The Gentleman from Massachusetts

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Many of you may have seen Barney Frank not letting Republicans speak on the floor of the House.

Many of my friends on the right think Frank was being unreasonable, a fascist, or whatever. They are wrong. Frank was in the right, totally, 100 percent. He was following the rules, and the Republicans were not. You may question Franks' motivation for strictly enforcing the rules at this time, but that's beside the point: you don't bring a knife to a gunfight. Learn the rules.

Maybe I am biased because, like Frank (my former Congressman, whom I campaigned against), I am from Massachusetts where we had annual town meetings and every year normal citizens would file into the school auditorium with their pet issues and these normal citizens would have Rules fights and the chairman would rule not on the issue, but on the following of the Rules. The Rules matter.

In MA we love the Rules, and no matter what your issue is, if you don't know or can't follow the Rules, that's your problem. Oh sure, for newbies we would bend the Rules a little, give them ample opportunity to do it right, and help them figure it out along the way. And indeed, that's what Frank did. He told them how they were wrong and gave them plenty of chances to do it right. He even told them how they could raise their issue within the Rules, which is the point: it's not about trying to shut anyone up.

If you don't know the Rules, don't blame anyone else but yourself if you can't get anything accomplished. And frankly, I am embarrassed by Rep. McHenry, who has been in Congress for two years now, and should know the Rules a lot better.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on January 15, 2007 9:23 AM.

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