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Barney Frank will survive on election day

By E.J. Dionne

In The Post's 2010 Crystal Ball Sunday, Tucker Carlson followed what I think is exactly the right set of rules in deciding which upset to predict. Find a contest involving someone important and well-known, so people will remember. Make sure it's a race that few others are predicting the same way you are. And one where, even if your prediction fails, people won't hold it against you and will note later how close the result turned out to be. Oh, yes, and if you have an ideological leaning, pick a candidate your side really, really wants to see lose.

Thus did Carlson pick Republican Sean Bielat to defeat Rep. Barney Frank in Massachusetts's Fourth Congressional District. Carlson's prediction fits all these rules. (Although some might say that others have noticed that Frank has his toughest race in decades and that some conservatives have predicted Frank's defeat, if only because they want it to happen.)

But since this involves the district in which I grew up -- and, truth is, I still in many ways consider it home -- I feel compelled to counter-predict that Tucker will be wrong and Barney will survive. Everybody knows about Frank's national profile, but it's less well-known how attentive he is to the voters in that district and what they care about.

I learned this first-hand years ago, when The Post had an editorial attacking congressional pork-barrel spending. My phone rang, and an agitated Frank was on the other end, complaining about the thrust of its argument. He knows I'm from Fall River, Mass., part of his district, and made an all-politics-is-local sort of case.

"You remember the Brightman Street Bridge, right?" said Barney, referring to an old structure over the Taunton River that connects Fall River to Somerset, Mass. I allowed that I did.

"That bridge is falling apart, right?" he continued. Yes, I agreed, it was rickety.

"A new Brightman Street Bridge is my pork in that bill. Is there a problem with that?" (You can click here to see pictures of the project.) His point was the classic one: that one person's pork is another's filet mignon and that places like my home town need federal money for infrastructure projects.

Frank will thus survive in part because of the big vote he'll get in the cities at the southern end of the district -- about half of Fall River is in the fourth, as is all of our sister city of New Bedford. Both are Democratic strongholds where Barney has engaged in, well, a lot of bridge-building. He will also swamp his opponent in his home base in Newton and Brookline at the district's northern boundary.

Bielat will do quite well in the cities and towns in between (among them Taunton, Dighton, Freetown, Norton, Mansfield, Foxborough, Millis, Lakeville and Middleborough), all places where Sen. Scott Brown (R) did very well in his special election victory at the beginning of the year. But I don't think Bielat can match Brown's numbers, and Frank will more than offset those losses in his northern and southern bases. And Frank is aware of the need to shore up his vote in these parts, which is why former president Bill Clinton campaigned for him in Taunton. All told, I believe Frank is safe and will be coming back to Washington.

If I am wrong about this, Congress will lose one of its singularly most intelligent members who also happens to have a better sense of humor than just about almost anyone in public life -- and I will humbly buy Carlson the Red Sox cap of his choice. But I don't expect to have to.

By E.J. Dionne  | October 31, 2010; 8:36 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

I hope Dionne is wrong. Frank is one of the reasons for the economic mess and the failure of Frannie and Freddie. I think he is one of the most un-senatorial people in congress. Hopefully, he will go home to stay at year's end.

Posted by: annnort | October 31, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Nate Silver just posted 5 reasons why the GOP tide will be bigger than expected. Reasons 4 (The Scott Brown effect) and 5 (current polling estimates reflect unusually high Dem turnouts in 06 and 08) practically screamed SEAN BIELAT. Read them for yourself here: http://bit.ly/cPOohE

Come Tuesday night we will be able to say bye bye Barney to one of Congress' worst.

Posted by: notafan | October 31, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Sean Bielat has made the race very competitive and a lot of fun to watch as Barney Frank works harder than he has in years to get re-elected. While I don't live in the district (I'm in Stephen Lynch's 9th) the Bielat-Frank race has been one of the hottest in the state. Competition is good. I still think Frank will pull it out too but Bielat has shown himself to be a smart, very capable and attractive young candidate not afraid to debate Frank.
Finally we have some real races in Masssachusetts, for those of us tired of one-party rule by the Democrats. The voters and democracy are better for it.

