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This is video from last night after President Obama's address to Congress and the "GOP" Response:

Transcript over the jump. . .


Joining us is Congressman Barney Frank, a Democrat of Massachusetts, he is Chair of the House Financial Services Committee.  Mr. Chairman, thanks for making time to come on the show.

REP. BARNEY FRANK, (D) MASSACHUSETTS:  Thank you and it‘s a pleasure to be with you.

MADDOW:  It‘s nice to meet you in person.

FRANK:  Thank you.

MADDOW:  Let me ask you about something that happened tonight that was unexpected and that I didn‘t expect to have to ask anybody about.

A Republican Member of Congress named Joe Wilson of South Carolina screamed, "You lie" at the president tonight, interrupting his speech.  Is this an "ignore the tantrum" moment or is that a big deal?

FRANK:  I don‘t think it‘s a big deal.  Look, I think free speech—you know, heckling is a tradition, obviously, in the British parliament.  They even have mikes that come down to hear the heckles.

I think what we should take it as—it is unusual—it‘s a sign of how effective the president was.  These guys just couldn‘t handle it.  I looked at John Boehner and he looked about as glum and as dour as—as possibly he could be.

So what Joe Wilson did was just scream out in frustration because the president was nailing it.  So we‘ve got to be very clear, Wilson lied when he said the president lied.  And he talked about illegal immigrants.  It‘s clearly excluded from the bill.

So I would say what Wilson did was a mark of their frustration.  And Barack Obama is a big boy. I think, I must say, to any Republicans particularly like Joe Wilson who want to get into a debate with Barack Obama is tugging on Superman‘s cape and pulling the Lone Ranger‘s mask.  But if that‘s what he wants to do, free country.

And he's exactly right, what the Republicans did last night was a HUGE FAIL. No SANE person thinks what they did was good, responsible, or mature. They acted WORSE than children do. Rahm said it best, no President has ever been treated like that. They are losing, and after last night's speech they will continue to LOSE. President Obama held out the olive branch, he praised them where it wasn't due, he's incorporated their ideas (including the red herring about tort reform). And how do they respond? They continue to lie about the plan the Democrats want to advance. They continue to be rude. They continue to show their lack of class and their true colors.

Even on the death panel LIE (which has been repeatedly debunked) only 4 Republicans stood up and applauded.

According to The Hill’s Walter Alarkon, the only Republican senators seen standing and applauding Obama’s dismissal of the "death panel" myth were Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Judd Gregg (R-NH). "Four or five House Republicans also appeared to stand and applaud Obama’s remark, but it’s unclear which ones they were," writes Alarkon.

Indeed, I just saw a segment on MSNBC where a Republican Representative from Texas REFUSED to flat out say that what Joe Wilson did last night was WRONG. That's how far gone the Republican Party is.

But Rep. Frank wasn't done:

MADDOW:  Were the Republicans tonight in a more so—in a more sober response are asking for everything to start over again.  They are saying let‘s go back to square one.  They say that‘s what Americans are demanding.  That everything that‘s happened so far has been wrong foot and they want a restart.

FRANK:  Well, what they really want to do is go back to square one and judge the reaction.  I mean, one thing you have to be very clear, when people said does this have to be bipartisanship?  Let‘s be very clear that since this bipartisanship really goes against the notion of democracy.

We had an election in 2008, and the Democrats won the presidency, significant majorities in the House and the Senate.  We don‘t all agree on everything but there were clear differences.  There were clear differences.

And one of the great things the president did today—and I don‘t agree with everything he said—but he articulated the philosophy of a liberal governance in a very good way about what‘s the private sector—public sector, interrelationship?

The Republicans represent an extremely conservative faction. The notion that those of us who won the election with a solid majority should compromise 50/50 with those who lost, well, then why not (INAUDIBLE) why do we just have to make a cover war?  Let‘s make it camp.  And it just didn‘t make any sense.

And this notion of starting from scratch—in the first place—I already had a first place.  In the second place, if they wanted to start from scratch, why didn‘t they?  They haven‘t put anything forward.

What‘s been stopping them from January of this year from coming forward with their plan?  The answer is they really don‘t have anything constructive to do.

EXACTLY. WE WON. And now I think the Democrats are going to start acting like winners again. We took our lumps in August, and we were largely divided (even on this site), but I really think last night's speech is going to be a rallying point for Democrats, Progressive, Moderates and ConservaDems alike.

When the Republicans come to the table with REAL ideas and without all of the lies and the bullshit, then we can take them seriously. Until then, we should ignore them.

MADDOW:  When the president was talking about—about liberalism tonight, about the idea that government has a constructive role to play, I thought that was important just—not even in terms of health care but just in terms of his presidency.

FRANK:  Yes.

MADDOWN:  Because I haven‘t heard him make that argument before.

FRANK:  No and then it would be particularly relevant to what I happen to be working on now, which is financial regulation.


FRANK:  Ronald Reagan in 1980 won, his first inaugural, my first year in Congress, said government is not the answer to our problems.  Government is the problem.  Of course, switch to the Bush administration when they were running up and down on Wall Street saying, we‘re from the government and we‘re here to help you.

But it was the absence of government not restraining the excesses of the financial sector that caused this great problem we‘re in.  And yes, the president hadn‘t done that.  And it‘s interesting that he did that at the same—and this annoyed me a little bit—it was this "oh, you on the left and you on the right.  It‘s kind of like I‘m above the battle."

