By Jeff Jacoby
If Frank is looking for a culprit to blame, he can find one likely suspect in the nearest mirror.
In case you have forgotten just who Barney Frank is, here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia:
Frank was born to a Jewish family in Bayonne, New Jersey and was educated at Harvard College, where he resided in Kirkland House and then Winthrop House, graduating in 1962. He taught undergraduates at Harvard while studying for a Ph.D., but left in 1968, before completing that degree, to become the Chief Assistant to Mayor Kevin White of Boston, a position he held for three years. He then served for one year as Administrative Assistant to Congressman Michael J. Harrington.
While in state and local government, Frank taught part time at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and at Boston University. He published numerous articles on politics and public affairs, and in 1992 he published Speaking Frankly, an essay on the role the Democratic Party should play in the 1990s.
In 1979, Frank became a member of the Massachusetts Bar. A year later, he won the Democratic nomination for the seat of Father Robert Drinan, who had left Congress following a call by Pope John Paul II for priests to withdraw from political positions. In 1982, redistricting forced him to run against Republican Margaret Heckler. The newly configured district retained Frank's district number — the 4th — but was geographically more Heckler's district. Initially a heavy underdog, he focused on Heckler's initial support for President Ronald Reagan's tax cuts, and won by 20 percentage points. He hasn't faced credible opposition since, and has been reelected 12 times. The Republicans have not fielded an opponent against him since 2002.
Frank is one of the most liberal members of the House, and has been outspoken on many civil rights issues, including gay rights. In 1987, he spoke publicly about his homosexuality for the first time. He said in a 1996 interview: "I'm used to being in the minority. I'm a left-handed gay Jew. I've never felt, automatically, a member of any majority."
In 1990, the House voted to reprimand Frank when it was revealed that Steve Gobie, a male escort whom Frank had befriended after hiring him through a personal advertisement, claimed to have conducted an escort service from Frank's apartment when he was not at home. Frank had dismissed Gobie earlier that year and reported the incident to the House Ethics Committee after learning of Gobie's activities. After an investigation, the House Ethics Committee found no evidence that Frank had known of or been involved in the alleged illegal activity. Regarding Gobie's more scandalous claims the report by the Ethics Committee concluded, "In numerous instances where an assertion made by Mr. Gobie (either publicly or during his Committee deposition) was investigated for accuracy, the assertion was contradicted by third-party sworn testimony or other evidence of Mr. Gobie himself."
The New York Times reported on July 20, 1990 that the House Ethics Committee recommended "that Representative Barney Frank receive a formal reprimand from the House for his relationship with a male prostitute." Attempts to expel or censure Frank, led by Republican member Larry Craig (who himself was later embroiled in his own homosexual scandal) failed. Rather, the House voted 408-18 to reprimand him. This condemnation was not reflected in Frank's district, where he won re-election in 1990 with 66 percent of the vote, and has won by larger margins ever since.