Saturday, December 12, 2009

Financial populism

I've been predicting that the big election cycle push by the Democrats will probably have to be over financial reform, faut de meilleur issues. The fact that Wall Street has lacked remorse is just so tempting. The problem has been that they have been watering down and watering down what they are prescribing. But it appears that the Republicans are falling into the trap. From the Washington Monthly blog:

"Not one Republican voted for the financial regulatory reform and consumer protection bill in the House. Not one," Woodhouse said. "One year after nearly the worst financial collapse in our nation's history -- a collapse brought on by the excessive greed and risk taking of Wall Street and by the anything goes regulatory environment put in place by Republicans -- not one Republican in the House thinks that consumers deserve additional protections or that the practices of Wall Street should be curbed. Do the Republicans not get that one of the reasons they lost so badly in 2006 and 2008 is because the public believed that the GOP had just become shills for oil companies, Wall Street financiers and insurance companies? Apparently not -- because here they go again."

The goal, apparently, is for Republicans to actually suffer some electoral consequences for this one. DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told reporters that GOP opponents of reforming the way Wall Street does business "are going to pay a very heavy price."

And in his weekly White House address this morning, President Obama reminded Americans, "Just last week, Republican leaders in the House summoned more than 100 key lobbyists for the financial industry to a 'pep rally', and urged them to redouble their efforts to block meaningful financial reform."

Is this the issue on which Democrats take the offensive?

I'll stick with my prediction and analysis. At least for now.

Budd Shenkin

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