J.G. Thayer of Commentary salutes Barney Frank, Real Genius:
Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) has often been called “the smartest guy in Congress.” That he is very intelligent is clear — but his actions show that simple brainpower is rarely an indicator of wisdom.
Congressman Frank, it should be recalled, was one of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s staunchest defenders, shielding them from scrutiny and oversight right up until they collapsed. And at that point he had the audacity to blame their failure not on those who had enabled the misconduct, but on those who had tried — and failed, thanks to Frank and his allies — to rein those bodies in.
Well, Frank is back to his old games. He’s leaning on Fannie and Freddie to ease restrictions on new condominium mortgages. The two had recently announced changes to their rules on when they would guarantee mortgages on condominium complexes showing signs of financial trouble. Frank wants them to assume greater risk and shift the exposure from developers and buyers onto the federal government.
Stop me if you’ve heard that line of argument before.