Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank announced today that he will retire from Congress and not seek re-election. Frank’s seat, in a liberal stronghold of the Western Boston suburbs is not at risk to going Republican, but his decision is a loss for Democrats because of his strong opinions, debate skills and his intellect. Barney has a pair and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. The downside is his occasional arrogance.
I was planning to write about Congressman Frank today due to Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s thin skin and insistence on an apology from NBC after she appeared on the Jimmy Fallon Show. Fallon’s band played the song “Lyin’ Ass Bitch,” which once she was told what the song was sent the Republican presidential candidate into a tizzy. Mind you, no one has asked radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who has a much larger audience than Fallon, to apologize for playing the song, “My Boy Lollipop” when highlighting commentary about Barney Frank (Limabugh also plays “Barack the Magic Negro,” a parody of “Puff the Magic Dragon” inspired by an LA Times column from 2008. The point being its hypocrisy for conservatives to complain about the Bachmann intro instead of Limabugh’s “humor.” Bachmann is the recipient of several “pants on fire” lies about the President and Democratic policy on the non-partisan fact checking website Politifact.com. So the “lying” part of “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” certainly applies.
Mother Jones features some of the best and worst of Barney Frank in this post.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement:
“Congressman Barney Frank is an exceptional legislator, a trusted advisor and confidante, and a champion for his district and his state. His extraordinary career in public office will leave a lasting legacy on behalf of justice, human rights, consumer protection, affordable housing, and better economic opportunity for all Americans.
“For generations to come, Congressman Frank’s name will be synonymous with the strongest consumer protections in the financial marketplace in history. In the aftermath of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, he led the effort to enact the landmark Dodd-Frank Act, creating a consumer financial protection agency, reining in Wall Street and bringing stability and transparency to a financial system run amok. This achievement exemplified his time as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee during one of its most productive periods of legislating in recent memory.
“Congressman Frank’s advocacy pushed Congress to right the wrongs of history with a fully-inclusive hate crimes bill and with the end of the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. And his drive for a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act and for marriage equality will not end with his retirement; it must, and will, remain a cornerstone of our ongoing fight for civil rights.
“Through his persistence, attention to detail, and commitment to Massachusetts’ 4th district, Congressman Frank earned the trust of his constituents. Through his passion, intelligence, and devotion to public service, he earned the respect of his colleagues. His departure from Congress will mark the end of an era. We will miss his contributions to Congress and to the American people, and I wish him and Jim all the best in the future.”