POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica

Barney Bails, Stocks Soar

by David Trumbull -- December 2, 2011

The announcement, earlier this week, that Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is not seeking re-election to the United States House of Representatives brings to 17 the number of House Democrats voluntarily vacating that legislative chamber. While eight of them are running for other positions, more of them, nine, as the newspaper The Hill (source of these statistics) put it, "are flat-out retiring." In other words, most see the Republican tide coming in the November 2012 election and -- rats that they are -- they are abandoning ship.

By way of comparison, just seven Republicans have announced that they are not seeking re-election to the House, and in every case it is because he or she is running for higher office.

How bad will it be for Democrats? Bad! Conventional wisdom says that Republicans will increase their majority in the House in the 2012 election and pick up enough Senate seats to have the majority in that body as well. President Obama's signature accomplishment -- the turning of your personal health care over to the Washington bureaucrats that run the Post Office and Internal Revenue Service -- has turned out to be one of the most unpopular laws ever passed. Mr. Obama himself is currently tied with Jerry Sandusky in unfavorability ratings.

Yes, 2012 looks to be a bad year for the Democrats. And then what? Well, with the retirement of Mr. Frank, the 113th Congress, which convenes in January 2013, is likely to see Maxine Waters (Dem., Calif.) take over as the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. Believe it or not, Ms. Waters is generally considered to be even more liberal than Mr. Frank!

Yes, Frank, who is partially responsible for the housing market collapse, will replaced by a Democrat even more wrong-headed on issues of basic finance and political economy. I say give Americans 22 months of Maxine Waters on the television -- she who famously said "And as far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to Hell," and, in 2004, "We do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and particularly Fannie Mae" -- and see just who much worse the electoral prospects are for Democrats in 2014.

On Monday Barney Frank announced his retirement and the Dow Jones Industrial Average went up nearly 300 points. Just think how much the economy will improve once Obama, Waters, the rest of their ilk are consigned to the ash-heap of history.