Bil Browning

Barney Frank: Smoke it if you got it

Filed By Bil Browning | March 24, 2008 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Barney Frank, dope smoking, legalized marijuana, marijuana, pot, pot smokers, wacky weed

Now that Congressman Barney Frank has lost a sizable portion of his LGBT support, he's apparently turning to pot smokers to shore up his base. The openly gay Congressman came under fire for abandoning transgender folks in an attempt to get some form of "gay rights" passed in this session of Congress. While protecting trans rights doesn't make the cut, he is willing to sponsor legislation making small amounts of marijuana legal.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against pot or dope smokers. I think weed should be legal. I just think Barney Frank has his priorities a little "altered."

Asked by [Bill] Maher as to why he would push a pot decriminalization bill now, Frank said the American public has already decided that personal use of marijuana is not a problem.

"I now think it's time for the politicians to catch up to the public," Frank said. "The notion that you lock people up for smoking marijuana is pretty silly. I'm going to call it the 'Make Room for Serious Criminals' bill."


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Whoa, Barney Dude!!! Excellent!!!

Dude says:
"That's a great plan, Walter. That's fuckin' ingenious, if I understand it correctly. It's a Swiss fuckin' watch."

I think pot should be legal too.

But Barney Frank is either naive or an idiot if he thinks his silly legislation has any chance of pushing back against the powerful alcohol lobby in this country who is adamantly opposed to pot legalization.

Then there are the wingers and the freepers who oppose the legalization of pot based on religious reasons.

Frank needs to retire and move to his house in Provincetown. His days as an effective member of Congress are behind him.

Michael Bedwell | March 24, 2008 12:25 PM

"Barney Frank has lost a sizable portion of his LGBT support"???? Huh? What are YOU smoking?

Is there some undisputed poll we've never seen?

Please don't start with some speculative math based on the cooked books of United ENDA. It's unfortunate enough that you're parroting the disingenuous party line about alleged "abandoning transgender folks" and "protecting trans rights doesn't make the cut."

Thanks.

Uh - if there is a party line - there's a party having that line Mike.

Your not being internally consistent in your criticism. You may not agree with the many people who have differing opinions from you - but - you can't wish them away.

Unless you've just been talking to yourself in all of your posts here.

Back to the Dude & the Barn:
The Dude: Walter, I love you, but sooner or later, you're going to have to realize the fact that you're a god damn moron.

I have noticed that there is a very bold line between the gay men who do not support having transgender people in ENDA and the LGBT people who support full inclusion. Those gay men who don't want to be associated with "transvestites, she-males and drag queens" think Barney is the next best thing since sliced cheese. (Or, is that "cutting cheese?" Whetever.) Everyone else sees the Barney as "the man behind the curtian," all show and no substance. If he had substance, one would think that his version of ENDA would have been passed during the Clinton years. So, like HRC, he has not one gay bill to point to as an example of what he has done for gay people.

Michael Bedwell | March 24, 2008 2:12 PM

Don't know to what inconsistency you're referring, Kathy [and it's "Michael," thank you], but there is a HUGE difference between supporting equality for transgender people and supporting the mere verbal inclusion in the language of a bill that by that inclusion would have condemned the entire bill to failure. That's not progress, that's simply typing.

Anyone is entitled to the OPINION that Frank should have done that but regardless, but, as you put it, you can't wash away the FACT that not doing it is ipso facto "abandoning transgender folks."

Without suggesting that he himself would apply it here, Evan Wolfson uses a marvelous expression that I think applies. Those who frequently employ the facile retort, "Bush would not sign any form of ENDA anyway so what's the harm in letting it fail in Congress?" don't understand the power of what he calls "failing forward."

Nor that preventing the bill's passage would simply be "failing."


Michael Bedwell | March 24, 2008 2:42 PM

Tied in nots...

Should have read, Anyone is entitled to the OPINION that Frank should have done that regardless, but, as you put it, you can't wash away the FACT that not doing it is NOT ipso facto "abandoning transgender folks."

Ummm, yeah . . . So many weed jokes, I don't even know where to start.

I'll just praphrase one of my favorite lines from Half Baked: "Have you ever seen the back of a $20 bill? Have you ever seen the back of a $20 bill . . . ON WEED?"

I'll give Barney flying colors if he can get this one passed.

Hi Bill. I'm gonna have to agree with Michael. Look folks, you can be mad at Congressman Frank for his stance on ENDA, but let's not talk as though the guy is akin to Sally Kern. Along with Congresswoman Baldwin, he's still the staunchest ally we have in the entire federal government. I'd venture to say he's spoken longer and more eloquently in his official capacity about the discrimination faced by transgender Americans than just about any other Member of Congress. And for the record, Monica, I'm willing to wait for a fully inclusive bill.

Michael; not having made the points you rebutted - I'll respond nonetheless.

But first I'll reiterate the point that was made - has Frank lost support? It's obvious he has lost some support (and respect) over this. Not yours - but - to deny that he's lost any is absurd. If he hadn't - you wouldn't be responding to this post.

Now - on to your point. If you say you supported including some people in a bill & then are the prime mover in dropping them from it - yes - you've abandoned them. You might think you have excellent reasosn for doing so - that doesn't mean they weren't abandoned.

And - falling forward would just as well have applied to a bill that covered both gender identity & sexual orientation should it have failed. But - we didn't fall over the finish line - we fell on our faces.

And falling forward while leaving gender identity out isn't falling forward for transgender people. It's insuring that it will take longer to pass protections for transgender people when it was unnecessary to do so as the bill wasn't going to pass. So - it's abandoning people with no tangible gain.

