He may dress like a sloppy little kid and talk like a 13-year-old with an advanced vocabulary, but Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts is convinced he acts his age.
He can't say the same about Berkeley-based anti-war group Code Pink. On Tuesday, Frank hosted a hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner on new government powers to seize financial companies, such as AIG, before they can hurt the economy. And our friends at SFist tipped us off to an interesting exchange between Frank and a group of Code Pink protestors.
"Will you please act your age back there," he said interrupting Bernanke mid speech."Stop playing with that sign. If you have no greater powers of concentration then please leave the room. We are trying to have a serious discussion which will include, you understand, a lot of criticism. We really need people to grow up."
But Code Pink did not stop there. After a few moments of calm, the signs went back up when Geithner was speaking. The surly Frank responded in kind.
"I understand for some people rational discussion is not an appropriate means of expressing themselves," he said in the middle of Geithner's words. "You are entitled to do that in general. The next one to hold a sign will be ejected. I do not know how you think you advance any cause which you are attached with this kind of silliness."
The Democratic lawmaker, who is openly gay, was discussing gay marriage and whether he thought the high court would some day decide the constitutionality of the federal government denying same-sex marriages.
Frank said he wouldn't want the issue to go to the high court now because "that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court." Maybe name calling is more age appropriate than holding a sign.
Check out both videos for yourself below.