Today’s output from Blogistan Polytechnic Institute’s state-of-the-art HEMMED (High-Energy Meta Mojo Elucidation Detector) machine is some real strong irritation.
I have made no secret of the fact that I am a big Elizabeth Warren fan.
From the time she burst onto the national scene as the inimitable chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to her advocacy for the middle-class and consumers to her brilliant testimony as a strong supporter for a consumer protection bureau to her work setting up the nascient Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), she has been a force. She is intelligent, hard working and passionate.
Last night she showed that she is also a team player and still a force to be reckoned with.
On The Rachel Maddow Show, Professor Warren had a few things to say about what the Republicans in the 112th Congress have tried to do to her and to us and her role going forward:
Here is a JanScript (I could not find a copy/paste transcript to include here so I did this myself from screen captures):
Professor Elizabeth Warren: Let me start with the first part. We would not have a consumer agency if not for President Obama. Two years ago, right about now, he looked out and said “the consumer agency, that’s what I want to put in financial regulatory reform.” Over the next year, while everyone fought back and forth over the regular reform bill, there were a lot of offers on the table to get something else. He consistently said no. And a year ao right now, this week, he signed into law a bill that made this consumer agency exist and in a strong and independent way. Now, since then, what’s happened is there are folks on Capitol Hill, Republicans in the Senate and the House, they voted against the bill to begin with – against the agency to begin with, they’ve introduced bills to try to cut our funding, introduced bills to try to make us less independent, introduced bills so we have a gummed up structure so we can’t get anything done and bills to flat out repeal us.
I want to be clear, the reason I cannot run this agency is because of those people. They’ve made it perfectly clear they will not let the agency go forward if I’m there. Fine. I can step away from this. What I care about is this agency. The president has now made his nomination. He’s a good man, Richard Cordray is, and I think it’s time to take the fight straight to the Repbulicans. We need a director in place, that’s the law, and we are not, not, not going to let the minority come in and dictate the terms of this agency, rip its arms and legs off before it’s able to help a single family.
Rachel Maddow: When you talk about taking it straight to the Republicans, do you want to be part of that fight in the future?
Elizabeth Warren: You know, I’m going to be part of that fight one way or another, Rachel. Let me be clear about this. I have really done three things in my life: I have taught school, because that’s what I do, I’ve done research around what happens to middle class families and tired to understand that, and I have thrown rocks at people that I think are wrong. I’ve done it before, I’ve continued to do it, and I’m going to do it in the future.
She said it was fine but it is not fine at all.
It is awful to see this exemplar of a Good Government Progressive Democrat treated this way and worse yet to think of her enemies in Congress believing they have won. Well, maybe they haven’t.
Elizabeth Warren is ready for a big fight not for herself but for us: to stop Congress from “rip[ping the] arms and legs off [the agency] before it’s able to help a single family”. Her role in the CFPB shifts from her work building CFPB to supporting the decision of the president to select Richard Cordray to be the director.
She is lucky in her enemies as the face of the Republicans in the House leading the battle against her is Rep. Patrick McHenry, owned by the predatory payday industry (hey, what’s not to love about an industry that charges 4,000% interest?) and the face of the Republicans in the Senate is, well, pretty much all of them as 44 of the 47 Republicans sent President Obama a letter telling him just how much they hated the idea of protecting consumers and vowing to kill the agency.
By the way, one of the senators not signing that letter was the person likely to suffer the most from Elizabeth Warren now transitioning away from her role at the CFPB: Senator Scott Brown (R-MA).
Scott Brown has a lot of campaign cash and decent favorability ratings in Massachusetts (he has made an effort to appear to be a moderate Republican) but he will need more than a phony populist pickup truck should Professor Warren choose to make a run to reclaim Teddy Kennedy’s seat for progressive Democrats.
How fitting would it be for the supposed harbinger of a tea-party mandate to be one of the most visible victims of its blind obedience to those who cannot bear to see consumers get a fair shake?
Run, Elizabeth, Run.
And not until you are sworn in and staring down the Republicans in the Senate will I be able to say “Fine”. I might even say “Fine and Dandy.” I will certainly be smiling.
Happy Tuesday to everyone and fist bumps!
The BPI Campus Progressive agenda:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.
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