Opening up a can of ‘ass whup’

President Obama, bless his heart, evidently thought the nation would have a reasoned and respectful debate on health care reform.

Oh, ye of liberal faith.

Anyway, I’d been waiting for some Democrat  to turn the tables on the shrieking, swastika-sign waving yahoos who show up at the town hall-style forums to demonize the president and the Democrats who want to overhaul our health care system. 

For weeks, we got grin-and-bear it from hard-pressed House and Senate Dems at the town hall food fights. 

Finally, we got some Frank Talk.

The Nazi stuff proved too much for Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, who is Jewish. His response to a wacko woman holding a picture of Obama with a Hitler moustache has become an instant  You Tube classic. It was at a town hall shindig in Dartmouth, Mass., part of his district.

Frank, as we say in Kentucky, “opened up a can of ass-whup.”

“On what planet do you spend most of your time?” the feisty Frank replied when the nut job asked him why he favored Obama’s “Nazi” health care plan.

“You stand there with a picture of the president defaced to look like Hitler and compare the effort to increase health care to the Nazis,” Frank added, setting her up.

Then he lowered the boom: “Ma’am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it.”

Maybe Frank’s verbal broadside wasn’t the Shot Heard ‘Round the World – that was in a Beantown ’burb long ago. But it echoed in my old Kentucky home.

I cheered the first time I saw it on the TV news – almost as loudly as I whooped it up when my Yankees swept the Sawx a few days ago.

My guess is Congressman Frank is a pretty ecumenical guy. Most liberals are. So I hope he will welcome this dyed-in-the-pinstripes Bronx Bomber fan to his booster club in Sawx land. This unapologetic left-leaning, union-card carrying Bluegrass State born-and-reared history teacher has been a Frank fan since the voters of the Bay State’s 4th CD had the good sense to send him to Congress in 1980.

Give ‘em hell, Barney.

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About Berry Craig

Berry Craig is a native Kentuckian, a professor of history at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah and a freelance journalist. He is a member of the American Federation of Teachers and the Kentucky Education Association/National Education Association. He is the author of True Tales of Old-Time Kentucky Politics: Bombast, Bourbon and Burgoo, which he describes as "a strictly non-partisan chronicle of our political past from Gov. Isaac Shelby to Gov. Ruby Laffoon."
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