Missed Opportunity

Today seems to fea­ture a short video of Con­gress­man Bar­ney Frank respond­ing to a town hall attendee ask­ing about the Nazi poli­cies in the health care reform.

Frank responds to her with a dis­mis­sive insult. It is fun­ny. And, yes, I would not argue with the state­ment that she deserved the response she got. From what I’ve seen around the inter­net, lots of Democ­rats are gid­dy with delight over Frank’s response.

I’ve been watch­ing the “high­lights” from var­i­ous town meet­ings for a cou­ple of weeks or so. Lots of shout­ing from peo­ple who are against health care reform. Not dis­cus­sion, but dis­rup­tion. I under­stand how frus­trat­ing that can get. Peo­ple yell out stuff based on lies and no oppor­tu­ni­ty to explain how they are wrong is allowed.

Frank gets the rare case of a cit­i­zen ask­ing a bel­liger­ent ques­tion in a civ­il man­ner. She asks the ques­tion and then she stops talk­ing. Frank could actu­al­ly take a minute and explain why her assump­tions are incor­rect. He could explain how the Nazi com­par­i­son makes no sense. But no, he is dis­mis­sive and insulting.

To be clear, I seri­ous­ly doubt that there is any­thing that Frank could have said to change how the woman feels about the issue. But it is pos­si­ble that a few peo­ple would see the video of the exchange and learn something.

As it is, the video sim­ply jus­ti­fies the antics that have tak­en place pre­vi­ous­ly (with more to come, no doubt). Why not shout down the oppo­nent when the oppo­nent is only going to indulge in insults.

It prob­a­bly makes no dif­fer­ence, but it would be nice if some Demo­c­rat actu­al­ly explained why health care reform is not lead­ing us down the road to a fas­cist state (and why there was nev­er any plans for death pan­els that would pull the plug on grandma.…and.…)

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