In my colleague John Stansbury’s posting about Barney Frank’s victory speech, quite a few commenters (four of eight) thought it would be clever to allude to Congressman Frank’s sexual orientation.
That’s right. He’s gay. He’s a homosexual. A pole-smoker. A backdoor bandit. A rump ranger. A fag. A fruit. A fegala. A pansy. A sissy. A limp-wrister. A sodomite. A cornholer. A buggerer.
Did I miss any?
(Please, that was rhetorical. Don’t bother telling me more I’ve missed.)
Congrats. We’ve all established what this particularly unattractive 70-year-old man likes to do in his bedroom (or wherever else). So what?
Let’s be blunt. Not only does Congressman Frank’s sexual orientation have nothing to do with the reasons for which I (and so many others) despise him for, it’s actually benefited him politically. The cachet of his being gay has let him skirt past some sexual scandals that would have torpedoed most politicians’ careers — and, cumulatively, would have sunk any other career pol.
In the 80’s, Frank was feeling lonely, so he hired a male prostitute. Steve Gobie, who went by the professional name “Hot Bottom,” soon moved in with Frank and continued to act as a male “escort” right out of Frank’s home. Frank pleaded ignorance when it was discovered, and tossed Gobie out on his hot bottom.
In the 90’s, Frank had a less commercially-based relationship with Herb Moses, a gay activist. Well, at least away from the office — during the day, Moses was a top exec at Fannie Mae, the mortgage backer — which Frank oversaw through his duties in Congress. Frank was one of Fannie Mae’s (and Freddie Mac’s) staunchest defenders, insisting that they were perfectly healthy and utterly incapable of collapsing — right up until they collapsed.
In just the few years, Frank was staying at a home in Maine that was raided by the police. It seems there were marijuana plants on the premises, and Frank’s current paramour was busted for possession. Frank — who has authored numerous bills to decriminalize marijuana and legalize medical marijuana — insisted that he didn’t recognize the pot plants, and was let go.
And in the last campaign, after a debate, the same fellow — James Ready — was waiting outside the debate hall. He started heckling and harassing Frank’s opponent, Sean Beilat. Such behavior by the domestic partner of any other candidate would at least rate a mention in the media, but we must show “tolerance” for Frank’s homosexuality — outside the blogs, it rated hardly a mention.
So yeah, Barney Frank’s gay. We got it, folks. But regardless of one’s opinion of gays and gay rights, take a look at Frank’s career. Constantly reminding people that he’s gay has done nothing but help the guy continue his decades-long rein of error over the American people. It’s helped him retain his seat (pardon the expression) and continue to amass power and wield great influence. It took the crushing defeat of his party to strip him of much of his power — Frank himself handily won re-election, and is still convinced that he’s smarter than anyone else and knows what’s best for all of us.
And focusing on his sexual orientation is not only not helpful, but downright hurtful. Because it only seems to help him.
So knock it off.