To listen to the "elite" media you'd think that a renowned statesman was regrettably planning to leave the political scene.
As Jason Mattera of Human Events notes, "After his announcement that he won't seek re-election, The Washington Post heralded the disheveled congressman Barney Frank as leaving a 'legacy that crosses from legislative cornerstones to political confrontations to a historic place as the nation's most prominent gay lawmaker.'"
Paul Kane of the Post continued: "On the left, Frank was a hero both for his effort to rein in the nation's largest banks and for his role in promoting gay rights, having been the first member of Congress to declare his sexual orientation while in office."
During his 16 terms in Congress Barney Frank was a liberal's poster boy — witty and quotable, but fundamentally wrong on so many issues.
Called by Britain's Telegraph newspaper "one of the most strident liberal voices" among the Democrat members of Congress, Frank championed scores of far-left policies over his 30-plus years on Capitol Hill.
Frank said that running for re-election in his newly redrawn congressional district would prove too strenuous and that he had chosen to step down rather than engage in a tough re-election fight.
The damage Frank caused to the economic health of this nation — especially in the housing scandal, where his meddling with the industry brought the United States to the brink of a national banking disaster — is unforgivable.
The facts are familiar but worth reviewing. Frank worked to expand the reach of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 and opposed oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for many years during both Democrat and Republican administrations.
In 1991, Frank fought to loosen lending regulations for two- and three-family homes, even though the default rate in that sector was much higher than the single-family sector. He later blocked a Clinton administration plan to pull the reins on Fannie Mae.
During that period, Frank's partner was a Fannie Mae executive, Herb Moses. Shockingly, the revelation didn't prevent Frank's re-election and he went on to do more damage to the economy.
As ranking minority member of the House Financial Services Committee starting in 2003, Frank strenuously opposed tighter regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac even as the warning signs of risky management and impending disaster became strong, and Republicans tried to take action. He accused his opponents of exaggerating the facts, the Republican reforms lost steam, and the result was the great recession we are still trying to shake off.
Not allowing a crisis go to waste, the disingenuous Frank then tried to cover up his mistakes with the Dodd-Frank "reforms" of 2010, which are nothing more than a Democrat wish list of ways to stifle economic recovery. Higher bank fees and layoffs are just a couple of inevitable consequences.
He will not be missed.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press, 2011). He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation.
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