A town hall held by Representative Barney Frank has joined the pantheon of at-times rowdy face-offs on health care this month.
But instead of a shouting critic getting the best of the congressman, this time it was a zinger from the Newton Democrat that drew the most notice and was featured on CNN.
His town hall Tuesday night in Dartmouth drew more than 500 people, who asked how the nation could afford a health care overhaul and who protested a bigger government role. He admonished the protestors, saying that shouting prevented a serious debate on the issue.
He reserved his most biting response, however, for one questioner, a woman who went to the microphone carrying a poster of President Obama with a Hitler-style mustache. The exchange has been replayed repeatedly on cable TV today.
"Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy?" she asked Frank.
"On what planet do you spend most of your time?" he shot back, as the crowd applauded.
Blasting the woman -- apparently a supporter of fringe presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche -- for comparing a bid to improve health care to the Nazis, Frank went on to say that it was "a tribute to the First Amendment that this kind of vile, contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated."
And for good measure, he added, "Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.