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Barney Frank to retire at end of term


E.J.

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I swear, I thought he was a Repub! In that case, I like him more.

I don't live in Massachusettes, so I gots no idea about where most of the Senators are from. I should've remembered that Mass had him and Ted Kennedy for several years together.

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I'm not getting the Barney Frank love here. He seems no better than any other politician and just as much a viper.

For instance, in the last term he's accepted over half a million dollars from the financial, real estate and banking industries he's supposed to be regulating as chair of the financial services committee.

http://maplight.org/us-congress/legislator/250-barney-frank

Since the 2008 crisis, he's consistently pushed measures to keep housing prices inflated, to the benefit of his industry friends, and thus kept prices further out of reach of poor people while he talks about how important low-income housing is to him.

On top of that, he's rumored to have gotten a job for his boyfriend at Fannie Mae while Frank was supposed to be overseeing Fannie Mae.

Sure he was a gay spokesman, but we can do better than this, surely. I think we need not make him a saint. Just another politician who did business as usual.

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I very much agree with you, Steven. It's just as unhelpful to society for us to praise someone just because he's gay, without looking at other things he might be doing or not doing, as it is for someone to condemn him for no other reason that the fact that he's gay. If we're ever going to get this country on not only the right track, but a good track, we have to be fair all the way around and not let someone get away with the kind of stuff Barney has done just because we think he'll help us with our causes. If a conservative praised a Republican politician who happened to be guilty of the same things the conservative would condemn a Democrat for, just because this Republican could be helpful politically, we'd all be outraged.

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Barney Frank has made a lot of mistakes over his political career (starting with having a boyfriend that was running a prostitution ring out of their home - which is how Barney ended up coming out). In many ways, he is your typical politician, warts and all. Yet, as politicians go, he has been more honest, more blunt, and more straightforward than most of his colleagues.

Show me a congressional candidate who refuses to take money from major industies like banks, etc. and I'll show you a candidate most likely to lose their election. There are few (if any) members of Congress who can get elected without taking money from banks, financial institutions, or other businesses that might be regulated by Congress. So long as candidates have to raise money to get elected, and businesses are allowed to be a part of the electoral process you will have this happen.

The important part is what they do while they are in office. Right now, the #1 target of the financial regulation business is a law that was called Dodd-Frank. Chris Dodd announced his retirement from the Senate this year, and now so has the other name attached to that law, Barney Frank. Why does the financial industry hate this law? It's simple - because it limits what they can do in screwing over the people of the United States. It even says if they screw up like they did in 2008 - they won't be bailed out again. Does it do everything we want? Hell no. We want more, but after the 2010 election you're not going to get more. Is it far better than what we had before it passed? Hell yes.

That's something that is very common, and that is a part of politics: compromise. Barney Frank was a master at compromise, and he was a master at moving forward a gay-friendly agenda as much as possible over the years. Want to know how Don't Ask Don't Tell was repealed? Barney Frank played an integral part of moving the actual legislation through the House. How did ENDA get even a shot of being heard and coming within a hair's breath of being passed? Look at Barney Frank's work.

Like any other human being, his is an imperfect person. Like any successful politician, he has a ton of skeletons in the closet rattling around. Thanks to one of those skeletons, he leaped out of the closet decades ago and hasn't looked back. When he leaves the House for the final time, there will still be gay and lesbian representatives in that institution of our government. That can not be said if he'd left twenty years ago. For far too long, he was the ONLY openly gay representative in our government.

When you look for perfection, you doom yourself to a life of perpetual dissapointment. Barney Frank's leadership on LGBT issues will be sorely missed in the years to come, especially as we come under more and more attack by Republican officials seeking to deny us marriage rights, pushing military members back in the closet, taking away rights every chance they get, and even seeking to make being gay once again a crime. (Does that sound a little extreme? Look up laws proposed, approved, and put on the books both by the federal government and the various state governments You will find cases of all of these having been submitted or enacted by Republican representatives. It is happening and will continue to happen so long as they continue to be elected to office).

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