Archive for April 29th, 2010

Wall Street Demonizes Wall Street To Protect Wall Street

Amazing chutzpah, really:

Of all the devious tricks practiced by the financial industry—hidden fees, usurious interest rates, and incomprehensible contracts that take advantage of consumers—the campaign strategy for 2010 has to rank right up there.

As the banks begin pouring cash into Congressional elections, they are targeting members of Congress who support consumer protections that could cut into their bottom line.

But here is the kicker: Opponents of financial reform are tarring members of Congress who want to regulate the banks as tools of Wall Street. This Orwellian tactic is designed to confuse voters. In effect, the banks are running against themselves. Look for lots of ads that tie reform legislation to “bailouts,” “fat cats,” “Wall Street,” and “lobbyists.”

As dishonest messaging goes, describing tougher financial regulation as a Wall Street “bailout” is quite an impressive achievement in pretzel logic, mostly predicated on deliberately confusing wind-down funds and spending caps with bailouts.  It should be easy enough to counter, but messaging pushback has never exactly been the Democrats’ strong suit…

April 29th, 2010 at 11:34am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Politics,Republicans

Why Couldn’t They Have Done This With Healthcare Reform?

Healthcare reform with the public option, that is.  But no, losing votes on that would have been a crippling defeat!

In the last two days, the White House has lost two straight votes in the Senate that would have moved the massive overhaul of the financial system along. The White House is likely to lose a third Wednesday as a unified Republican Party uses procedural rules to block the bill from being debated.

But don’t feel bad for the West Wing. Obama aides are practically giddy about the turn of events.

Not that they don’t want the bill to succeed. They do –and soon. Passing Wall Street reform will help clear the decks for a packed agenda that includes confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee, energy legislation and maybe even consideration of immigration changes.

But senior White House officials tell the Briefing that they are “surprised” — pleasantly so — at the GOP decision to block consideration of the legislation.

Ahead of the first vote on Monday evening, the assumption inside the White House was that Republicans would back down and allow the debate to begin, said one top Obama adviser, who asked for anonymity to discuss White House strategy. The fact that they didn’t plays “right into their narrative,” the adviser said.

He called it a “proof point” for the American people as they try to assess which party wants to stick it to Wall Street and which party is trying to protect the banks and institutions from new and onerous regulations if the legislation passes.

I have been saying that Democrats need to force votes that make the Republicans show their true colors and then make them own those votes for almost four years now.  Simply compromising bills on economic stimulus, carbon emissions, and healthcare reform into toothless pro-corporate potemkin bills before the first vote makes the Democrats look like corrupt tools and the Republicans look like principled heroes.  The Democrats need to force the Republicans to vote against good bills, not bad ones.

(Of course, this assumes that Obama and the Democrats compromise everything away because they’re weak and foolish, and not because they actually are corrupt tools, which is a shaky proposition at best.)

April 29th, 2010 at 07:22am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Obama,Politics,Republicans

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