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Don't get Rep. Anthony Weiner angry

You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

Watch this through to at least the third minute, by which time a Republican has pulled a parliamentary maneuver to stop Weiner and give him a chance to take back his words, and Weiner substitutes his words for, uh, other words. Comity is not reigning in the U.S. House of Representatives on the eve of the bipartisan summit.

By Ezra Klein  |  February 24, 2010; 4:40 PM ET
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Gotta love my fellow Brooklynite. More of this, please.

Posted by: scarlota | February 24, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, I see that WaPo censors speech just like the Congress. Can't call the Rs "rhymes with horse."

Posted by: AZProgressive | February 24, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

That's a classic. Love the slamdown of the microphone at the end.

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 24, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

THIS is the one reason we need a fillibuster.

Let's give it out on the basis of how entertaining each member of Congress is. Sure, Michelle Bachmann will qualify, but even her brand of extremism is amusing enough if there is someone like Anthony Weiner to interject some realism.

Posted by: NickM2 | February 24, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Weiner reminds me of the kids I used to beat up in high school . . . for that matter, do does Ezra.

Posted by: ThunderMalloy | February 24, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"Weiner reminds me of the kids I used to beat up in high school . . . for that matter, do does Ezra."

but Cantor and Boehner don't?

How about Orrin Hatch?

..but I could go on all day.

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 24, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this guy's awesome! Hopefully he can give a seminar on how partisan the Republicans are, since, you know, he obviously gets it! LOL

Posted by: shinsnake | February 24, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Does buffoonery substitute for a real debate now? Many of us object to the “public option” because we think it will drive insurance companies out of business and lead to single payer. We object to single payer because it will reduce competition to ZERO. Reduced competition will lead to price controls which will reduce the supply of medical services leading to longer waits and less innovation.

Does this mean we are “wholly owned subsidiaries of the insurance industry?”

Posted by: kingstu01 | February 24, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

ThunderMalloy - Does he remind you of the guy whose gas you pumped at work this morning?

Posted by: nisleib | February 24, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

You know, I wonder if the founders always thought of the House as the lower of the two houses, sort of like a place to file those insane idiots who snuck their way into government. I mean, surely this guy didn't get in on civility, partisanship, or a reputation for getting things done with the opposing party.

Posted by: shinsnake | February 24, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Ezra, we need more rah rah and theatrics out of losers like this. I don't think I've seen a congressman like Weiner live up to his name since Dick Armey left the Hill.

Posted by: Philly213 | February 24, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't like Anthony Weiner when he's angry? I LOVE Anthony Weiner when he's angry. Sometimes you just have to push back at the bullies. Admittedly, we shouldn't have this kind of exchange day in and day out, but sometimes, when the moment requires it, a nice tall glass of you-guys-are-wholly-owned-subsidiaries-of-the-insurance-industry is quite refreshing!

Posted by: JJenkins2 | February 24, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Does buffoonery substitute for a real debate now? Many of us object to the “public option” because we think it will drive insurance companies out of business and lead to single payer. We object to single payer because it will reduce competition to ZERO. Reduced competition will lead to price controls which will reduce the supply of medical services leading to longer waits and less innovation.

Does this mean we are “wholly owned subsidiaries of the insurance industry?”
Posted by: kingstu01 | February 24, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse


Of course that's what it means! You couldn't possibly oppose it on its merits! If you could only see what good these people are trying to do for you, if you would only stop opposing and turn your life over to them, everything would be great!

Posted by: shinsnake | February 24, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

nisleib - if by "whose gas you pumped" you are referring to the millions of dollars in petro stocks I own, then you are close to on the mark.

Posted by: ThunderMalloy | February 24, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

So wait, if this is a good thing every once in a while, should I root for the guys who are wholly owned by the insurance companies or the ones wholly owned by the unions? So hard to choose....

Posted by: shinsnake | February 24, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Wait, kingstu, your problem is that you believe the public option will work *too well* and be better than the private insurance industry? Well, in that case, I think you are being a "wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry," because those of us who aren't don't have one feeling or another about the insurance industry. If they can offer valuable products (as they do in the Netherlands and France), great. If not, well, it's really no skin off my nose, now is it?

