One of the biggest disappointments last night was Barney Frank's victory over challenger Sean Bielat. In victory, Frank appeared to be angry that he had faced actual competition in his heavily gerrymandered district in the bluest of blue states, and that one of two big local daily newspapers had the nerve to publish unflattering things about him. Edward Mason and Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald report:
"With the re-election of the Massachusetts delegation and Gov. Deval Patrick, we can reaffirm the complete political irrelevance of the Boston Herald," Frank told more than 100 supporters at the Crowne Plaza in Newton. "There is no limit to the bias and vitriol they unleashed."
Howie Carr of the Herald explains what the "vitriol" was:
Now, we know one of Barney's big problems with this newspaper is that reporter Dave Wedge videotaped his partner, James Dude Ready, giving the needle to Sean Bielat after a debate a couple of weeks ago. Wedge rolled tape. In Barney's world this is bias and vitriol.
See, no one is supposed to say anything about Barney. Certainly the Globe treats him with kid gloves. For example, he's present at a house in Maine with marijuana plants growing, but he doesn't know what marijuana looks like. He used to live with a male prostitute named Hot Bottom, but you can't mention that either, because it's homophobia. And then there was Barney's former partner, Herb Moses, who made a six-figure salary at Fannie or Freddie - I can never remember which.
Frank faces a major comedown, losing his chairmanship of the powerful House Banking Committee. He also faces, for the rest of his life (he is 70 years old), a reckoning for his role in creating the subprime mortgage crisis that has ruined lives, financial institutions, and retirement accounts. I lived in Mass when Frank began his career in the state legislature, and remember him being a witty smart-aleck. Now he has degenerated into a cranky curmudgeon. It doesn't look like it's much fun to be Barney Frank these days.
Hat tip: Jules Crittenden