Barney Frank’s parents must have been something to have produced not only the congressman, but his sister, the great Democratic activist Ann Lewis. One could have learned a lot at that dinner table.

We will miss Barney Frank on the Democratic side because he knew how to explain liberal and progressive values and relished the argument. When others trimmed sails, Barney put out the jib.

Everyone has a favorite quote from the retiring congressman. Mine comes from a time when Frank was discussing Republicans’ tendency to ignore military spending when decrying government spending. “When the elephant can’t even remember the elephant in the room, that’s a problem,” said Frank.

On another occasion, when responding to an accusation that he planned to install a radical gay-and-lesbian agenda, Frank responded that he believed both groups should have the right to marry and serve in the military, and he questioned why anyone would take issue with such basic American values.

Smart, authentic, able. Ed is right. A great voice for Democratic values is leaving the stage.