Monday, July 18, 2011

Obama Screws Warren, McConnell Smiles

Photo courtesy Getty Images

Before the Obama ass-kissers start giving me crap for this post, let me just say pre-emptively: shut the f*ck up.

I am so sick of the POTUS jumping every time anyone says, “Boo.”

And I’m equally tired of Obama apologists trying to take my voice away by patronizingly shaking their heads while patting mine and telling me I’m politically na├»ve or too demanding or ungrateful or forgetful because things were much worse when Dubya was in charge, don’t I remember?

Yes, I remember how frustrating it was when I didn’t have a voice from 2001 to 2009. And it’s been equally frustrating since, for the same reason. Barack Obama is not speaking for me.

He wasn’t speaking for me when he jettisoned the public option during the health care “reform” debacle but decided to require me to buy insurance from private companies.

He wasn’t speaking for me when he broke his promise to end the needless, unjustifiable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or reneged on his pledge to slip on some comfortable shoes and march with labor when working men and women were threatened, or extended the Bush tax cuts for the richest two percent of Americans in exchange for a lousy 13-month extension of unemployment benefits.

And just when I thought he found his testicles – he’s made a few speeches recently that sound more like Candidate Obama than President Obama – he wimps out and names someone other than Professor Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Even though it was her idea.

Who in their right mind would want a Harvard law professor with a reputation for being a blunt and tenacious advocate for consumers to head up an agency charged with protecting consumers? Why would we want a bankruptcy expert who oversaw the government bailout program and was named one of TIME magazine’s "100 Most Influential People in the World" two years in a row to head up this agency when we can tap one of her deputies, former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, to fill the role that should be hers?

Apparently the President of the United States takes his direction from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” recently that Republicans were "pretty unenthusiastic about the possibility of Elizabeth Warren." He also said Republicans aren’t happy about the new bureau and want changes because they think it threatens the financial system.


The bureau is charged with "promoting fairness and transparency for mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer financial products and services." According to its website, “The central mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans – whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products."

Oh, I can see why Republicans fear that this will bring down our financial system. I’m shaking in my boots for the poor little banks even as I type this.

I read that Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner – who was once president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York – was opposed to Warren heading up the agency she proposed because he feared she’d be too tough on his Wall Street pals. (I wonder what role Geithner’s opposition played in the Senate’s decision to not confirm Professor Warren if she were nominated.) So rather than stand up to his own Treasury Secretary, Obama decided to capitulate once again.

Compromise is one thing. Folding like my grandma’s broken picnic chair is quite another.

I hate being taken for granted. Too often politicians who are “left of center” tack right and break their promises once the progressive constituency on which they rely for victory has served its purpose because who else are we gonna support? The Republican? No, we’re gonna stay home.

That’s what happened in last year’s mid-term elections, which gave the lower house of Congress to the GOP. See, it’s bad to take the left for granted. You’ve got to give us something every once in a while or we’ll wilt like a hothouse flower that isn’t getting any water.

Photo courtesy Scott Olson/Getty Images
Contrary to an accusation made against me, I didn’t think my work was done on that historic night in November of 2008 when Obama shattered more than 200 years of history by winning election as the first African-American president of the United States.

And I didn’t think Obama’s work was done that night either.

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