Jonah Goldberg

In 2007, when police busted Rep. Barney Frank's partner for illegally growing pot, Frank waved away the controversy by saying he hadn't noticed since he's "not a great outdoorsman" and has trouble recognizing any plants.

Twenty years earlier, Frank endured another controversy when his one-time partner, personal aide and roommate was revealed to be running a prostitution service out of Frank's home. The Massachusetts congressmen insisted he hadn't noticed anything amiss until informed by his landlord.

And when Frank helped fuel a housing bubble that nearly crippled the economy for a generation, he again failed to notice anything was awry until it was obvious for all to see.

While lesser men, perhaps those not dubbed the "brainiest" man on Capitol Hill by congressional staffers, might worry about accountability, Frank considers it an affront, given his personal and professional record. In short, Frank has a very solid record of obliviousness, denial and entitlement.

Watch his remarks from election night on YouTube, if you missed the spittle-flecked invective live. It's a rare specimen: an angry victory speech. He seems simply aggrieved that he was forced to take a race seriously. Indeed, he was aggrieved that Republicans refused to get off the mat. "The collective campaigns that were run by most Republicans were beneath the dignity of a democracy," he huffed, as if he's a particularly respected arbiter of democratic dignity.

Frank was hardly alone in the sore-winner caucus. Democratic Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia refused to accept a congratulatory concession call from his opponent.

Why? One reason might be that Moran, like Frank, believed it was beneath him to have to compete for his seat in the people's House. Or perhaps it was simply because his opponent, Patrick Murray, wasn't worthy in Moran's eyes. After all, Moran had complained that Murray was a "stealth candidate" who hadn't "served or performed in any kind of public service." Apparently rising to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army and serving in Iraq didn't count as public service.

To his credit, President Obama eschewed the nasty arrogance of Frank and Moran. But his denial runs just as deep.

In a press conference that was humble in tone but myopic in substance, Obama reiterated again and again that he got all of the policies right and the American people who disagreed hadn't studied the issues closely enough. It only "felt" like the government was getting too "intrusive," Obama explained. Voters had misunderstood the nature of his purely "emergency" measures.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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