Since he let us in on his future plans, Representative Barney Frank has touched off a firestorm of discussion over his legacy of 40 years living off the largesse of the taxpayers of Massachusetts and the United States. As you might expect, much of the discussion has centered on the factor Frank spent the most time promoting: his sexual preference. (Barney liked girls, but not in that way.) I would be remiss in my duties if I sent Barney packing without so much as a nod to the fact that he is openly gay. In fact, Frank is the first-ever member of the U.S. House of Representatives to live openly as a homosexual. Even a casual glance at the fawning political epilogues being offered to Frank among today’s corporate media reveals that Frank’s sexuality is the most prominent — if not sole — reason he will be remembered.
While he made his sexual identity a sword that he used to help gays ascend to a position of political and social equality, his use of the same as a shield against any criticism may well have slowed the process. Call it a backlash, but I would suggest that Frank, much like some of the so-called black leaders, allowed his most-cherished issue to become his sole defining position. For better or worse, Frank countered criticism with unfair charges of bigotry — even when said criticism was deserved. Frank was never a Congressman; he was a gay Congressman. Something tells me that had Frank gone to cooking school, he would have become a gay chef, as opposed to just a chef. Since I am merely an average guy, I can’t necessarily identify with the difficulties Frank faced early in his career; nor can I necessarily identify with the concept of being a member of a once-disenfranchised minority of any sort. However, I wonder how Frank feels now, knowing that his entire career can be boiled down to the fact that he is gay? It strikes me that, according to Frank’s stated goal, his announcing himself as “gay” would be akin to me announcing myself as “tall.”
For those who dismiss my musings as being somehow driven by the bigotry liberals blindly assign to all conservatives, consider who’s doing the talking. The Washington Post called Frank a “hero… for his role in promoting gay rights, having been the most prominent openly gay member of Congress.” The Associated Press labeled him a “a gay pioneer in Congress” before it noted his home state. And the rusting hulk that used to be The New York Times noted Frank “… has been among the nation’s most prominent gay elected officials.”
The media’s effort to lionize Frank — while tossing out only fleeting (if any) mentions of his considerable missteps, failures and scandals — is entirely transparent. The reason has nothing to do with his sexuality and everything to do with his liberalism. Much like the abominable Ted Kennedy, who left behind a legacy of almost shockingly unrepentant corruption and offense (as well as some extraordinarily bad driving), Frank is one of the more redoubtable travelers from the far left of the American political atlas. As such, he earned a free pass from consequences. From his involvement with a prostitution ring to his well-documented complicity in the housing crisis, Frank skated away from scandals that would sink a conservative’s career.
From my perspective, Frank’s private life means nothing more to me than he wants it to. My objections to Frank are entirely political — a fact I expect would disappoint him, given the enormous effort he has put into trying to make me despise him on moral grounds. Frank has supported the Democrats’ efforts to let millions of illegal aliens dance across our borders, stood steadfast with the far left in attempting to abrogate the 2nd Amendment and pushed for government speed bumps on the information superhighway in the form of so-called “Net Neutrality.” He remains a committed supporter of the unholy profanity that is partial-birth abortion. And there is that dalliance with Fannie Mae when he took center stage in the organization’s failure and subsequent bailout for a sizable fee.
Much as it would pain him to hear it, Frank disgusts me, but only in the same way Representative Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama disgust me — no more, no less. I will remember him as unforgivably liberal. Sorry, Barney.