Barney Frank: Libertarian Impersonator

When I think about lawmakers with libertarian leanings, Massachusetts’ Barney Frank (D) isn’t one that normally comes to mind. With the way Frank responded today in regard to the bill passed by the last G.O.P. controlled congress and assuming I knew nothing else about him, I would think him to be ideologically similar to Ron Paul (but I do know better and clearly he isn’t). Barney Frank does apparently have a bit of a libertarian streak, when it comes to internet gambling at least.

Here are a few of Frank’s statements he made today on the House floor:

“What kind of social, cultural authoritarianism are we practicing here? I think it is a great infringement on liberty. When it comes to an individual decision on how to spend your own time and money, that’s not my position. That’s not my business. I am skeptical of people who want to protect people from themselves.”

“[T]he fundamental point is this. If an adult in this country, with his or her own money, wants to engage in an activity that harms no one, how dare we prohibit it because it doesn’t add to the GDP or it has no macroeconomic benefit. Are we all to take home calculators and, until we have satisfied…that we are being socially useful, we abstain from recreational activities that we choose? This Congress is well on the way to getting it absolutely backwards. In areas where we need to act together to protect the quality of our life, in the environment, in transportation, in public safety, we abstain; but in those areas where individuals ought to be allowed to make their own choices, we intervene.”

“People have said, what is the value of gambling? Here is the value. Some human beings enjoy doing it. Shouldn’t that be our principle? If individuals like doing something and they harm no one, we will allow them to do it, even if other people disapprove of what they do.”

The very idea that adults should be trusted to make their own decisions provided they do not harm a non-consenting other adult…what a concept! If only he would apply this thinking to other such government interventions such as the war on (some) drugs, obscenity laws, prostitution, and blue laws.

One would think that the so-called party of limited government (don’t laugh, I’m referring to the Republican Party) would be on board with Barney Frank on this issue but sadly this is not the case. Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, for example, wants to restrict gambling even further both online and offline. Frank’s position on this issue is currently unpopular in both political parties and his proposed legislation faces certain defeat.

It’s too bad that our elected officials have caved to pressures from moral busy-bodies of all stripes. I have never personally participated in online gambling, but what business is it of mine if my neighbor does? The answer is of course that it isn’t any of my business at all and certainly not the business of the federal government.

  • Daves

    Americans will finally have to draw a line in the sand, just like they did at the Alamo in 1836. None stepped across the line and died in the name of freedom and the right to follow their own destiny. Today we have been carefully brainwashed by what we do not know, because the truth has been suppressed by our own government and the open border zealots. Our own print media has been influenced by the monopoly of the power mongers who own the newspapers. Unless we turn our attention to the small town newspapers, the blogs or forums we would remain in complete solitude of the ugly truth. We have been invaded and just because it doesn’t show the emblem of a military regiment, none the less millions of foreign nationals have occupied our nation. The agenda is a simple one formulated by the wealthy elites, who cannot contain their desperate need for more profit. It’s a story as old as the world itself and the greatest scourge to control people like slaves.

    The plan was secretly discussed in Banff, Canada in 2002, to slowly open the gates to millions of cheap foreign labor that would undermine the living wages of lower skilled on these shores. This was the hallucinating dream of the rich and powerful to begin the European Common Market like Union on our continent. They say if you put the evidence right in front of the publics face, they will never know the full impact until its too late. So it is with the (NAU) North American Union or as its additionally called, The Peace and Prosperity Agreement. The (PPS) is the grand plan of the Bush Administration, with signatures of Canada’s last Prime Minister Martin and a lame duck Presidente from Mexico. Unable to complete any practable changes in Mexico’s corrupt regime to alleviate

    Gross poverty, he viewed America as the perfect patsy to relieve the festering powder keg of internal revolution. Why Canada’s co-conspirator joined this abomination agenda is unknown to me. But I’m sure the huge multi-national corporations had their fingers in this trillion dollar pie.

    Outside of the American people’s flat refusal or voice of dissention, we must look to a few brave souls who have the backbone to speak out against any of the Shadows Government Global Domination. Enter Representative Tom Tancredo from Colorado, along with Representative Ron Paul (TX) and perhaps Steve King (IA). Forget their designation as Republicans or Democrats because both sides of our Congress are involved in the heinous plan to steal our flag, sovereignty and U.S. Constitution. The first stage was the 13 to 30 million illegal aliens squatting in America, followed by the unhindered movement of low maintained Mexican trucks traveling on our highways.

    Bush must be held accountable for this Benedict Arnold treaty, for it will cause the downfall of this nations way of life. This is no longer a conspiracy theory because many state legislative bodies have approved bills that dissolve any mechanism that would try to overthrow our own system of government. We have enjoyed our freedoms and rights for 250 years, so we must fight any obnoxious plan to merge our three countries. We must look towards politicians who serve the American people and not the corporate monster that wants to enslave us.

    Get the truth at:

    Bear Stearns a highly prestigious investment firm tells the truth and gives the raw numbers, for how many illegal aliens have crossed our borders illegally. This is not the lies “THE PEOPLES GOVERNMENT” has told us.

  • Tom Gellhaus

    Okay…that was a threadjack of truly awesome proportions. I am a Ron Paul admirer, but dude…that longwinded ADVERTISEMENT has no place in this discussion about internet gambling.

    Try to be relevant.

    On topic, I am glad Barney Frank took the initiative here, but I am curious as to what sparked his interest in such a liberty-oriented position. And can we get his position on say…medical marijuana or even (gulp) drastically defunding the DEA and reducing federal laws against nonviolent drug users and dealers?

  • Tom Gellhaus

    Nice threadjack there, Daves. I am impressed.
    I don’t know what that has to do with Barney Frank or legality of online gambling, though.

    More on topic, I wonder how recently Congressman Frank had this epiphany about adults being free to make their own decisions…and if this applies to other things, such as using or selling drugs, the right to keep ones property (vs. eminent domain), whether states can decide to pass medical marijuana regulation without getting slapped down by the Federal Government, etc.

    Congressman Frank always struck me as one of the “less evil” Democratics in the House. I’ll have to check his positions out more closely.
    (I consider that all congressman are evil, however some do less damage than others)

    I find that often, Democrats have this habit of being remarkably inconsistent. As an example, the governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, apparently wants to restrict tobacco smoking in private establishments, and yet pushes for people to be able to get access to medical marijuana.

  • NH
  • Charles Bowen

    Always on the look-out for potential Ron Paul constituencies, I have been pleasantly surprised that the on-line poker community is highlighting Paul on this issue. Outreach, formal outreach, to the television stars of the sport/game Texas Hold ‘Em could be accomplished. It truly could be a populist revolt like no other.