Emmett Tyrrell

Barney Frank was the first self-proclaimed homosexual in Congress, and as a spokesman for gay rights, he was ardent. Today, gays and lesbians have their rights, but they want to claim the right to marry, not to sign civil union papers before the state like those heterosexuals who want a civil union. They want to claim marriage in a church. Will churches be allowed to deny them this right, free from the reach of civil rights law? It is too early to know, but as I watch the treatment of church-run hospitals refusing abortion and church-run adoption agencies treating gay couples differently than straight couples, I worry about liberals again going too far.

Certainly liberals went too far in extending subprime mortgages to those who could not afford them. Through all their travails, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had a great protector in Frank. Frank was a typical liberal advocate of subprime loans for the penurious. As late as July 2008, he told CNBC, "I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They're not the best investments these days, from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward."

Ooops. And in 2009, Frank took over the Financial Services Committee to work his wizardry on the whole financial industry. The result was Dodd-Frank, which took the crony capitalism of Fannie and Freddie to a whole new level.

Barney Frank has cost the taxpaying American people a bundle, and now that the bills are coming due, he's retiring. My guess is that he'll be richly rewarded on the speaking circuit, where he'll lecture liberals on how swell they had it, while others clean up his mess.

No, he never made it as a Moynihan or a Lowenstein.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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