. But I don't volunteer the whole truth in every situation."
In other words, it’s fine to mislead people by withholding information, just don’t lie in a way that is so blatant there will be fallout.