Originally Posted by Salty Dog
It's stunning how Barney Frank can even compete in an election after his part in the economic collapse. STUUU-NIIINNNGG!!!
1. According to Barney Frank, he didn't have anything to do with the economic collapse. Not.a.thing.
His supporters buy it hook, line, and sinker too. Here is the endorsement the Boston Globe gave him:
Frank puts his leverage to work for local causes like the fishing industry in New Bedford, which is perpetually under the scrutiny of federal regulators and needs a powerful advocate.
Assessing Frank’s performance has always been tough, because his fingers are in so many legislative pies. He acknowledges having been slow, like other officials, to see the extent of the home-mortgage crisis that engulfed the economy. For that, he deserves blame. But the larger charge that he pushed to give federally backed mortgages to less-qualified borrowers isn’t all that it seems: The Bush administration, not Frank, was focused on raising the number of buyers in its “ownership society’’; Frank wielded his clout more on behalf of rental subsidies, arguing that not everyone is qualified to own a home.
On the other side of the ledger, Frank was instrumental in helping write TARP and the Frank-Dodd bill to toughen bank regulation. It is not true, as his challenger Sean Bielat says in his ads, that “No individual is MORE responsible than Barney Frank for the housing crisis and economic collapse.’’ Frank deserves some blame, but also some credit.
Bielat, 35, is an intriguing contrast to the 70-year-old Frank. A major in the Marine Corps Reserve, with a Wharton degree and experience at the consulting firm of McKinsey & Co., he can almost go toe to toe with Frank on financial matters. Behind his boyish grin is an ego the size of Frank’s: They’re a fascinating pair of opposites. Bielat favors tax and budget cuts directed mainly away from the military; Frank hopes to spend his next term tackling military waste.
On social issues, Frank is a leader in the move to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy, while Bielat insists that the military does not discriminate on the basis of sexuality. On abortion, Bielat acknowledges that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, but is almost unique among politicians in refusing to offer his own view of abortion rights. That refusal signals the strategic nature of Bielat’s candidacy — he’s a smart bomb directed at Frank, zeroing in on the economy while neutralizing Frank’s advantage on social issues. With his broad skills, Bielat can be a leader in the state GOP. But leadership requires more than just strategic intelligence.
Frank deserves the tough questioning he’s received from Bielat; but he also deserves reelection.
The willful ignorance of liberals in Massachusetts is what is truly stunning. But it explains in part how he gets re-elected every year. The Globe is the Bible of the Left in Massachusetts; it's words are gospel; and the masses ask no questions.
2. As if the groupthink up here wasn't bad enough, the gerrymandering of our congressional districts ensures that Republicans (or anyone else, really) have almost zero chance of winning anything less than a state-wide race. (See Scott Brown for more details.)
Here is what our congressional districts look like:
Barney's district is the 4th. He lives up near where the 7th and 9th almost touch each other and cut the 4th into two pieces. In fact, at that point, I believe the district is only one town wide. (Ditto for where the 9th and 3rd almost touch.)
Here is what the alternative map looked like, which was supported by Republicans and good government groups (including Common Cause, a liberal group which campaigns for independent redistricting commissions and districts based on population only, and not political registration):
So yeah...looking at the two, is it any wonder that the Speaker of the state House of Reps that pushed through the first (and current) map was indicted for his role in the redistricting? (He lied under oath about his role in gerrymandering blacks into districts where minority candidates couldn't win elections -- and he was a Democrat, mind you.)
So anyway, that's why Barney always wins, no matter the scandal or the state of the country. It's never Barney's fault, and even if it were, his district is so safe that it's almost impossible for him to lose.