Barney Frank's Strange Obsession With Misogynistic Henny Youngman Line

What's with Barney Frank and his odd obsession with a Henny Youngman line that—had virtually any other politician used it—would result in him being accused of the worst kind of misogyny?

Back in 2011, I noted that, appearing on Morning Joe, Frank had quoted the hoary Henny line: "How's your wife? Compared to what?" Yet there was Barney again this evening, this time on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show, breaking out the identical line.  Really: what gives?  And imagine the feminist outrage if, say, Mitt Romney had dared use the line during his presidential campaign.  View the video after the jump.

Frank uttered his line in the course of suggesting that whereas Marco Rubio might be considered by some a relatively Republican moderate, he is in fact an "extreme conservative." I've also included in the clip Sharpton's opening introduction of Barney, demonstrating yet again that even in the company of friends, Frank is the biggest sourpuss around.   

AL SHARPTON: So even with the moderate kind of image he's given as a savior, when you dig into the details policy-wise, very conservative kind of guy.

BARNEY FRANK: No question. When you listen to some of these extreme conservatives being called moderates, it reminds me of a great philosopher of the 20th century with whom you were familiar, Henny Youngman and his great line: how's your wife? Compared to what?

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.