Representative Barney Frank, who has represented the 4th Massachusetts Congressional District for thirty-two years, today announced that he will not run for re-election in 2012. This is a great loss to the party, the country, and the people. He will be greatly missed. Just as Orrin Hatch is a poster child for the cause of term limits, so Frank is the strongest possible argument against. I still recall with great delight watching on C-Span as Barney took the gavel to preside over the House. The wit and force with which he stifled the foolishness of his Republican opponents was sheer pleasure to watch.
Everyone has a favorite Barney Frank one-liner. Mine was his caustic remark about other members of Congress, at a time when he was the only out-gay Congressman. "There are many gay members of the House," he is reputed to have said, "and I have danced with all of them."