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Barney Frank's Advice to Liberals: Copy the NRA's Tactics

Barney Frank's Advice to Liberals: Copy the NRA's Tactics
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Thursday, 26 March 2015 07:51 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Former Rep. Barney Frank isn’t pulling any punches as he promotes his new book “Frank: A Life in Politics From the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage.” The fiery liberal is full of controversial opinions, many of whom put some of his fellow liberals in their place.

Take Vice President Joe Biden. Frank told interviewer Larry King that Biden, with whom he served in Congress for 28 years, was “talented but lacks discipline” and is “his own worst enemy.”

He explained that Biden “can’t keep his mouth shut or his hands to himself,” reference several recent incidents in which Biden inappropriately touched women. “It’s out of good intentions, but I think he has unfortunately diminished people’s perception of his abilities.” Don’t expect him to be supporting the veep for president next year.

When it comes to his fellow liberals, Frank defends his refusal to endorse the tactics of gay activist groups. While such groups “decried my lack of militancy” and wanted to engage in protests and other publicity stunts, Frank pointed in another direction.

“Given the left’s vision of itself as the tribune of the people, it’s a bitter irony that conservatives have proved so much better at grass-roots advocacy,” he writes. "When LGBT leaders cited Gandhi and King, I offered my own counterexample — the National Rifle Association's great success in dominating the policy debates about gun control, despite being in a minority on the issue in every national poll I have seen.”

Frank said the NRA didn’t engage in pranks or stunts but focused on filling voting booths with their members.

"Liberals who try to comfort themselves with the notion that the NRA wins legislative battles because of their vast campaign contributions are engaged in self-deceptive self-justification. The NRA wins at the ballot box, not in the streets and not by checkbook.” He credits much of the gay rights movement’s current success to their following the NRA’s model.

John Fund is an expert on American politics where politics and economics and legal issues meet. He previously served as a columnist and editorial board member for The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of several books, including "Who's Counting: Bow Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote At Risk," "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy,” and "The Dangers of Regulation Through Litigation." He worked as a research analyst for the California Legislature in Sacramento before beginning his journalism career as a reporter for the syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Barney Frank's new book says liberals should take a page out of the NRA's playbook if they want to get their agenda rolling.
nra, braney frank, lgbt
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2015-51-26
Thursday, 26 March 2015 07:51 AM
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