Posted by: pjsilva | October 31, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

In many ways Freddie and Fannie Mae caused the latest financial mess. If one goes on youtube, you can find the role Frank played in helping hide the losses of these two institutions and preventing their reform that may well have helped either avoid or lessen the current financial mess. If you want to keep re-electing people to office that make major mistakes, you should vote for Barney Frank.

Posted by: jeffreed | October 31, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Mr Dionne -

I am one of a small number of Republicans who lives in Brookline. I think your analysis is sound, and it is probable Frank will survive. However, the Brown victory is proof there is a 4th district turnout model where Bielat can win. Of course, Frank has roots here in a way that Coakley did not - as you pointed out. But Bielat has recently energized a lot of people here in the way that Brown did. Also, Bielat is an intellectual, where Brown was not. That matters up here in the north. The tea party, which has grown stronger here, will deliver the middle and more of the south than you realize. Lastly, I find most Democrats here are involved in other races, and not this one. I have felt a clumsy ground game from Frank around here the past several weeks. He may be a good Congressman, but he hasn't campaigned in decades. Things are different. The rally here in Brookline with Frank a couple of days ago with Michael Dukakis complaining about Reagan and Bush Sr. was outdated.

Also, the Jewish community in Brookline and Newton, which has supported Frank in the past, has flipped to Bielat.

All this does not mean Frank will lose. However, it's more competitive than people realize. I will be happy to see Frank go. Bielat, who I know and go to church with, is just as smart as Frank, and is a better human being. He is not as wise, but he will be in time.

Do I think Tucker Carlson knew any of this when he made the prediction? No way. But take it from someone who lives here now - if Frank doesn't do a decent turnout job, he really can lose. If he does, he will certainly win. Does he remember how to do that? We shall see.

Posted by: edfactor | October 31, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Sir, Mr. Frank is an arrogant, pompous A**. He has been and is wrong about a whole range of economic and political issues. He has caused this nation untold harm and has never owned up to what he has done.

Morally, you get what you elect; you get what you accept. Perhaps this is a lesson the opponents of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy might absorb. Moral fringe behavior begats unethical political voting.

Posted by: wjc1va | November 1, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

It is unlikely he will survive very long after in Congress though without his croneys in the majority to protect him.

Posted by: win1 | November 1, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Only Dionne could write a column about Barney Franks' electability and his political career and not mention Fannie or Freddie. Oh gee, probably an oversight . . . . right E.J.?

Posted by: prosecutor1 | November 1, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Does Nina Totenberg (NPR) hope Barney and his gay lover will get aids?

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | November 1, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Barney is intelligent but corrupt. The voters need to retire him.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | November 1, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

BawNy Frank, let's see, is he the guy that's part of the problem instead of the solution there in Obama's Washington Land? I think so!

Hopefuly the people of Mass. will hold the fate of their country above "the bridges" and vote him out. His arrogance is a perfect example of what's wrong with our elected officials.

WE'LL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!

Posted by: barrysal | November 1, 2010 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Just as a reminder, for those of you who forgot....EJ also picked Scott Brown to lose. Shows how much he knows about his "Home State".

Posted by: d-35 | November 1, 2010 3:26 AM | Report abuse

The Republican Party in Massachusetts is comatose.

Beilat and the rest of the Tea Party candidates have done a great job.

If they do as well as Brown we will take Frank, Tierney and the open 10th District.

This is an amazing feat in a one party state dominated by the unions.

Voters Brookline, Newton, New Bedford and Fall River all have the chance to make a meaningful impact on how we are governed.

Vote Frank out.

Posted by: BostonRepublican | November 1, 2010 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Hurrah! The man whose insistence on sub-prime mortgages started the recent recession is back! He learned nothing, and still regards banks as social instruments of liberals.

Posted by: scvaughan | November 1, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

.....and one who almost caused the complete collapse of the financial system with his structure and support of Fannie and Freddie. He has singularly done more damage than any one Senator since McCarthy. No I take that back, McCarthy attacked sense and sensibility, whereas Frank decreased the net worth of almost every American and risked our total finanicial system as well.

