After representing the Fourth District of Massachusett for 31 years, Democrat Rep. Barney Frank has decided to retire. Despite maintaining that he would not retire until 2014, Frank cited recent Congressional redistricting as one reason for choosing to not seek re-election in 2012.
The congressman has, for better or worse, regularly been identified as an agent of financial reform and was co-author of the Dodd-Frank Act, a bill that sought to provide greater consumer protection as well implement financial regulations in order to any prevent future economic turmoil.
In addition from Frank’s legacy to reform financial practices in the United States, he will also be remembered as one of the first and most visible gay figures to have been involved in congressional politics.
Across the Twitterscape, first reactions ranged from adulation and lament:
#BarneyFrank is a huge loss for the congress and for our country. #latism @HouseDemocrats @HispanicCaucusThe retirement of Rep.
to irreverence and outright relief:
Pres. Obama thinks Congress wont be the same w/out Rep. Barney Frank . He’s right, hard to imagine anyone who did more damage to our economy
Housing market destroyed. Unemployment 9%. $15 trillion nation debt. Massive recession. “My work here is done” – Barney Frank
One amusing piece of trivia that’s been making the retweeting rounds on Twitter is the singular post from an account alleged to belong to Rep. Frank (the account is not verified, so its verity is debatable):
Should that first and final tweet ever be validated, our congressional model of Oscar Wilde has taken his final bow from the absurd theater of politics.