Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cordray: The GOP threatens a filibuster

IN THE CURRENT chaotic state of the Republican Party, intelligence is never equated with public office. And so here we are , on the verge of another rejection of Richard Cordray, the former Democratic Ohio attorney general who had the terrible fortune to run for reelection in 2010 when Republicans of all measures waltzed into office, some whose only credentials were that they were the Other Party in bad economic times. Which is why we have a Republican, Mike DeWine, as our attorney general despite the fact that every major newspaper in the state had endorsed Cordray. (When the history of DeWine's term of office is finally written, he will be remembered primarily for having vigorously opposed the healthcare reform law.)

Cordray, exceptionally intelligent (Oxford scholar) , honest and progressive, has since been nominated by President Obama to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a product of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Law. When the confirmation of Cordray comes up in the Senate on Thursday, few Republicans say they will support him. But as everyone except a few Eskimos north of the Arctic Circle must know by now, anything that smacks of consumer protection at the expense of the financial industry is ghoulish. The GOP's price for their support: Across-the-board restrictions on the bureau's regulatory power. It would mean that Cordray would be all dressed up with no place to go.

Ah, the Republicans insist that it has nothing to do with whether it's Cordray or some parish priest. It's the threat of regulating their friends' daily bread.

But the aginners had better be careful about what they filibuster against. Obama's previous choice, Elizabeth Warren, pulled out under heavy attacks on her liberal reputation by the other side. (And we thought it wasn't the person but the agency that worried her opponents!)

She decided to run for the Senate in Massachusetts against Republican Sen. Scott Brown. It could cost the GOP a senate seat. She's running slightly ahead of Brown. Will this be an unintended consequence?


PJJinOregon said...

Republicans are too clever by half. They will confirm Codray in return for eviscerating his agency. Then, in six months, they will hiss and snarl about government waste by pointing out an agency head that has nothing to do. Give the GOP 10 points for deceit.

Anonymous said...

Cordray for Governor!

David Hess said...

Cordray's only hope for appointment to the CFPB chairmanship -- and a faint one it is -- would be an interim appointment by the President once Congress goes home for the winter break. Even then, if Republicans manage to swing it, they will force pro forma sessions through the interim to prevent such an appointment. For most Senate Republicans, the objection (as you've noted) is rooted mainly in their opposition to any agency, even a tiny one like this one, that might restrict the free-for-all antics of the same financial services industry that nearly brought down the economy and contributed hugely to the vast army of unemployed. There is also the notion that consumer protection, in any form or degree, is a blight to free enterprise and the aggregation of profit. Any regulation is bad regulation, according to these adherents of the manic Ayn Rand. And, of course, one might surmise that the steady flow of campaign cash from Wall Street fatcats could have some influence on the GOP senators' behavior. As for Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, why should he want to vote to elevate Cordray to any prominent office since he likely perceives him as a Democratic opponent in Portman's next Senate race?

Marv Katz said...

When are the Dems finally going to take them up on their threat, and make them actually filibuster?

It would show the public what a filibuster actually is and how much time it wastes.

Jobs? What jobs? When are they going to do something that produces jobs? Don't hold your breath, until the Dems start holding their feet to some heat...and don't hold your breath for that, either.

What a waste democratic government has become...