Sure, the title is overwrought, but Representative Barney Frank deserves (along with Senator Chris Dodd) a plurality of the blame for the present financial meltdown. Instead of accepting responsibility though, he's blaming "racist" Republicans for pointing the finger at him.

Rep. Barney Frank said Monday that Republican criticism of Democrats over the nation's housing crisis is a veiled attack on the poor that's racially motivated.

The Massachusetts Democrat, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said the GOP is appealing to its base by blaming the country's mortgage foreclosure problem on efforts to expand affordable housing through the Community Reinvestment Act. ...

Frank also dismissed charges the Democrats failed on their own or blocked Republican efforts to rein in the mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The federal government recently took control of both entities.

No discussion of Frank's involvement in the mortgage crisis can be complete without mentioning that he was in a long-term relationship with the Fannie Mae executive in charge of subprime loans, which the Associated Press mysteriously forgets to mention in its story.

Now that Fannie Mae is at the epicenter of a financial meltdown that threatens the U.S. economy, some are raising new questions about Frank's relationship with Herb Moses, who was Fannie’s assistant director for product initiatives. Moses worked at the government-sponsored enterprise from 1991 to 1998, while Frank was on the House Banking Committee, which had jurisdiction over Fannie.

"It’s absolutely a conflict," said Dan Gainor, vice president of the Business & Media Institute. "He was voting on Fannie Mae at a time when he was involved with a Fannie Mae executive. How is that not germane?

"If this had been his ex-wife and he was Republican, I would bet every penny I have - or at least what’s not in the stock market - that this would be considered germane," added Gainor, a T. Boone Pickens Fellow. "But everybody wants to avoid it because he’s gay. It’s the quintessential double standard."

A top GOP House aide agreed.

"C’mon, he writes housing and banking laws and his boyfriend is a top exec at a firm that stands to gain from those laws?" the aide told FOX News. "No media ever takes note? Imagine what would happen if Frank’s political affiliation was R instead of D? Imagine what the media would say if [GOP former] Chairman [Mike] Oxley’s wife or [GOP presidential nominee John] McCain’s wife was a top exec at Fannie for a decade while they wrote the nation’s housing and banking laws."

The Democrats desperately want to pin this crisis on President Bush, but most of the fault lies with Congress. There's plenty of blame to go around, but the lion's share belongs to Congressional Democrats, and particularly to Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.

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