Good for conservative Harvard law student Joel Pollack for asking House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank a simple question: "How much responsibility, if any, do you have for the financial crisis?"
Barney responded by attempting to bully the kid — attacking his motives, hectoring and mocking him to a smattering of applause of the lefties in the audience. Nice going, you pompous jerk. I think Frank's childish defensiveness speaks volumes about not only the congressman's low character, but how a truthful answer to Pollack's question is: "Quite a bit."
But, again, good for Pollack, a kid who stood his ground and calmly spoke truth to power. He interrupted one of Frank's rants to add that it's "fine" for Frank to say "none" in answering his question. But the graceless Frank wouldn't even take that gift of an out.
Check it out:
Between spasms of condescension ("What would you have me do?" he asks a college student) and conspiracy-mongering about Pollack being some kind of right-wing operative sent on a mission to spoil his evening, Frank basically answers in a whine: "I've only been chairman since January 2007, so none of this is my fault." That's bunk, since as influential ranking member of that committee, he opposed every attempt to rein in Fannie and Freddie that the Republicans and the Bush administration proposed. He is culpable — as are the liberals in Congress who treated any attempt to raise red flags about giving mortgages to high-risk borrowers as at least anti-poor and probably racist.
I told Mrs. Zaius when I first saw this yesterday: "I hope that kid's got a nice suit. He's gonna be on the cable shows this week." Indeed, Greta van Susteren invited Pollack on her show. He did great. But notice that Greta spends the second half of her interview asking Pollock to explain his political/philosophical background. ("Are you part of any right-wing organizations." Sheesh! Even if he is ... so what? What did he ask that is out of bounds?)
Anyway, to his credit, Pollack turned the question into a reason to bolster his argument even more — noting that he entered Harvard as a Democrat, but (shockingly) evolved and moved to the right as he got older. Why? Because too many Dems he knew and engaged with were of Frank's evasive, arrogant, and ignorant stripe.
Good on that kid. He's one lawyer I wouldn't mind seeing added to a Congress over-populated with lawyers in a few years.