Posted by: constans | February 24, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, the public option would not work "too well." It wouldn't work well at all. But what it would do is allow for unfair advantages for the government to undercut private business causing it to fail and then when it does fail, enlarge the public option into a single payer system. Can't possibly be that blind, can you people?

Posted by: shinsnake | February 24, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

ThunderMalloy - Yeah, uh huh. Don't forget, your mom told you to clean the basement today. As long as you are going to live under her roof you have to follow her rules.

Posted by: nisleib | February 24, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

shinsnake, but I thought the government couldn't do anything competently compared to private enterprise! Surely if the public option is so awful, then people would choose private insurance over the PO. And surely if the PO was both popular and insufficient, then insurance companies could offer other products that people would still want to buy!

Since I have no care or another whether the private health insurance industry exists or not, it doesn't matter to me, really. But it matters a LOT to certain people with a vested interest in keeping people under control of the insurance companies. Or maybe you simply consider health coverage that people prefer to have instead of private insurance to be "unfair." And if it is unfair, why is the private insurance industry apparently, in your view, too incompetent to compete with a public option? Are they stupid? If so, then they don't need to exist.

Posted by: constans | February 24, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Hit them again!-rhetorically that is...

Posted by: Owen_Truesdell | February 24, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse


you know better than that comment. Its not doing it better, its doing it for a FORCED PRICE. Take it or leave it docs. If you want to be able to accept Medicare patients you MUST take public option patients. I'd bet its nice and cost effective to not have to go out and contract every single doctor like insurers do.

Weiner is a very good speaker though, i'll give him that. he proved little with that rant but he was entertaining.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 24, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

"Public option" -- leftists like this jerk have repeatedly stated that a "public option" is intended to be a first step toward an absolute government monopoly. It has nothing to do with "introducing competition." Just another leftist con.

Is there any situation the Party of Government DOESN'T use Orwellian language to mask its true perverted agenda?

"Public option" -- a pathetic euphemism for government monopoly; "investment" instead of spending; "climate change" instead of global warming; "regressive" instead of liberal, "fairness" for socialism, etc, etc, etc.

The corrupt Democrat party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the unions, the trial lawyers and all the other good-for-nothing bloodsuckers of the world.

Posted by: EricArthurBlair | February 24, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

You know, I actually admire Weiner's restraint under the circumstances. What amazes me is not his choice of words, but the fact that more Members of Congress don't give such speeches when faced with GOP hypocrisy and obstructionism.

Ask any parent who has ever dealt with constant negativity from a teenager who automatically disagrees with anything a parent says: at some point you've simply had enough and let them have it! ;-)

Posted by: reach4astar2 | February 24, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

GOP obstructionism?

That is laughable. Dems have the majorities in both houses. How is it the GOP's fault that even Democrats don't want this crap sandwich healthcare takeover?

Posted by: sharpokie | February 24, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

re: constans

Let's get one thing clear. If the government runs a public option, there is no debate that it will be awful.

The reason insurance companies can't compete is because they will have forced regulations on them that have costs associated with each one. And since insurance companies are evil profiteers, the government will continually pressure them (as they are trying to do now) to reduce revenue and therefore profits.
Costs exceeding profits evenutally put one out of business.

The government public option? No matter how crappy it is run, they always have the American Taxpayer to cover the costs.

Get the picture? The government doesn't run ANYTHING on an equal playing field. Especially when government makes the rules and regulations for its competitors.

Posted by: sharpokie | February 24, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Is that Weenie's nose or a rudder?

Posted by: fourbuttons2003 | February 24, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Mr. Weiner is not entirely correct.

Dan Lungren, for example, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of commercial real estate developers.

Posted by: allanbrauer | February 24, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I'd say that this selection of comments shows us just how edifying it is for a Congressman to behave this way.

Posted by: FrBill1 | February 24, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse


I wish I had a representative like Mr. Weiner.

And some of the comments here read as if the commentators never read Ezra's blog.

