So it seems Barney Frank isn’t seeking reelection. I don’t approve of this for the greater good but I understand his reasons. Apparently one of the big movers in his decision was redistricting. (Link to Pitt News bitching about redistricting by me.) His district will now have a good amount more conservative voters than in previous years, which would make his reelection more difficult. From the Times article: “The need to campaign in a district that is almost half new conflicts with [my policy initiatives],” [Frank] said. “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 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 other obligations; one is to continue to serve the people I currently serve.”
I’m bummed because Frank was a reliable and strong liberal in a governmental body that needs him and those like him to combat the Tea Party wing of the Republican party. In a different way I was upset was Anthony Weiner shot himself in the foot by being unable to resist having cybersex over Twitter. (A quick Google later it turns out Weiner is back in the news for growing a mustache. Not kidding.) He was a vocal, fiery liberal who could have been mayor of New York if he hadn’t been a fuckwad at the same time. Obviously different from Frank, but I am upset in a similar way about liberal taking themselves out of politics. We need these types, very much.
I had a pretty lengthy conversation with my dad and aunt over Thanksgiving — conversation is a broad term; my aunt increases volume until it’s her turn to speak again — about the “next step” for the Occupy groups. It makes sense to me that, after a couple months of inhabitation protests, the folks camping out should take a page out of the Tea Party’s book and start gathering signatures for Occupy candidates for the House. There’s still time to get on the ballot right? I’ve just remembered that I have to change my voter registration to Friendship. Anyway, it seems to me that the best way to overcome the winter, where the camps will undoubtably lose population, is to move the argument to ballot boxes, which because we are still a relatively well functioning democracy have some import. If the Tea Party can muster enough people to elect Rand Paul in Kentucky, Occupy should be able to push someone like Elizabeth Warren over the hump, right? Quick note: Warren is a champ.