Barney Frank What some people here refuse to believe about US Rep. Barney Frank is always amusing. Lightweights here who can't argue themselves out of a wet paper bag, mock and try to belittle a man who had US House Speaker Newt Gingrich whining like a stuck pig. Frank also watched as Gingrich rose in power until, in 1994, the Georgian orchestrated a Republican takeover in the House that gave the GOP control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in 40 years. In a way, Gingrich, who became speaker, and his revolution completed Frank's political rehabilitation. His essential gifts suited a politician in opposition. Almost from the start, Frank perceived a schism in the personality of the new speaker, who fancied himself not only a gifted political partisan but also a towering cultural and sociological visionary. The two sides were not compatible, and Frank, who was uniquely attuned to the problems of living any kind of a double life, sensed an advantage and tormented Gingrich almost from the moment that the latter picked up the speaker's gavel. This eventually prompted some decidedly unvisionary whining from Gingrich, who, Frank decided, was what is called in the fight game "a bleeder." GINGRICH, HOWEVER, had fashioned an authentic political revolution, and he'd brought into the House with him young conservatives who believed they had changed the world. Almost from the first day in 1995, there was loose talk about impeaching Bill Clinton over one of the multifarious "scandals" that had refused to die. From his seat on the House Judiciary Committee, Frank was the Democratic point man on these debates. One of his staunchest opponents on the committee was another Georgia Republican, Bob Barr, who would write the foreword to Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s fictional 1997 book The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton. "One of the things about Barney," Barr says now, "is that some of the members on that committee were just loud. Others just talked and talked. What makes Barney stronger than them, and more formidable, is that there's substance behind what he's saying. He has the credibility. When he says something, you can take to the bank that he knows his stuff."http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2005/10/02/to_be_frank/ By Charles P. Pierce | October 2, 2005 It was a Democratic president who announced almost 10 years ago that "the era of big government is over," back in Barney Frank's 16th year in Congress. Now, though, the governing philosophy that replaced it looks threadbare and impotent against a national catastrophe. "This is the fourth thing" for the Republicans, Frank says. "First was Social Security, then the war, then the whole [Terri] Schiavo thing, and now this. It gives us the chance to make the opportunity that we've been making - that these people undervalue government. Government and the private sector have to coexist, but they've shrunk the government, until now it's not there at all. In American politics, the side that says don't politicize something is the side that's losing the argument."