Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hey Barney, Please Shut Up

As Joyce Arnold noted today:

Image credit: Barney Frank's office It’s Barney Frank, so it’s unlikely anyone is going to be shocked when he says something a bit “out there.” And since he’s retiring, and this was his last Democratic National Convention as a member of Congress, maybe he felt even more free than usual. Whatever he was, or wasn’t, thinking, his remarks regarding the Log Cabin Republicans [(LCR)] have certainly gotten attention. He made the comments while addressing the LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] Caucus, and, according to Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed, Frank had made similar remarks earlier, on Michelangelo Signorile’s radio show.

Queer Talk: Barney Frank Being Barney Frank

I was a lot more fond of Barney Frank and his mouth before he rolled over and begged for the banks, rather than trying to pass legislation that could have prevented another financial catastrophe like the one we saw in 2008. Instead, we got the Dodd-Frank Bill, an absurdly weak piece of legislation that the financial industry almost immediately figured out how to get around, and the Obama Administration has no intention of enforcing anyway.

Now, I just can’t help but remember that it was the LCR who brought suit against the Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy. How much longer would it have been before DADT was repealed if there hadn’t been a Republican gay rights group fighting a Democratic presidential administration in court? My guess is, given the general lack of interest on the part of that administration about gay rights, is “until hell froze over”. The Obama Administration was perfectly OK with letting good people be drummed out of the military because they were gay. That’s actually an example of partisan politics working – the party that was supposed to be working on behalf of a constituency fell down on the job, and another, seeing an advantage perhaps, ended up pushing them in the right direction.

Most of us have more than one issue we’re concerned with, We all pick from among options that are less than ideal. I wish people who want to say things like Barney Frank did about the LCR would step back and consider that once in a while, but such people aren't inclined to be thoughtful, in my experience. I can’t blame gays for being Republicans any more than I can blame progressives for being Democrats.

As for Barney Frank, he had a chance to say something about what was needed to make the things under his watch, the nation's financial industries, right. Instead, he took the money and ran. I wish he'd just shut the hell up and retire.

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