While I am as delighted as anyone to the right of left to see that Barney Frank is retiring, I find myself surprised by what he obviously thinks is a  rhetorical question:

“Did you think I would serve till I was 106?”

Come on! To answer that question, I need look no further than my own Congressman, John Dingell. At 85, he heads a political dynasty that has held that seat for 77 years.  He began his political career as a Congressional page under FDR.

So why wouldn’t I think Frank (who is 71) would sit there until he was 106, or until he was carried out by pallbearers?

There is a key difference between Frank and Dingell, though. Frank has no wife or kids who can inherit his seat. Who knows? Unlike Dingell (who seems determined to die in office like Senator Byrd), he might even have other things that he wants to do in his golden years.

And now that I think about it, such a factor might be an argument in favor of gay politicians, whether liberal or conservative. When they leave, they leave without saddling their constituents with third-world-style dynasties.

Anyway, there’s that old saying that a stopped clock is right twice a day, and I’m glad Barney has had the good sense to stop his.