It's good to know he has a good sense of humor. Apparently with Franken, Colbert testifying in Congress, Stewart this is the DEM's new direction. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, Barney can tell jokes.

Posted by: flyover22 | November 1, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

As a very Conservative Republican, living in New Bedford, MA, I hope you’re wrong but suspect you’re right. Most people down here could care less about Freddie "What" and Fannie "Who". It’s all about pork and there has been one ribbon cutting ceremony after another lately, courtesy of both Barney and Gov Patrick (D) MA. When Barney tells his constituents that pork is necessary for New Bedford and Fall River because of the historical bias that exists amongst Boston area politicians against South Eastern MA, he’s correct and his logic makes sense. Every project that New Bedford has tried to get during my lifetime of 62 years has been met with stiff resistance from politicians in the Boston – Washington corridor, because they simply wanted the money to go to projects above route 128 rather than the armpit of Massachusetts. And the bias has actually been worse when we've had Republican governors I'm sorry to say. It sounds selfish at a time the whole country is in dire straits, but even someone who supports the Tea Party like I do has trouble arguing against that logic, therefore I think he’ll win, unfortunately because is very good at convincing his constituents that he fights for them when no one else does, and most of the time he is correct. Even though there is no greater advocate for my part of the State than Barney Frank, I’m praying that 4th District residents put their national concerns for the future of this country ahead of their local desires for the moment. If we don’t total bankruptcy and chaos will be arriving on our shores sooner than you think.

Follow political and cultural commentary at http://jazzpatriot.blogspot.com

Posted by: jazzpatriot | November 1, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Leave it to Dionne to root for Barney Frank. He praises him for his intelligence and sense of humor. Huh, Frank is arrogant and dismissive of anyone who disagrees with him. He is a boor and a flamboyant fop. Intelligent? He missed the warning signs of Fannie and Freddie and resisted numerous attempt to reform those failed institutions. Barney's intelligence, more than any other politician, set us up for the housing bubble.

Posted by: jkk1943 | November 1, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

"Congress will lose one of its singularly most intelligent members"

Yeah ... bumnbling Bawnieeeeeeee is so intelligent he conned the country into believing Fannie and Freddie were sound and now we are paying billions for his stupidity and LIES.

He is hardly an intelligent member of Congress.... He is a pathetic babbling old Queen who needs to be forced out of office. He is also a disgrace to the gay community. If the people in Mass. vote him back in they are as stupid as he is.

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | November 1, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

THE TRUTH: Barney is not only smart but he has common sense / the mess the USA is in is because of 8 yrears of Bush and the boys / also lets not forget the over spending americans and banks who forgot the 100% rule of finance / 25% mortgage 25% savings 25% living expenses and 25% for food and clothes and fun / so if i am not telling the truth hmmmmm point your uninformed finger at me and I will take the blame for all the mess you folks got your self into by keeping up with the Jones / I got out before the mess happened / I moved to Kenya with my beautiful wife and here we LIVE with corruption but have a good life / there is one thing wrong with Mr. Frank I sent him my phone # and well I am sure it got to his list but he has not got to me yet / he will win again because he is of the people by the people and always for the people GOOD WAY TO GO BARNEY

Posted by: njdcap1 | November 1, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Really?? That's too bad.

Posted by: jpmenavich | November 1, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

OK if Barney survives on Tuesday as long as he is neutered with his influence on the Banking committee. After all he is very entertaining.
Then, all we need to do is find something to stuff in his mouth.
Any ideas, E.J.?

Posted by: rteske | November 1, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Frank epitomizes what's wrong with our politics....an arrogant social engineer who, as much as any single person, caused the mess we're in. Go back to playing volley ball in the pool with your boy toy Barney.

Posted by: twann9852 | November 1, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

WOW! So what your saying is face it Barney Frank buys his votes and that is how it works.SAD!I shouldn't be PollyAnna.That is how it happens everywhere.This is the poster child for whats wrong with the system.I hope his district is smart enough to see the bigger picture.

