In my previous column, I took issue with liberals who take a “purist” view of financial regulation—who believe it’s wrong to appoint regulators or elect lawmakers who take campaign contributions from the financial industry, or who’ve worked in that industry in the past, or who won’t pledge never to work for it in the future. The idea is to keep regulation free of corrupting influence, but in fact their position makes it less likely that we regulate the industry well. I wrote about three of the reasons in my last column: If you worry too much about purity, you lose the inside knowledge of the industry that can make regulators more effective, as well as a personal connection with firms that can actually increase the likelihood they’ll comply with the rules.
It’s all too common today to portray regular Americans as the victims of dysfunctional politicians. It’s certainly true that in recent years those in public office seem unable to make the combination of tough choices and difficult compromises necessary for our government to function. But elected decision makers don’t operate in a vacuum; they’re not self-selected autonomous actors who willfully refuse to work together as matters of personal choice or political temperament.
The former Massachusetts congressman didn’t call his new memoir Frank for nothing. He dishes to The Daily Beast about Hillary, Aaron Schock, outing himself, and more. Barney Frank has a new memoir, Frank: A Life in Politics From the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage. In the book, which was published this week, he writes about his 40-year career in politics and the societal changes that allowed him to survive and eventually thrive as a gay man. Eleanor Clift interviewed him in Washington this week.
In 1986, I was as ready to leave the closet as I would ever be—but how would I do so? Though I was a third term Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, I had lived too long with the burden of “the gay thing” to treat coming out as a political matter alone. For many years, I was ashamed of myself for hiding my membership in a universally despised group. I’d been afraid of exposure, and angry at myself for my self-denial. I’d felt shame as I watched younger gay men and lesbians confront the bigots openly with a courage that I lacked. After all those years, lying to people was much easier emotionally than finally admitting my lie.
Barney Frank is in favor of ending marijuana prohibition. And, he has tried a pot brownie once. Erin Burnett has the back and forth.
Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) was just a guest on CNBC's Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo, and quite frankly, the interview went from zero to ugly in less than two minutes.