I think the president underestimated when he came to office exactly how right-winged the Republicans are and I‘m glad he asked them today to join.  I have no great hopes for it because they are in the control of the most conservative.

Knowing how right wing the Republican Party has become, my only bad moment with Barack Obama during the campaign was when he said he was going to be post partisan and I got post-partisan depression because I knew that that meant dealing with these people.

So I think he was in effect—I guess—I‘m talking too much—their extreme reactionary posture forced him to articulate what he may have previously thought we could take for granted, this liberal approach to a private sector, public sector cooperation and I agree with you, he did it very well.

MADDOW:  One of the things that I thought—I—was interesting in the sense that it was thought provoking and not at all on the surface level, obvious what he meant when he was doing that riff about the importance of governance and about the idea that liberalism is something that ought not be conflated with big government.  It should be seen as springing from a desire to help one‘s fellow man and help one‘s fellow citizens.

One of the things he said is that we will sometimes say that timidity is the only form of wisdom.  And it seemed to me that, that was the unexpected shot in the middle of that—the shot in the middle of that round.  

FRANK:  Again, I think they forced him to—to get to the basics. I think he may have thought that they were more reasonable than they are; this collection of loons that you scrolled down there.

I got to say, those people, if anybody needs a health plan in America it‘s those people who are in severe need of mental health services; this lunacy about mandatory abortions and death.  By the way, there is a political faction in America that would have the government intervene in what should be the most private moment for people when they are dealing with the last breaths, with when death is there, and that is an intensely private thing.  And government shouldn‘t be in it.

But it was the right wing and in the Terri Schiavo case that got involved in this.  So if you do believe government should stay out of that terribly intimate decision, then the people to fear are the right wingers who drove the Schiavo bill.

But the one thing that is very rational in their decision-making about what to do about health care reform is that they are making a ton of money off of it, that they have energized their own base, that they have sort of brought the Christian right back to life, at least in their own estimation.

They think that this is a big issue for them not necessarily because they‘re going to win but because it‘s going to stoke people up that are going to support them.

FRANK:  Coming back to life is after all a very fundamental part of Christian doctrine.  But it‘s a nice blend for them of cynicism and stupidity, some of them know better.  Some of these people talking about death panels, I think some of what Newt Gingrich said.  He‘s a smart man who‘s just being cynical.  Some are just dumb and don‘t understand it.

But I will say this, the one thing I take comfort for, when I‘m in a debate with people, if they are making cogent points against what I think is very important, I get a little nervous.  I noticed last week in "The New York Times" that the responsible conservatives are starting to complain now that the arguments against the Obama plan and against our efforts for health care are being dominated by the crazies.  That‘s their fault.

They were very happy to have the crazies getting out there doing Hitler stuff and et cetera.  I think the problem is they don‘t have good arguments.

When people make ridiculous arguments against something, it‘s because that‘s all they got.  They can‘t deny it would be good to improve health care‘s efficiency or to extend it to people who can‘t have it or to protect people against arbitrary cancellations from the private companies so they come up with death panels and mandatory abortions.  The very weakness to their argument is it‘s testimony to the strength of ours.

MADDOW:  Congressman Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, chairman of the banking committee.  It‘s really nice to have you here.  

FRANK:  Nice to have you in Washington.  Come back again.  

MADDOW:  Will do.  Thank you.

FRANK:  Ok.  

And there you have it, the crazies have taken over the Republican Party. President Obama and the Democrats, in good faith, went to the Republicans in Congress and attempted to negotiate in good faith, and they got slapped repeatedly. Now we are hearing that Democrats are meeting amongst themselves to get it done without Republicans. Meanwhile, I'm still hearing Republicans whine about "government run healthcare" even though Obama stated clearly and unequivocally that there will NOT be government run health care. They are STILL lying about public support for the public option even though every poll states differently. We all know by now that we can't take the craziness of the early August townhalls as the truth of how the American people feel.

The thing is, President Obama won last night's public opinion polls. That's why the Republicans were acting like recalcitrant school children last night. They know they are about to lose, and I for one think they have done everything possible to earn that defeat.

   These swing voters reacted strongly to Obama's message. Support for Obama's plan jumped 20 points, from 46 percent before the speech to 66 percent after. Importantly, Obama also achieved one of his principal goals of boosting the intensity of support. Prior to the speech, just 2 percent of these swing voters supported the plan strongly while 26 percent opposed it strongly; by the end of the evening those numbers were virtually reversed, with 28 percent supporting the plan strongly against just 8 percent strongly opposed. The president was also extremely successful in moving the needle on areas where progressives have struggled over the last few months, making great strides in reassuring voters on issues like the deficits and taxes, seniors and Medicare, choice and control, competition and costs, and government intervention.

Older independent voters came away from the speech more supportive of health care reform and feeling that the president had addressed some of their concerns, according to the AARP.

Their national survey found that 77 percent of independents had concerns about health reform coming into last night's speech and 72 percent felt that some of those concerns were addressed. Sixty-three percent of independents considered themselves "more supportive of the proposals being talked about related to health care" after the speech was over.

Considering he's winning over the middle, and the left is coming back home for the most part, the Republicans have every reason to be afraid.

UPDATE: Here's the guy that refused to say Wilson was wrong. And good for David for not letting go.

THAT'S what we're dealing with. SMH

Originally posted to Muzikal203 on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 01:00 PM PDT.

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