Really - do gay folks enjoy federal protections now? Will they before Bush is gone? So - what was gained? And even if you believe something was gained - why is it so hard to admit that something was certainly lost? Even if it wasn't you that lost it.

================
The Dude:
"Yeah, well, you know that's just, like uh ...your opinion, man."

Denis,
I thank you for saying you are willing to wait, but I have to disagree with you on him ever being an ally for transgender people. His record of leaving us out goes back to when he was a MA State Legislator. He helped to get a non-discrimination bill passed for sexual orientation only and to this day, there is still no job protection for my trans friends in that state. They are finally working on getting a bill passed as we speak. He has been against trans people from Day One, and any so-called supposed support he claims to have falls through whenever the rubber is suppose to hit the road. He folds like a cheap suit.

I have had personal run-ins with Barney and his mind always seems to be in the toilet . . . more specifically, the showers. It's an archaic arguement that has long since proven to be a non-issue. His support for this bill is a feeble attemopt to try and get something controversal passed so he can bluster out his chest like a peacock. I personally consider him "pealess."

Michael Bedwell | March 24, 2008 4:57 PM

1. Nowhere did I claim that Frank lost "no support." Your suggesting that I did, or that I even implied it, with all due respect, demonstrates the same kind of self-serving selective perception that you are applying to the subject generally, Kathy.

2. "Abandoned" is a purposely inflammatory and irrelevant word, as is its partner in disingenuousness "gutted" as in "gutted the bill."

3. Tammy Baldwin "failed forward" by introducing an amendment to add transgender people to ENDA and then withdrawing it because she understood that having it voted down would have, again, been a greater failure just as having a T-inclusive bill voted down would be a greater failure than having a less comprehensive bill pass after nearly 40 years but not signed into law was progress.

4. I shudder to think how those who demonize Frank for simply applying political common sense treat their parents who lied to them for years about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

self-serving selective perception, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are purposely inflammatory and irrelevant words. Mike.

And it's most certainly disengenuous to deny that transgender people lost something - and self serving. And honest appraisal would have to admit that even if one agreed with the bargain.

I shudder to think how those who demonize transgender people for simply disagreeing with their being excluded from a civil rights bill will act when the same happens to them. Wait - we know how you'll act. You'll disagree with it. I guess IOKIYG.
============================

Dude:
"Everything's a fucking travesty with you, man!"

beergoggles | March 24, 2008 6:45 PM

Shorter post: Oh noes, Barney can't multitask and push for several things at once.

Sarcasm aside, with the loss of Meehan who's been a trooper pushing for the rescinding of DADT and nary a peep from Tsongas who we hoped would be a forceful voice for us and has yet to prove herself, we still need him out there. He's a crotchety old man, but I'm pragmatic about these things and lacking a decent replacement for him, he hasn't lost any of my support either.

Michael Bedwell | March 24, 2008 6:46 PM

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Play nice, people.

Go Barney on this one.

Whatever about his other junk, he's right here. The War on Drugs is just a ploy to throw nonviolent people in prison and to make people feel safer even though they're not.

Gee, and I was about to post something about being careful with the rhetoric before the people with the pens come along. ;)

Guess Michael couldn't keep his hands off the china.

It would be nice to see this bill pass. There are many benefits, and little risk with it. The old argument that it is a "gateway drug", and will hook people on heroin, is disengenuous at best, and stupid at worst. Studies have shown that it just isn't true that people who smoke pot go on to use harder drugs.

Also, it would help ease the overcrowding in our prisons and jails, as well as ease the burden on law enforcement to enforce laws that tend to punish non-criminals.

I do agree though, it will have many opponents, the liquour industry, the usual collection of religious wackos, and the DEA, who would much rather go after potheads, who tend at worst to drool on them, rather than fight with guns over a bust.

@Denis:

I don't think I treated the Congressman like Sally Kern in the least.

Barney Frank has lost a sizable portion of his LGBT support

This is true, is it not? Would the organizations of United ENDA consider Frank they're favorite legislator? Or would Tammy Baldwin rank higher right now?

The openly gay Congressman came under fire for abandoning transgender folks in an attempt to get some form of "gay rights" passed in this session of Congress.

Again, true. No? He did come under fire - including from United ENDA - for allowing "gender identity" to be removed from ENDA. Since the reason given was that it was possible for ENDA to pass without the phrase, I think my description was accurate.

protecting trans rights doesn't make the cut

It didn't make the cut. ENDA was changed and "gender identity" was removed.

I have nothing against pot or dope smokers. I think weed should be legal. I just think Barney Frank has his priorities a little "altered."

I love weed. I don't think anyone should spend a day in jail over having a dime bag. But I also think that protecting transgender individuals from discrimination is more important right now.

ENDA has a possibility of finally making it's way through Congress - with or without gender identity. If more work needs done around the trans folk, then I'd rather see him work on that than throw out legislation that will never go anywhere.

It hasn't even made it out of committee.

It just pisses me off that Frank is willing to sponsor this legislation that he knows will have no chance in hell of succeeding this year or anytime soon, but was willing to give up so easily on transgender individuals when an extra push could have been magic.

I only support this bill if it excludes trans folks. They can be patient and wait for their own weed legalization bill.

Nick,
I think that Barney will support the pot bill, but at the last minute will make sure that you can't smoke pot based on your gender identity. Afterall, we can't have trans women with penises smoking marijuana in the women's showers.