Thursday, September 25, 2008

Crises Dispel Reputation Myths

John McCain has a reputation as a gung-ho, serious he-man "warrior dude". Barney Frank has a reputation (in many circles) as being an effete lightweight.

And yet in this economic crisis we see what these men really are like underneath. I'm no fan of Frank, but as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, he plays an essential role in brokering the bailout deal currently being negotiated in Washington, and he seems to be doing a reasonable job. That's in contrast to McCain, who only thinks he plays an important role, and is actively gumming up the works.

And so, in this crisis, we end up with an interesting situation where the "he-man" acts weak, confused and scared, and the soft-speaking gay man* from uber-liberal Massachusetts behaves strongly and decisively:
Frank says that House and Senate Democrats have agreed upon what should be in the Wall Street bailout legislation. This morning Frank, his Senate counterpart -- Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn. -- and top Republicans will meet to try to hammer out a final agreement. He was optimistic.

“All of a sudden, now that we’re on the verge of making a deal, John McCain drops himself in to make a deal," Frank said. "I really worry about this politicization of it."

"Frankly, we’re going to have to interrupt a negotiating session tomorrow between the Democrats and Republicans on a bill, where I think we’re getting pretty close, and troop down to the White House for their photo-op, and then come back and get on to it," Frank said.

“We’re trying to rescue the economy, not the McCain campaign,” he added.

* Lest anyone accuse me of saying gays are weak in this article, let me be clear that I am saying the exact opposite. Frank has the reputation I mentioned in some quarters in part
because of his orientation, and my point is that such views are frequently based on bigotry and not reality.

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