In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Frank: It Would Be Reasonable For Dems To Challenge Specter

Frank also voiced some sympathy for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who's been taking fire for weeks now over revelations about how much (and for how long) she knew about the Bush torture regime. "I've been in that position," Frank told DePaulo. "You get briefed, you are told something in absolute confidence, and you can't share it with anybody, and you're not necessarily prepared to handle it."

It's really a way to shut you up... And so I think that's what happened to Nancy. She was given information in a way that she literally couldn't use, could not self-evaluate, because she was all by herself. In fact, she and I have talked about this, and some others. We have to change these rules about what you can do with briefing information.

In case you were wondering, he also said he supports those who out closeted gay Republicans. But that doesn't mean he's some kind of radical. As he's intimated before, he said he understands the Obama administration's slow approach to achieving equal rights for gays and lesbians. "I was not in favor of his coming out for same-sex marriage when he first got elected. But I would hope he would be by the time he runs for reelection.... I think it would have given the opposition help they didn't need."

Just today, the Obama administration prevailed upon the Supreme Court not to hear a challenge to the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, leaving the questions of if and when the policy will be repealed in the busy and hesitant hands of the White House and Congress.

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com