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Good Riddance, "Subprime" Barney Frank


RUSH:  So Barney Frank is retiring from Congress.  He's not going to seek reelection.  He's gonna announce it in less than an hour -- well, he's announced it.  He's gonna tell us why in less than an hour.  I've been looking into this, and the basic reason, well, it's partly to spend more time with the family.  (laughing) What family?  I don't know, folks.  Figure it out.  It's a redistricting thing.  His district has been rewritten in such a way that he probably could not win it is what really has gone down there and that's pretty much it.  I don't know what he's gonna say.  He's not gonna say that as the reason.  But as far as I'm concerned, good riddance.  If there is a name that is singularly attached to this economic collapse via the subprime mortgage fiasco, it's Barney Frank, along with Chris Dodd as well and most elements of the Democrat Party back in the Clinton years moving forward. 

Great to have you with us, folks.  Here we are, kicking off a brand-new week of broadcast excellence, El Rushbo here behind the Golden EIB Microphone. 

If running a prostitution ring in your house couldn't make you resign, what does?  Wait.  Barney did not run the prostitution ring.  He said he didn't know that it was going on.  It was his partner at the time, Stephen Gobie.  Yeah.  Barney fixed parking tickets for the clientele at the house.  So if having a prostitution ring being run out of your basement couldn't embarrass you to retire, you do have to wonder what it is.  Look, I've looked into this, and I think it is a redistricting -- (interruption) no, he's not gonna go coach football, Snerdley.  What are you talking about?  Have you heard that?  I thought it was basketball.  Where is he gonna coach football?  Oh, don't get me started on that.  No, no, don't let me start the week with that kind of information.  Don't tell me that's true.  No, no, no, no, no. 
Anyway, we'll find out at one o'clock the reason. 

I mean the media's shaken.  The Drive-Bys are terribly upset about this. It caught everybody by surprise.  It's gonna boil down to a redistricting thing where he, I'm sure, was not confident that he could win, pure and simple.  He had a very tough time last time.  He had a tough time last time, and that was in a district that was written for him.  They've gone from ten to nine districts in Massachusetts, and one of the districts took a major hit and a new shape, it was rewritten, new form.  Looked entirely different, it was Barney's.  I also think as part of this, Barney doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who wants to be part of an ongoing minority for an interminable number of years.  And he's gotta know what things are looking like for the Democrat Party in not just the House but the Senate, elections nationwide.


RUSH:  Barney Frank just said, among other things, the reason he's quitting Congress is that he's looked at it and he's convinced (impression), "The conservative Republicans will not raise taxes on the very rich. They're not gonna raise taxes, so I'm -- I'm quitting! I'm -- I'm -- I'm moving on! The -- the -- the -- the -- there's nothing for me here. It's just that there no tax increases, and therefore there's no reason to -- to -- to stay."


RUSH: So I watched a little bit of Barney Frank.  Folks, it was hilarious.  For one thing, he's quitting, so his seat, Barney Frank's seat is now wide open.  Yes siree, Bob, says he's stepping down to pursue an active life.  He gave a lot of reasons for stepping down.  I lost count.  Among them, that he's convinced that conservative Republicans are not gonna raise taxes on the 1% so he doesn't want to be there for that.  As I told you at the beginning of the program, it's a redistricting thing, and he spent a lot of time on that.  And this was hilarious.  He said he just doesn't want to go to a new district of people and try to tell 'em that he's gonna represent 'em for a couple years and then retire.  He's represented a certain group of people for all these years, among them the fishing industry, and he said, (imitating) "I cannot walk away from the fishing industry in Massachusetts. I just can't walk away from the fishing industry."  The fishing industry would not be in this new district.

What it means is, is that he would have to campaign; what it means is that he might lose; what it means is that the Democrats are gonna be in the minority for the foreseeable future, and all these years Barney never had to campaign.  The last election was the first time in I don't know how many years, ten, that he actually had a viable opponent.  He's never had to spend much money or time running for reelection.  That's all different now.  In fact, I heard, I have to confirm this, that Dennis Kucinich, his district has been rewritten, or is about to be written -- (interruption) Okay, that's what I heard, they're writing his district out of existence in Ohio, so he's thinking about moving to Seattle.  Allahu Akbar. (laughing) Gonna go to Seattle.  So Barney's not willing to get to know new people in Massachusetts, doesn't want to abandon the fishing industry, but Kucinich, to hell with it, I'll go represent people in Seattle I never met, state of Washington or what have you.  So, anyway, Barney is effectively gone.


RUSH: Barney Frank is the other story today, Barney Frank, "no mas, no mas."  Barney Frank leaving his congressional seat.  We have three sound bites.  They are numbers 22, 23, and 24, Barney Frank today in Newton, Massachusetts.

FRANK:  A funny thing happened on the way to retirement.  A very conservative Republican majority took over the House.  At that point, it seemed to me that some of the things I had fought hardest for could be in jeopardy.  Financial reform, which I anticipated the conservative Republicans who are running the House would try to undermine, and additionally, I was afraid that given the need to do deficit reduction, this very conservative majority would seek to block any increase in taxation on the wealthiest people.

RUSH:  So I'm quitting.  I'm quitting Congress 'cause this conservative majority would not see fit to raise taxes on the wealthiest people, so there's no future for me here.  Without tax increases, I cannot serve.  And Barney continued.

