The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected. ~Will Rogers
Just to remind you, Barney Frank was one of the Democrats in the 110th Congress who was in a position to oversee and reform Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac before the September debacle. Barney Frank, in his own words (at 4:50 and 6:04) found no fault with Fannie/Freddie’s performance:
Now, Barney Frank is shamelessly trying to cast blame for his own failure to oversee Fannie/Freddie onto the Republicans… Republicans such as Newt Gingrich, who hasn’t been in a member of Congress since 1998.
Boston.com is reporting the following exchange of comments by John McCain and Frank:
“You know, we’ve already seen a preview of their plans. It’s pretty simple and unfortunately pretty familiar: tax and spend. When the chairman of one of the most powerful committees, Barney Frank, says . . .” McCain said Friday night in Durango, Colo. “Here’s what he said, my friends, and I quote, ‘focus on an immediate increase in spending,’ we should take him at his word,” McCain went on. “And when he says there are, quote, ‘a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax,’ it’s safe to assume he’s talking about you.”
Frank yesterday dismissed McCain’s words as “an appeal to prejudice” that he said reminded him of past Republican efforts to raise voter concerns about the prospect of congressmen Charles Rangel and John Conyers, who are black, becoming committee chairs.
“I’m flattered by this,” said Frank, who is gay. “But I don’t think I’m the single most important member of the House after Nancy Pelosi. There are also a lot of straight white men who are committee chairmen. [emphasis added]
Awww, the prejudiced bullies are picking on the poor, misunderstood little gay man from Massachusetts, the man who’s been sitting on his hands, doin’ nothin’ (North Central American English dialect) in Congress for 28 years.
How the voters in his Massachusetts district can continue to re-elect this shameless, spineless twit is beyond me. They let him off the hook for this:
In 1990, the House voted to reprimand Frank when it was revealed that Steve Gobie, a male escort whom Frank had befriended after hiring him through a personal advertisement, claimed to have conducted an escort service from Frank’s apartment when he was not at home. Frank fired Gobie earlier in 1990 and reported the incident to the House Ethics Committee after learning of Gobie’s activities. After an investigation, the Ethics Committee found no evidence that Frank had known of or been involved in the alleged illegal activity and dismissed all of Gobie’s more scandalous claims. The committee recommended that Frank receive a formal reprimand for his relationship with a prostitute. Attempts to expel or censure Frank, led by Republican member Larry Craig (who himself was later embroiled in his own gay sexual scandal), failed. Rather, the House voted 408-18 to reprimand Frank who later won re-election in 1990 with 66 percent of the vote, and has won by larger margins ever since.
And more details here:
Frank admitted a lengthy relationship with a male hooker who ran a bisexual prostitution service out of Frank’s apartment.
Not to mention this conflict of interest:
Unqualified home buyers were not the only ones who benefitted from Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank’s efforts to deregulate Fannie Mae throughout the 1990s.
So did Frank’s partner, a Fannie Mae executive at the forefront of the agency’s push to relax lending restrictions.
If there ever was a better argument for term limits, I can’t find one.
[Title quote from Homer Simpson]