July 14, 2004

"Let's Get Frank."

Stephen Holden reviews the film "Let's Get Frank," about Rep. Barney Frank. Holden notes:
Mr. Frank is no smoothie. His bullish tenacity is matched by a gruff, tough-gay attitude, and he talks too fast.
(Wasn't that supposed to be "tough-guy"??)

But he has a sharp sense of humor. And for a politician so outspokenly liberal, he is a blunt political realist who knows how to play the game.

Discussing Senator Trent Lott's comparison of homosexuality with alcoholism, sex addiction and kleptomania, he surmises that Mr. Lott doesn't really care one way or the other about the issue, that he is only attacking homosexuality to keep his right-wing constituents happy. ...

The film awkwardly sandwiches the drama of the [Clinton impeachment] hearings (many of the clips are taken from C-Span) with recycled tidbits of right-wing homophobia: the Rev. Jerry Falwell's condemnation of the Teletubbies for alleged gay advocacy, and former Representative Dick Armey's public slip of the tongue in referring to Mr. Frank as "Barney Fag."

All the sturm und drang hasn't destroyed Mr. Frank's faith in the people's tolerance and common sense. "Most Americans aren't nearly as homophobic as they were brought up to think they were supposed to be," he says. And the relative lack of public hysteria around the issue of gay marriage suggests he may be right.
I think that Frank's point about ordinary Americans is true, and what a shame Republicans can't bring themselves to resist pandering to the small minority of people who really want to hear this sort of thing.

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