Posted by: flightofheaven | February 24, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

re: "Let's get one thing clear. If the government runs a public option, there is no debate that it will be awful."
Really? So you really think the USA would fail at what the Canadians and the Brits have been completely successful at, and with which their citizens are overwhelmingly happy? And the Danes, and the Swedes, French, Norwegians..............
Sad, so little faith in the USA.

Posted by: edmonds59 | February 24, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

as an outsider, Mr. Weiner's rant was not only 100 per cent correct but the fact the right-wingnuts r calling single payer a government takeover he must b right on. as a Canadian who has universal healthcare, try it, you would never trade it for the 4 profit joke u call h.c. why is it America is #37 on the world h.c. list, with much shorter life span than us evil single payer lover, must b a socialist!!

Posted by: hitch78 | February 24, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Meh. He was getting around to making a point in the end. But it does nothing for me to hear someone call Republicans "wholly owned subsidiaries of the insurance industry". Just like it did nothing for me when Alan Grayson called Republicans "knuckle-draggers". I just think, "Yeah, and...? Tell me something I don't know."

What's worse is that a lot of Democrats appear to be wholly owned subsidiaries of the insurance industry too. Or at least many of them certainly don't appear to be interested in acting in good faith or for Democratic causes.

In short, I don't need to be told what I can see for myself. And certainly anyone who doesn't see it isn't going to be convinced by hearing someone say it. Don't tell me what jerks they are, show me exactly how they're wrong. That's way more interesting.

Posted by: slag | February 24, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

A nutcase in a southern community decides to shoot up a Unitarian church service because he perceives Unitarians to be nothing but a gaggle of "worthless" Liberals. A Republican demands that a Democrat's "words be taken down" because the Republican is offended by the truth the Democrat speaks: the GOP may as well be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the health insurance industry. Conservatives are more than willing, they are delighted to roll up the big guns to counter every perceived offense. The GOP has evaded stating their real concern about health-care reform. Reform worthy of the name would cause harm to the health insurance industry. Boo hoo hoo. See? Businesses rate. American people don't. Congrats to Rep. Weiner for having the guts to speak the truth.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | February 25, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

What he said was uncivil, but true. At least the GOP members showed some embarrassment by attempting to keep him from speaking.

The Dems have some problems too, but unlike the GOP they can at least make a plausible case for being merely a "partially owned subsidiary". The industry has a significant minority stake in the Democratic party. Meanwhile the insurance industry, like the rest of the FIRE sector has purchased a controlling interest in the GOP.

No contest.

Posted by: JPRS | February 25, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I love it!
I'm going to send him my phone number.
(Just kidding.)

Posted by: mminka | February 25, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Weiner is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tell it like it IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: gradya3 | February 25, 2010 2:29 AM | Report abuse

If the 2010 Senate had even 10 "real" Dems like the late Senarors Paul Wellstone and Ted Kennedy, health care would be done long ago, and in a much less "Rube Goldberg" version than the Obama/Senate/Sidecar Resolution package we have as the best case scenario now.

But those Dems are gone, and other fighters like Anthony Wiener remind us of the legacy.

Keep it up, Rep. Wiener!

Posted by: Patrick_M | February 25, 2010 2:59 AM | Report abuse

Apparently the good Congressman was hitting a little too close to home. In a broader context, what happened is part of what's wrong with politics today: inconvenient relationships aren't talked about, like the relationship so many politicians have (both D and R) with insurance companies, the pharma industry and for-profit hospital corporations.
I love all the GOP talking points people bring up. It's socialist (then so is the VA), it will add to the deficit (when did Republicans start to care about the deficit? Oh, they must love deficits because Republican really rack them up!), they'll kill grandma after making her get an abortion...please. The reasons Republicans don't want reform are irrelevant. It's all a smokescreen: they don't want health care/insurance reform in any form, and they will do anything they can to stop it.

Posted by: Historian1960 | February 25, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

"Let's get one thing clear. If the government runs a public option, there is no debate that it will be awful."
Well thats weird. Cuz my friends in Canada LOVE their health-care plan. I should clarify for those on the right who will only read what they want in this if i dont remove any possible alternative meanings: I have friends in Vancouver (who would like the Olympics to end now please) and a little town outside of Toronto. Some of them are moderately wealthy, others ont at all. None have ever driven south for a major procedure, and 3 of them have survived cancer. Of those 3, 2 of them know that they wouldn't if they lived in the U.S.
Now maybe these are just a few cases out of many who had opposite experiences, but at the very least they do seem to present a "debate that it will be awful."

