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The many faces of Barney Frank

By Chuck Morse
web posted July 14, 2003

Congressman Barney Frank, in a news release posted on his website, applauds the recent Supreme Court Lawrence v. Texas decision which struck down the Texas sodomy law describing the decision as "an important milestone in the protection of individual liberty." At the same time, Frank said nothing about a decision rendered by the same Supreme Court, and in the same week, upholding the right of a state college to discriminate on the basis of race. So much for "the protection of individual liberty."

Frank discusses Lawrence v. Texas on June 26 in Washington, D.C.
Frank discusses Lawrence v. Texas on June 26 in Washington, D.C.

Regardless of where one might fall on the issue of sodomy laws, and I oppose them, Frank goes too far when he compares Bowers v. Hardwick, the case that was just overturned by the court in which the right of a state to enact sodomy laws had been upheld, and the Dred Scott and Plessey v. Ferguson cases. In those two infamous cases, the Supreme Court "found," in the true spirit of the activist court, that slavery and state-sponsored segregation was legal. When Frank compares Bowers v. Hardwick with the Dred Scott decision, which formally legalized slavery, then Frank is de-facto comparing the Lawrence decision, which overturned Bowers, to the Emancipation Proclamation, which overturned Dred Scott.

Such comparisons are insulting to those whose ancestors came here in shackles and if Barney Frank weren't a liberal he would be called a racist for such hyperbole. As far as I know, homosexuals were not specifically enslaved in this country nor have they generally suffered under legalized discrimination. To compare a law that institutionalizes chattel slavery with one that outlaws homosexual sex is preposterous and the type of lopsided victimization propaganda has become par for the course for the left in this country.

Frank is big on states rights in cases that suit his agenda such as the right of the states to regulate medical marijuana and corporate corruption. I concur with him on these positions but what about, for example, the right of the states to regulate abortion? Frank's support of states rights appears to have nothing to do with a fundamental belief in the 10th amendment, which reserves all powers not specifically delegated to the Federal Government to the States and to the people, and everything to do with specific situations. Yet he points the finger of accusation at Republicans, calling them hypocrites for not supporting states rights in select cases.

Frank darkly warns us that President Bush, if re-elected, will replace those Supreme Court justices that he describes as "in favor of liberty" with those who, like Justice Antonin Scalia of whom he calls a bigot, constitute a "bulwark of oppressive government." In Frank's crazy house world, and that of his liberal friends, a judge who upholds the constitution and limited government is "oppressive" while those who seek to act like tyrants and issue decrees from the bench in disregard of the constitution are "in favor of liberty."

While state sodomy laws have been rarely enforced, nevertheless the specter of a government agent enforcing such laws conjures images in my mind of police, social workers or other government officials entering a citizen's domicile by force. This reminds me of liberal Democrat Attorney General Janet Reno ordering the firebombing of a private home near Waco, Texas, and incinerating 100 people including 25 children in order to enforce an alleged gun law violation. Another image that comes to mind is a member of Reno's goon squad pointing a machine gun to the head of that poor little Cuban boy Elian Gonzales as he cowered in a bedroom in order to send him back to left-wing communist Cuba. While there are certainly unique situations where the government should enter into a private home by force, for example, if a life is at risk, those reasons should be few and far between. In these times, law enforcement would be better employed in the service of finding terrorists and illegal aliens.

Frank stridently refers to those who support the right of the state to make sodomy laws as bigots even though 30 years ago such laws were supported by almost everyone. Frank specifically attacks Senator Rick Santorum as a bigot for expressing concern that a judicial overturning of sodomy laws could weaken laws that protect children or laws against sexual activities that our culture still condemns such as incest and bestiality. This national discussion about sex and politics should be held in a more reasoned and cool headed atmosphere without the fear of an inquisition hanging over the heads of those who dis-agree with the more liberal point of view. It could be argued, using Frank's inquisitional reasoning, that Frank himself is an anti-judeo Christian bigot for insisting on the liberalization of laws permitting sex outside of heterosexual marriage.

Chuck Morse is exploring a run for Congress against Barney Frank.

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