Frank: Hypocrites Like Hastert Aren’t ‘Subject To The Same Temptations Today’

Friday on  MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who is openly gay, discussed former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s alleged sexual misconduct with his former high school students and said the progress American society has made since the 1960s and 70s when Hastert was teaching means gay people can openly be gay and therefore are not “subject to the same temptations today.”

“It is sadness,” Frank said. “It makes me frankly feel better about the progress we’ve made. Aside from the fact of the illegitimate nature because it was a teacher-student relationship, the gay sex in itself was something back then considered so scandalous, Hastert couldn’t do it in an open way. It’s a mark of progress. People like Hastert wouldn’t be subject to the same temptations today. A man who has those feelings can express them more openly. It’s a reminder of the price everybody in society paid, not just the individual. It’s frankly to me, a reminder of hypocrisy among colleagues. Hastert presided over the impeachment of Bill Clinton, someone that had sex with someone less his age who was an intern. He put forth constitutional amendments to ban same sex marriage. It is reaffirmation of hypocrisy, particularly on the Republican side. They are the ones that intended to make political capital out of particular behavior problems when they themselves were engaging in them.”

“Dennis Hastert was the speaker,” he added. “He determined the agenda. It was his choice in 2004 and 2006 as speaker to put before the House and push for constitutional amendments that could ban same sex marriage, would have wiped out the ones in Massachusetts. He doesn’t have the justification of—well, you know I was in a tough spot, I had to do something. He initiated those two major anti-gay activities which were defeated on partisan lines.”

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