FRANK:  Ordinarily I would not have announced as early as I did, but we are doing redistricting, or did redistricting, and the legislative leadership and my colleagues all said, "Look, it's important for you to tell everybody, all of us, whether you plan to run or not."  And so I gave my initial view.  And I was planning to run again, and then the congressional redistricting came.  And this decision was precipitated by congressional redistricting, not entirely caused by it.  I've been ambivalent about running, not because I don't continue to think the job is important, but because there are other things I'd like to do in my life before my career is over.  If I were to run again, I would be engaged full-fledged in a campaign, which is entirely appropriate, nobody ought to expect to get elected without a -- a contest, but the fact that it is so new makes it harder in terms of learning about new areas, introducing myself to new people, and I have three obligations.  One is to continue to serve the people I currently serve.  I'm wearing a New Bedford Welling Museum tie.  I've spent 20 years working on the fishing industry.  None of the fishing industry areas will be in the district that -- that I would be running in.  I can't walk away from the fishing industry. I can't walk away from people I've grown personally close to and say, "Well, I'm sorry, I got -- I gotta go worry about the Blackstone Valley, I don't have time to do you."

RUSH:  I can't walk away from the fishing industry.  Barney Frank, the conservatives won't raise taxes on the rich, and I can't walk away from the fishing industry.  So Barney is sayonara. 

(playing of Barney Frank spoof song)


RUSH:  Dave baby Cortez, he had two big hits.  Big hits, I mean had two hits.  This is one of them called Rinky-Dink, and the other one, The Happy Organ.  The Happy Organ, Happy Organ, 1958.  Famous that -- no, Barney Frank's.  Not Clinton's.


RUSH: Here's Jason, Dallas, Texas.  Jason, welcome to the EIB Network.  Great to have you here.

CALLER:  Thanks, Rush.  I can't believe I waited 22 years to talk to you, and I have to follow the toilet paper story.

RUSH:  Well, it's your chance to make something of it.

CALLER:  (laughing)  That's right.  Hey, I can't believe that Barney Frank gets to just walk away from it all.  After the chaos that he caused, the ruin that he laid the financial industry, housing crisis, his fingerprints are all over it, and now we don't even get the chance to defeat him in an election, he gets to just walk away and have schools named after him and bridges named after him, and he's done, and that's it, and he gets to move on with his life.  How irritating is that?

RUSH:  Yeah, it is irritating but at the same token you and I both know that Barney was not gonna come under any investigation.  He was not gonna be held accountable for whatever happened in the subprime mortgage mess or any of the other financial boondoggles that his fingerprints are on.  You know he's not gonna be held accountable for it.  So he was always gonna walk away from it.

CALLER:  Absolutely, and I think the thing that's irritating is, you're right, I do know that, I think most people know that, that guys in Congress get to throw bombs and set fires and then act like they had nothing to do with it and walk away, but with the redistricting I thought, what kind of poetic justice would it be for him to finally lose an election, or at least have a shot at losing.

RUSH:  Ah, that seat's wide open now.  Barney Frank's seat is wide open.  He didn't want to run for reelection.  He's never had to really -- his first election and the last one were the only ones he really had a contest.  He's never had to spend a lot of time or money campaigning.  And I don't think he wanted to this time.  I don't think he wants to have to compete, and he certainly doesn't want to be in the minority.

CALLER:  Absolutely.  I'll tell you what, though, whatever he said he wants to do, he wants to do other things in his life --

RUSH:  Yeah.

CALLER:  -- I'd be nervous.  I mean travel industry, does he want to try to lay waste to that, pharmaceutical industrial, I mean what's next?  I'd want to stay far away from him.

RUSH:  Don't be surprised.  They'll find something.  Barney's not gonna go away.  In fact, Obama just had a press conference, press availability, not a conference, in the White House Cabinet Room, and Obama said this country has never had a congressman like Barney Frank, and the House of Representatives will not be the same without him.  And that, my friends, is probably very true.  Our Barney Frank update theme by Millie Small. 

(Playing of Barney Frank spoof song)

RUSH:  Barney Frank update theme, and it's not going away, just as Barney isn't going away.  The only thing to change here is that Barney's seat is wide open. 

(continued playing of song) 

RUSH:  No, no, no, no, Barney would not.  Somebody just told me that Barney would love being spanked in an election.  No.  No.  No. 

(Continued playing of song) 

RUSH:  Not in an election. 


RUSH: (Happy Organ song) Ah, here we go. Here we go. (chuckles) I guess we're not through with Barney Frank tunes. Happy Organ. (laughing) Stop this for just a second. Stop it. Just stop it. Stop it. (song cuts off) Keep it right there. What always fascinates me is, this song is from 1958. I'm seven years old in 1958. We have people in this audience who are 25, 30 years old. They never heard this, and they're listening, and they hear this. Do you realize what this must sound like to them? This has gotta sound like Enrico Caruso on a 78 rpm record my grandfather played sounded to me when I was ten years old. This is just... Brian, you probably think this sounds like the worst, old, antique piece of crap -- and to me, this is a part of my childhood. This is one of the tunes that I wanted to one day play on the radio when was seven or eight years old.

It always fascinates me, people hearing things from the past. I saw a newspaper story the other day about all the holiday movies that are out now are basically just rehashes. The same ones have been playing for 50 years, and it was about how the parents of today tell their kids, "Hey, kids do you want to watch the Christmas movies that your mom and I watched when we were your age?" and the kids are going, "No way!" (laughing) The parents sit 'em down to watch it and it's Charlie Brown, and it's the animated Rudolph the Red Nose whatever it is. (interruption) What? Yeah, they still watch 'em, right? They still do, 'cause those are timeless. Those are actually timeless. Okay, place a little bit more of this. (song plays) This is 1958. I mean, how ancient! (continued playing of song) Okay, that's our tribute to Barney Frank today: The Happy Organ, Dave "Baby" Cortez; the Banking Queen by "white comedian" Paul Shanklin; and, of course, My Boy Lollipop by Millie Small (sound effects supplied by your host, El Rushbo).



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