Posted by: allsides | November 1, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Barney was a major player in the national financial crisis but helped fund a little, local bridge. Sounds like an even swap to me.

Posted by: ej_smug | November 1, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

While I am happy for your home state in the "pork" that Frank has brought home for them ...like infrastructure...the truth is that he has been bad for the country.

He ignored President Bush's warnings that the housing market was going burst its bubble and that it would bring down not only our own economy but the world economy would be shaken as well....four times Frank ignored it saying that Fannie and Freddie (the cause of the risky trading that went on that helped to cause the crash) and refused to even get a bill out of his committee.

He is the one that attached a last minute amendment to the TARP bill that allowed Maxine Waters to help out her husband's bank and why she is now under investigation.

These are just what we know of the damage this man has done to the economy of this country....he should NOT be reelected and in fact - I'd support a criminal investigation of his abuse of power.

Posted by: LMW6 | November 1, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I too hope Mr. Dionne is wrong. Fortunately, in his role as Democratic shill, he often is. Barney is a walking example of what is wrong with Congress, all of it, including Republicans. The huge financial bill just passed that won't prevent this mess from happening again was made possible by corporate donors to Barney Frank's campaign slush fund. He did, probably nothing illegal, but nothing ethical, either. It smells very bad, as does Barney Frank's pernicious influence on our economy.

Posted by: sailhardy | November 1, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

EJ, you and Barney should really just put on your speedos and go swimming together!

Posted by: rustynailx | November 1, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Frank’s plight is emblematic of the Democratic Party’s woes. Frank’s defense of, and his relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry, are what is wrong with Washington and what is offensive about crony capitalism. Frank’s Fannie and Freddie Fiascos crystallize the fact that the judgment and moral compass of the Northeast Democratic liberal elite are no more acute or fine-tuned than those of the rest of the country.

Unfortunately, we are still paying for Fannie and Freddie’s sins. Over the next three years the cost of bailing out Fannie Mae cut hit $363 billion. Up until now, tax payers have spent $148 billion to shore up Fannie and Freddie.

Barney Frank is and always will be a dishonest broker for his constituents. It's high time we got rid of him.

Posted by: avatar666 | November 1, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Frank’s plight is emblematic of the Democratic Party’s woes. Frank’s defense of, and his relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry, are what is wrong with Washington and what is offensive about crony capitalism. Frank’s Fannie and Freddie Fiascos crystallize the fact that the judgment and moral compass of the Northeast Democratic liberal elite are no more acute or fine-tuned than those of the rest of the country.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are hybrid creatures, or “government sponsored enterprises”. They were created by Congress, but issued shares of publicly trade stock to the public. These days, Fannie and Freddie are wards of the state. In September 2008, Fannie and Freddie were placed into a conservatorship under the auspices of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. It did not have to be that way.

Frank should go to jail, let alone be a politician from Massachusettes.

Posted by: avatar666 | November 1, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Frank’s plight is emblematic of the Democratic Party’s woes. Frank’s defense of, and his relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry, are what is wrong with Washington and what is offensive about crony capitalism. Frank’s Fannie and Freddie Fiascos crystallize the fact that the judgment and moral compass of the Northeast Democratic liberal elite are no more acute or fine-tuned than those of the rest of the country.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are hybrid creatures, or “government sponsored enterprises”. They were created by Congress, but issued shares of publicly trade stock to the public. These days, Fannie and Freddie are wards of the state. In September 2008, Fannie and Freddie were placed into a conservatorship under the auspices of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. It did not have to be that way.

Frank should go to jail, let alone be a politician from Massachusettes.

Posted by: avatar666 | November 1, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

In the midst of a severe recession that originated with catastrophic Congressional housing initiatives, it would be hard to write a column about Barney Frank without mentioning Freddie and Fannie. Dionne managed to do this. He remains among our more dishonest columnists.

Posted by: Roytex | November 1, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

In the midst of a severe recession that originated with catastrophic Congressional housing initiatives, it would be hard to write a column about Barney Frank without mentioning Freddie and Fannie. Dionne managed to do this. He remains among our most dishonest columnists.