Posted by: elijah24 | February 25, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

a lot of political theater and very little fact.

The vote passed 405-19. And as we all know the end of the anti-trust exemption will do NOTHING to affect costs. Economists know it, congress knows it, everyone knows it.

Its good that it passed (hopefully it'll pass the Senate too soon)so that we can finally get down to the FACTS of what causes premium increases like Anthem of CA did as opposed to the lies that come from those that don't know what they're talking about.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 25, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for posting that clip. The Congressman is speaking the truth. Some people just don't like to hear it.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 25, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse


IF it was the truth then why did only 19 Republicans vote against it? Did Rep. Weiner SHAME THEM into doing the right thing? Or was it just political theater that likely got Rep. Weiner on some more liberal talk shows (Maddow, Olbermann etc). Personally i enjoyed the curling more.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 25, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: VAALEX | February 25, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Weiner you are my hero. Well said, well said, so very well said.

And to every Republican out there you know damn well he speaks the truth. You can't silence that, no matter what the insurance industry has dumped into your greedy pockets.

Posted by: MichelleH | February 26, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I beg to differ, Ezra. I love him when he's angry! He's speaking for all of we who too are angry--the disenfranchised whose voices on health care have been ignored by an impotent Congress and the Obama administration as they both capitulate to the insurance industry. His anger is righteous, it's honest, it's justified. Comity? Are you kidding! I am literally "sick" to death of the comity on the hill. Anthony Weiner for President!

Posted by: kyletaylorlucas | February 26, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I heard about how the CPAC Republicans are calling themselves the Party of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY… WHAT do Republicans/Conservatives KNOW ABOUT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY? Are you people MAD?

Case and point just look how the Republicans are TRYING to make RECONCILIATION look like it was the end of democracy. As Rachel Maddow and Randi Rhodes pointed out in the last few days, Republicans used the Nuclear Option (reconciliation) as a RULE OF THE SENATE 21 times.

In OTHER WORDS Republican Party talking points are based on the ignorance of their constituents. They revise history and LIE because they CAN… because morons who vote for Republicans DON’T KNOW THEIR OWN HISTORY! This ain’t NO Tea Party… this is a CLASS WAR!

1 (I wish the Pharmaceutical Industry could find a cure for the severe superiority complexes, odd paranoia and religious delusions most of the Right-wing is suffering through)

2 (I see Dick Cheney had ANOTHER heart attack. Cheney either has 9 lives or fantastic government health care, RIGHT? Hey Dick, can you say pre-existing condition? Come to think of IT, Cheney has been on the PUBLIC DOLE for most of his dark life… Otherwise the greed stricken, power mad b* would be burning in HELL , right now)

The most SHAMELESS, HYPOCRITICAL THING I’ve ever been witness to is how Republicans/Conservatives are dodging responsibility for the economic meltdown AND SAD STATE OF OUR REGULATORY AGENCIES.

SEARCH: (SK industries, moldy tomatoes, FDA. Bush/Cheney GUTTED the government agencies that PROTECT the American PEOPLE from Corporate Crimes)

They decided it was better for their political careers and revised history legacies if they just LIED and blamed Obama/Biden for the HUGE MESS! ANYONE WHO VOTES FOR A REPUBLICAN is a dumb@$$ and a TRAITOR!

I’m SO sick of Republicans/Conservatives ruining this great nation while waving the patriotic flag. JUST LOOK AT THEIR RECORD during 8 years of Bush/Cheney and Republican controlled Congress (1994-2006). It’s like these incompetent, scheming fools were trying to live up to the old Soviet saying about “America will be destroyed from within”. Waste, fraud, abuse, scandal, corruption, lies, job outsourcing, off-shore tax evasion , reckless economics, war profiteering, Constitutional violations, on & on…

YOU right-wing dolots got a BIG surprise coming…

Posted by: SPO1 | February 27, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

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