Sunday, August 08, 2010

Who'll Stand Up For Regular American Working Families?


Worth fighting for?

Do you ever imagine you're a senator? I don't. I was in the student Senate in college; never need to do that again. It was more fun being an executive. (I was freshman class president and chairman of the Student Activities Board. That's where the action was.) But sometimes I do think about how I would vote on one thing or another. Before the senators left for their August holidays, the very last vote was on President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan. It passed 63-37, five Republicans-- Susan Collins (ME), Lindsey Graham (SC), Judd Gregg (NH), Dick Lugar (R-IN), and Olympia Snowe (ME)-- crossing ye olde aisle. And yesterday she was sworn in, only the 4th woman ever-- out of a total of 112 Justices-- to serve on the Supreme Court.

Would I have voted for her confirmation? Or would I have joined reactionary asshat Ben Nelson (NE) crossing the aisle in the other direction? Nelson voted against her so in case she ever votes to uphold women's right to choice, he can go braying to his backward constituents that he voted against her. I would have been hard-pressed to vote for her, because I'm not convinced she realizes that corporate interests are undermining America and that they're the most pernicious enemy our nation faces. I'd rather vote to confirm someone who does... like Thom Hartmann.

I imagine in the end I would have held my nose and voted to confirm, hoping-- still hoping-- Obama's 14-dimensional chess was going to somehow add up to something good for the good guys... one fine day. Unlike Chris Dodd, though, where I'd really be putting my energy would be into getting Elizabeth Warren confirmed as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the body she thought up. Dodd thinks it isn't worth the battle. He's incorrect. There's some thought that she's too much an advocate for working American families and that it wouldn't be fair to Wall Street and the bankers. I guess that would be more true if Wall Street didn't own the Senate, the Republican Party, half the Democratic Party, the Blue Dog Caucus, much of the House, most of the Supreme Court, the Department of the Treasury, virtually all of the federal and state agencies dealing with them and, of course, nearly as much of the White House as it owns during an average Republican administration. Go, Rahm!
The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber wrote that “after surveying a dozen insiders over the last few days-- congressional aides, industry officials, progressive activists, and a few administration officials-- I’ve concluded that the odds are good that Warren would be confirmed if nominated by the White House.” And Dodd now seems to have shifted his rhetoric, saying that even if Warren is confirmable, it’s not worth a potential fight to get her the job: "What you don’t need to have is an eight-month battle for who the director or the head or chairperson of this new consumer financial protection bureau will be."

...Leaving aside Warren’s qualifications, it makes little sense that Dodd feels a political fight here isn’t worth it. Warren is an unabashed, articulate consumer advocate, and her nomination would set up a clear choice: consumers or the banks. After having overwhelmingly voted against the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill, Republicans standing against her nomination would once again be siding with the financial services industry. It’s worth the fight to show that dynamic at work.

Dodd's friends-- and probably future employers-- on Wall Street will do anything to stop Elizabeth Warren. I doubt, considering how much they've paid Rahm Emanuel over the years, they'll have to do much. She does have Al Franken, Dr. Phil and Stephen Colbert pumping for her, though. Oh, and every honest member of the Senate, though that doesn't amount to too, too many. Just the handful who always favor consumers and workers: Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, Bernie Sanders, Sheldon Whitehouse, Ron Wyden, Tom Harkin, yadda, yadda, yadda, instead of who Boehner and McConnell call the "job producers" (like Lloyd Blankfein and Paris Hilton-- i.e., rich people who buy politicians their careers).
Dr. Phil is getting political.

TV's best-known shrink is endorsing Harvard economics professor Elizabeth Warren -- a frequent guest on his show-- to be the first federal consumer-protection czar.

"I could not more strongly support Professor Warren's appointment to head up this new bureau," he wrote on his personal blog under the headline "Elizabeth Warren: Fighting for Consumers"

"But you don't need me to tell you how to feel about her," he says.

It is an unusual departure for Dr, Phil, who has been close to fellow-Texans former President George W. Bush and wife Laura, but has never come out publicly for a political candidate before.

..."As you know, I don't talk politics on this blog or on the show," Dr. Phil wrote, but then went on to urge fans to "write or e-mail your congressperson and tell him or her how you feel. Washington DC is always up to something, but this one counts!"

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At 11:39 AM, Anonymous dameocrat said...

I think the dems are worthess and will hamstring her if she does win. I want her to run for President as an independent, or a green.


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