Frankly Barney, you won't be missed
By Michael R. Shannon
web posted December 5, 2011
When I learned Cong. Barney Frank (D–Libertine) was retiring after 30 years in the House, my first thought was don't let the door hit you in the behind. That's because Frank personifies everything that's wrong with the political class currently infesting our nation's capitol.
Frank is morally, politically and ethically corrupt. This Democrat party leader helped produce a nation that's economically crippled and morally adrift. He may be the Congressman from Taxachusetts, but everyone is enjoying his legacy.
When the first warnings regarding the housing bubble were sounded Frank was rabid in his defense of federally supported Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's 'come one, come all' lending practices. Frank stated, "I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing."
What Frank didn't say was that he had used his influence as a member of the House Financial Services Committee to land his homosexual lover a job at Fannie Mae. So while Frank was rolling our dice his boyfriend was one of the croupiers.
Herman Cain may have been squeezin' the Charmin while he was head of the National Restaurant Association, but I guarantee he didn't twist arms at Denny's to get them to hire his sweetie.
Unfortunately, Frank's roll of the dice came up snake eyes for the rest of us as we continue to endure the Great Recession.
Are foreclosed homes lowering your property values and contributing to the decline of your neighborhood? Thank Barney Frank.
Are you having trouble refinancing because loan documentation is causing you to jump through hoop after hoop? Is getting a loan to buy a new home impossible because down payment requirements have skyrocketed? Or is selling your home difficult because every appraisal is low–balled? Thank Barney Frank.
Are your annual dues increasing while your homeowner's association is simultaneously cutting back on services due to budget deficits caused by foreclosures? Thank Barney Frank.
Is your retirement nest egg now your retirement embryo after your 401k tanked? Thank Barney Frank.
Lacking any moral compass, Frank doesn't feel any shame over what his advocacy and legislative record caused. He doesn't fade into the background. Instead, as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, he co–authors the Frank–Dodd financial reform legislation that's supposed to repair what he's destroyed.
Only in Democrat party politics does the master of the disaster get to write the legislation that's supposed to clean up the mess. At least the captain of the Titanic had the decency to go down with his ship. Frank would have demanded a seat in the lifeboat so he could direct the rescue.
But why shouldn't Frank feel entitled? His longevity is a product of a gerrymandered district that made him impervious to public opinion. Frank's first scandal involved putting a live–in homosexual hustler and convicted drug dealer on his House office payroll. Frank used his position to fix parking tickets for his roommate and later lied to a Virginia prosecutor who was investigating the prostitution ring the hustler was running out of Frank's townhouse.
Then Frank finds a new boyfriend and puts him on the job at Fannie Mae. Now Frank's latest paramour is growing marijuana in their home, but who knows, maybe Massachusetts voters believe progressing from prostitution ring landlord to in–home illegal agriculture is progress.
Barney Frank's personal and political record is a living endorsement of term limits. He survived for 30 years because his district was drawn to prevent Republicans from running and Democrat political insiders prevented primary opponents from challenging him.
Term limits would prevent much of that insider gaming of the political system. There is simply no reason for someone to be in Congress for 30 years.
And please spare me the "seniority means we have more clout" argument. Seniority rewards longevity, not productivity. If your elected representative is able, your district will have influence.
There is a perfect example near where I live in Virginia. Del. Jackson Miller (R–Manassas) was just elected Majority Whip by the Republican caucus in the House of Delegates. This puts him number four in the House hierarchy, yet he's only been in office since 2006. Miller didn't have to get arthritis in service of the public before his merit was recognized.
The average tenure of a CEO in business is six years; surely a Congressman can do enough to have a post office named after him in twelve.
Good riddance to Barney Frank. Now if only two or three hundred members would follow him out the door there might be a chance to change the incestuous culture in Washington.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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