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    Frank would churn up toxic Congress

    Rep. Barney Frankin December on Capitol Hill in Washington.
    J. Scott Applewhite/AP
    Rep. Barney Frankin December on Capitol Hill in Washington.

    I voted for Barney Frank every chance I had, and I’d do it again, but I disagree with the Globe’s recommendation that he fill John Kerry’s Senate seat on an interim basis (“Patrick should take Frank up on his Senate offer,” Editorial, Jan. 7).

    When asked to define the difference between a misfortune and a calamity, British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli used his antagonist, William Gladstone, as an illustration. If Gladstone fell into the Thames, Disraeli said, that would be a misfortune. If somebody pulled him out, that would be a calamity. That Frank will no longer represent Massachusetts is a misfortune; sending him back into the toxic stew that is the present Congress would be a calamity.

    The Globe pointed out, correctly, that Barney is among the most knowledgeable members of Congress on budgetary matters. It’s obvious, however, that at present ideology trumps knowledge. For a significant segment of the Republican Party, if Frank is for it, they are against it.


    Poking a stick into a hornet’s nest is never a good idea. There are more efficacious, less calamitous ways to deal with the nest.

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    Frank should remain retired.

    Jim Miara