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Ear to the Ground

Barney Frank to Call It Quits

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Posted on Nov 28, 2011
Flickr / World Economic Forum (CC-BY-SA)

Bye bye, Barney: Frank announced his impending retirement on Monday.

Want to get a quick read on another American’s politics? Say the words Barney Frank. The Massachusetts congressman has become a distinctive presence in the House of Representatives over the last 32 years, becoming a lightning rod for condemnation and celebration, depending on where you sit. On Monday, Frank announced that he’ll bow out of the next election, so now we can all argue about his legacy instead.  —KA

Update: Click here to read Frank’s comments during his announcement on Monday.

The Hill:

Elected in 1980, Frank survived scandal early in his career and rose to become the nation’s most powerful openly-gay elected official. After coming out publicly, he became a champion for gay rights and helped campaign for an end to the military’s ban on gays serving openly, which ended this year.

His legislative legacy is likely to be the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that passed in 2010 in the wake of the Wall Street meltdown that sent the economy into a tailspin in 2008.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, November 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

I disagree with term limits that won’t stop
corruption and there’s a case to be made that it
could make things worse. Such as, no concern for long
term issues, they could shine for the moment throw some money at their friends and be
done. Another would be that put in a few years simply
to push the agenda for special interests without a
care about reelection. Also someone with years of experience who worries about reelection is more likely to make better overall decisions. Corruption is the problem.

I like Barney Frank and I wish he were staying, seems
to me if you’ve pissed off the far right and you’ve
pissed off the far left you must be doing something
right.

Bye Barney, have a good one.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, November 28, 2011 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

Term limits come to mind… career politicians should not be allowed.

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Payson's avatar

By Payson, November 28, 2011 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

Despite the popularity of Barney Frank among many self-described “liberals”
Barney Frank has hardly advanced progressive causes in the very areas of
influence his position allowed.  His weak and clumsy approach to taking on
financial regulation is only one example of his less than stellar record.  If
someone yearns for true progressivism devoid of ineptitude, blatant hypocrisy
and the status quo, Barney Frank was the wrong politician to rally around.

Naturally, his departure has brought out the mobs of bigots who celebrate his
retirement with hateful glee.  Even in the era of violent rhetoric, some of the
comments I have read on the web have been incredibly disturbing.  We have
reached the sad point of seeing our nation’s elected leaders elicit negative
reactions from each side of the institutionalized left/right paradigm for entirely
different reasons.

My fear that progressive ideals continue to disappear due to the brilliant
manipulation of the populace by conservatives as well as the inept pseudo-
liberal class seems well-founded.  Barney Frank, much like Anthony Weiner,
were touted as the great heroes of liberalism who could battle for what is right. 
Seriously, we can do better.

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By Berynice, November 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

I for one will miss him and am sorry to see him go.

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oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, November 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

exit Barney Frank:
Sic Transit Hubris

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