Posted by: Roytex | November 1, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse


Mr. Dionne is a big fan of Barney's and that is his right. Personally I think Barney Frank, along with Chris Dodd and Nancy Pelosi, is one of the perfect poster children for illustrating gross corruption and ego maniacal circumvention of the Constitution. I don't live in Massachusetts so I can't vote against this very crooked sleazy pol, but I send my best wishes to those will. throw the bum out.

Posted by: jstratt2 | November 1, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse


Mr. Dionne is a big fan of Barney's and that is his right. Personally I think Barney Frank, along with Chris Dodd and Nancy Pelosi, is one of the perfect poster children for illustrating gross corruption and ego maniacal circumvention of the Constitution. I don't live in Massachusetts so I can't vote against this very crooked sleazy pol, but I send my best wishes to those will. throw the bum out.

Posted by: jstratt2 | November 1, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Dionne,

It has been a long time since you lived in our district.

Frank is despised here, even more so now after all of his pathetic last minute, back-room election deal-making.

Frank's arrogance has done him in on Beacon Hill. They all know he has lost voter confidence.

And none of the politicos want to be associated with a has been.

Frank is in a very lonely place right now.

Posted by: libertyfreedomall | November 1, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully the voter's in Barney's district will use common sense and send Frank home. Course when you dangle the kind of resource that is available to Barney, voters have the tendancy to forget that the country is broke and Barney Frank was instrumental in the process. Maybe they ought to take into account the $$$$'s that is owed to Japan & China. When there is no money left in the bank to pay the bills, maybe, just maybe, they will think twice when they enter the voting booth.


Posted by: MRGRG-USA | November 1, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne,

The only problem with your Barney Frank bridge anecdote is that ignores the simple truth that someone eventually had to pay for the d*** bridge.

String together thousands of multi-billion dollar earmark projects spent by Mr. Frank and his pals in congress (Democrat & Republican) and people begin to understand why the currency is being destroyed by Washington. Econ 101: Someone always (ALWAYS) must pay. No exceptions, no excuses, and above all, no free lunches.

I do not know if a Sean Bielat win on Tuesday night will make a difference. One thing is certain though, a vote for Barney Frank is a vote for the status quo. And therein lies the difference in tomorrow's candidates.

And so it goes...

Posted by: pgould1 | November 1, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse


I too live in massachusetts, a very ugly place right now, the state is run by lying cheating frauds, all of course are Democrats. Massachusetts is a democratic state, cursed by the kennedys, john kerry and barney franks. This means of course barney hotbottom will be re-elected despite a fraud ridden career, a man with a deplorable life style, and of course a man of principle, that being make as much money you can, and the hell with the citizens. The people who vote for barney franks, see him just a very overweight, rubber faced good guy, that helps roll in the pork to his district.

Posted by: davidtrottier2002 | November 1, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

As a Massachusetts resident, although not in Barney Franks district, it does seem pretty clear that Congressman Frank is ahead. He is much beloved here, and a very hard working and effective Congressman. Bielat fell flat on his face during the debate. I think EJ is right about this one. Senator Brown has proved himself no prize for Massachusetts workers and families and the tone of the national Republican/ Tea Party campaign is vicious and unpleasant and ignorant - things that don't play well in this state.

Posted by: freedom9 | November 1, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I find it remarkable that the right continues to blame Barney Frank for the problems of Fannie and Freddy, instead of the real reasons - Wall Street & Big Lenders. The artificial run-up of value on property and the relaxation/elimination of oversight on lending provided an opportunity to make zillions of $$ in front-loaded fees with very, very, very concern of future consequences/risk.

Fanny and Freddy, as buyers of CONFORMING mortgages, allowed Lenders an important and advantageous tool to turn over their money on an immediate basis WITHOUT risk. What constituted "Conforming" mortgages had nothing to do with sub-prime borrowers; it had everything to do with a series of gimmicks that collectively made it appear that individual borrowers could afford to make their payments without the prudent (and considerably more restrictive) historical requirements of lending. Valuing a house at $250K that intrinsically is worth $150K is a ticking time-bomb - you may have the ability to adjust the timer, but at some point the bomb will go-off.

