Take Barney Frank. Please.

Barney Frank has to be the biggest sourpuss in Congress. The liberal representative from Massachusetts has made an art form out of ripping out his ear piece and abruptly ending an interview. This testy feller could pick a fight in a phone booth.

So Frank would be the last person you'd expect, in commenting on the debt ceiling deal, to break out a classic line from comedian Henny Youngman.  Yet that's exactly what Barney did on Morning Joe today, in explaining why he was supporting a bill that contains much he doesn't like.

View video after the jump.


 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Let me start with you, Barney, because we just had [Tea Party-friendly Republican congressman] Connie Mack on.  He said he's not going to vote for this bill, and my question was, why would [House Dem Whip] Steny Hoyer whip Democratic votes if Democrats are having to vote for a bill that seems to be more Republican in its framework.
 

After some filler about how the bill will somehow force the US out of Iraq and Afghanistan, Barney came to his comedic conclusion.
 

BARNEY FRANK: One of my favorite philosophers of the 20th-century was the great Henny Youngman. And he had one very great line.  "How's your wife?  Compared to what?"  And I think that's the central maxim that is driving people.


Question: could a Republican have gotten away with quoting that Youngman classic, or would he have been accused of sexism, objectifying women, etc.?

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Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.