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House Proceeding 09-29-09 on Sep 29th, 2009 :: 0:44:55 to 0:51:45
Total video length: 3 hours 48 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Barney Frank

0:44:51 to 0:45:11( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: years. let me at this point turn and recognize the gentleman from massachusetts, mr then we will go through and recognize the other members of our delegation and other mbers who have joined here to speak about the senator. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: madam speaker, the

Barney Frank

0:44:55 to 0:51:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Barney Frank

Barney Frank

0:45:12 to 0:45:34( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: gentleman who just recognized me, the dean ever our delegation, has -- dean of our delegation, has the distinction having worked very closely with the late senator kennedy for 33 years. for more than 2/3 of the senator's term. i know that senator kennedy greatly valued his

Barney Frank

0:45:35 to 0:45:56( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: colleagueship as all of us do who serve with him as the dean. and his work now and a number of the areas pay tribute to that. i do think it is important to note that the longer you work with senator kennedy, the more you came to admire what he did. i would have one difference with my colleague with whom i rarely differ on things.

Barney Frank

0:45:57 to 0:46:18( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: he said senator kennedy would be seen as one of the greatest senators. i would say the best. i know my colleague is gracious he needs a senator or two on that cap and trade bill but i know we would agree. i was a fledgling academic before i went into politics. i was studying for a ph.d. and

Barney Frank

0:46:19 to 0:46:40( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: i then learned hi a personal characteristic which was a defect in academics, but absolutely essential to serve in this body. i have a very short attention span. it works to my advantage here, to my disadvantage in serious scholarship. from both ends i don't think there's much question about his greatness as a senator.

Barney Frank

0:46:41 to 0:47:02( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: obviously those of us in the delegation and our great colleague and civil rights leader, the gentleman from georgia, mr. lewis, who has worked with senator kennedy, goes back even before any of the rest of us in terms of colleagueship, but we obviously agreed with his values.

Barney Frank

0:47:03 to 0:47:24( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: and that's a big part of it. but even those who didn't, this is what's so striking and so needed in our country today, many members of congress who serve with him who disagreed with him on most substantive issues joined in the praise for his integrity and his character and his dedication. who were at a time now where

Barney Frank

0:47:25 to 0:47:46( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: politics is held in low repute by a lot of of young people. i would hope that younger people in particular would think back to the deep, deep love for senator kennedy that was expressed by so many people across the political spectrum.

Barney Frank

0:47:47 to 0:48:11( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: think about the accomplishments towhich so many people attribute, think about the people who express their enormous gratitude for the difference he's made in their lives. there could not be a better example of how you can get into this business of politics and do good. i would hope people would be encouraged by that. beyond that, there's one particular point that i want to stress.

Barney Frank

0:48:12 to 0:48:33( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: we have a besetting today in our politics where people think that you show your depth of of commitment to a cause by rigidity. not just by rigidity but impugning the motives of those on your side who try to get something done. compromise for its own sake is a very bad idea.

Barney Frank

0:48:34 to 0:48:56( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: people who talk about the center have to be clear what they mean. the center is not a place of value. it may be where you wind up, you try to moveo center. you want to try be to be representative of a majority. those who have as a goal finding the precise middle are

Barney Frank

0:48:57 to 0:49:17( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: giving up their own moral and intellectual capacity. what senator kennedy did was to start firmly from a set of moral principles and then work to get them accomplished to the best that he could. and that's unfortunately a practice that today isn't as

Barney Frank

0:49:18 to 0:49:38( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: apeciated as it should be. purity is a wonderful state, i am told. i do not say that from experience. but it doesn't make anybody any better off. the more firmly you are committed to your ideals, and no one was more firmly committed to the ideals of fairness and equity than edward m. kennedy.

Barney Frank

0:49:39 to 0:49:59( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: and he understood the more firmly he committed he was to them, the more he was morally obligated to make some progress on them. he was at the same time one of the premiere idealists of our time. no one better and more consistently articulated the goal of a society in which no

Barney Frank

0:50:00 to 0:50:20( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: one suffered unfairly, in which all were treated with dignity and had a certain minimum at least of substance. but while he was pre-eminent as a creature of that set ofer moral virtues, he was also pre-eminent as a hands on

Barney Frank

0:50:21 to 0:50:44( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: politician who could work with others within the democratic process, with other people elected whom i have disagreed with him, and because of him more of his goals were accomplished than were accomplished by anybody else. no one did more to advance those causes which he exemplified. but he never got all he wanted.

Barney Frank

0:50:45 to 0:51:05( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: and i hope that that's also an example. an example is that, sure, you do not belong in politics unless you have a set of ideals. you don't have any business trying to gain influence over others unless it's to make this world a better place. . but once you have those ideals,

Barney Frank

0:51:06 to 0:51:27( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: the obligation is not to preach those in the way that makes you feel good, it's a way to get them accomplished. i don't think in american history, over the time of his senate career, that anybody did a better job for people of all incomes, for the victims of discrimination, whether it was based on race or sexual

Barney Frank

0:51:28 to 0:51:45( Edit History Discussion )

Barney Frank: orientation or gender, for the whole concept of what we think is the genius of america, namely that when you're born, you're born with a chance to maximize your potential and the economic circumstances or the prejudice of others or anything else don't

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