Monday, November 28, 2011

Goodbye Barney, We'll Miss You

Rep. Barney Frank, one of the lights of the progressive caucus in the House, is retiring:

Rep Barney Frank (D-MA) put his trademark pugnaciousness on full display in his retirement press conference Monday, giddily bashing Republicans — especially former Speaker Newt Gingrich — at every turn.

Frank said he decided to retire for a number of reasons, including the Republican majority’s stranglehold on policy decisions, the prospect of a tough re-election, and a redesigned district that includes over 300,000 new constituents. Frank said the latter was the immediate factor behind his retirement, since he dreaded the prospect of having to reintroduce himself to so many new voters while still performing his job at a high level and wanted to give his party a heads up to find a new recruit to run. 
Frank said he would not use his Congressional experience to secure a lucrative job lobbying his former colleagues.

“I will neither be a lobbyist nor a historian,” he said, a jab at Gingrich’s self-proclaimed $1.6 million “historian” gig for Freddie Mac. “My intention is to do some combination of writing, teaching, and lectures.”
He got in some more one-liners at Gingrich as he waded into the GOP presidential primary.
“I do not think I have lived a good enough life to be rewarded by Newt Gingrich being the nominee,” he joked, calling his potential nomination “the best thing to happen to the Democratic party since Barry Goldwater.”

Frank has been a stalwart progressive Democrat throughout his service, a vocal and humorously critical champion of the left. Openly gay, he defied conservatives and the far right to defend the 99%. I've always enjoyed his acerbic putdowns of fools, clowns, and wingnuts, his acumen with financial law, and his forthright opinions, always freely given.. He'll be missed.

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