Now I know all kinds of people with all kinds of income ranges who either re-financed or bought at the height of the marketplace. Those that maxed out their loan-to-value ran into some kind of problem, often quite severe; those that didn't may have run into problems, but they are overall in much better shape because they still have equity. However, try, just try to deal with lenders when you are making your payments on-time.

The clear solution, and the ONLY way out of this mess, would be to apply the same standards to lenders that apply to other businesses: to write down the asset to its revised value - something that should have been required in any bail-out program and WASN'T. And you can't blame that on Barney Frank.

Posted by: gwolgang | November 1, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I find it remarkable that the right continues to blame Barney Frank for the problems of Fannie and Freddy, instead of the real reasons - Wall Street & Big Lenders. The artificial run-up of value on property and the relaxation/elimination of oversight on lending provided an opportunity to make zillions of $$ in front-loaded fees with very, very, very concern of future consequences/risk.

Fanny and Freddy, as buyers of CONFORMING mortgages, allowed Lenders an important and advantageous tool to turn over their money on an immediate basis WITHOUT risk. What constituted "Conforming" mortgages had nothing to do with sub-prime borrowers; it had everything to do with a series of gimmicks that collectively made it appear that individual borrowers could afford to make their payments without the prudent (and considerably more restrictive) historical requirements of lending. Valuing a house at $250K that intrinsically is worth $150K is a ticking time-bomb - you may have the ability to adjust the timer, but at some point the bomb will go-off.

Now I know all kinds of people with all kinds of income ranges who either re-financed or bought at the height of the marketplace. Those that maxed out their loan-to-value ran into some kind of problem, often quite severe; those that didn't may have run into problems, but they are overall in much better shape because they still have equity. However, try, just try to deal with lenders when you are making your payments on-time.

The clear solution, and the ONLY way out of this mess, would be to apply the same standards to lenders that apply to other businesses: to write down the asset to its revised value - something that should have been required in any bail-out program and WASN'T. And you can't blame that on Barney Frank.

Posted by: gwolgang | November 1, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I hope the last words we as voters will remember Nothing wrong with F/M F/M then vote Franks out!byebyeBayney

Posted by: freedon | November 1, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

That's too bad. Frank is the old school back room deal maker who places party and politics above country. A left wing ideologue with fading integrity and who will turn America into Cuba given the time.

Unfortunately, he seniority gives him power and presence which hurts the nation.

Our saving grace is that the folks are awakening to those like him and their time is limited. Also, not discounting his influence on national politics, as one of the most arrogant and divisive Yankee urban elites; when his party is in the minority the damage will be mostly limited to the region he represents.

Vote Freedom, not socialism.

Posted by: semperfi6591 | November 1, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

If Barney Franks wins it will be a sad statement on the state of politics in America. He, most of all, should be ousted because he is one of those most responsible for our current economic condition. I don't care about his sense of humor and I don't care about his pork. Intelligent, maybe, smart with common sense, not even close. He is incompetent and intent on pushing his agenda not that of his state or the Nation. Just a leech.

Posted by: staterighter | November 1, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The unwarranted and grossly unfair exaggeration that Barney Frank caused the recent economic crisis has been spread by Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and an assortment of demagogues on AM radio and elsewhere pandering to the uninformed, misinformed, and the just plain dumb among us. Former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, Security Exchange Chairman, Christopher Fox, and former Treasury Secretary, John Snow have all (before a House Oversight Committee in 2008) vehemently denied that Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or loans to low-income Americans were behind the cause of the lending crisis. Federal housing data and a variety of economists back up this same assertion. Unfortunately, mere facts are not always effective against the sleaziest of political tactics, that is, if you tell a lie big enough and repeat it often enough, people will eventually believe it.

Posted by: tmirabile67 | November 1, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Lot of Boston Herald readers commenting on this piece.

Posted by: polarbear3 | November 6, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

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