Barney Frank Blames Tea Party For Gridlock
Appearing on CNN's State of the Union today, Rep. Barney Frank blamed ongoing Beltway gridlock on the Tea Party's 2010 rise.
"I do believe that there were elected some people in 2010, tea party influence, who repudiated the notion of compromise, and some of them said it exclusively," said the openly gay lawmaker. "You have to start from a position of principle and then you work together. I think in 2007 and 2008 we showed how can you do that."
Unfortunately, CBS News predicts that we'll see more gridlock as the new Congress gets into action, or rather inaction. And that potential scenario won't be the Tea Party's fault:
When the next Congress cranks up in January, there will be more women, many new faces and fewer tea party-backed House Republicans from the class of 2010.
Overriding those changes, though, is a thinning of centrist veterans in both parties. Among those leaving are some of the Senate's most pragmatic lawmakers, nearly half the House's centrist Blue Dog Democrats and several moderate House Republicans.
That could leave the parties more polarized even as President Barack Obama and congressional leaders talk up the cooperation needed to tackle complex, vexing problems such as curbing deficits, revamping tax laws and culling savings from Medicare and other costly, popular programs.
Frank of course won't have to deal with those headaches. He's retiring at the end of this session.