EDITOR’S NOTE: Via OPEN LEFT comes this devastating missive from an anonymous Dem lawmaker on how, when and why the Democrats in Congress will cave on attaching meaningful oversight and or consumer mortgage relief to any Fed bailout of Wall Street:
Here’s the industry’s play: progressives will approach Nancy with ideas for reform, and she’ll agree to push for their proposals, and she’ll really mean it. Then industry lobbyists will go to Dennis Moore, Melissa Bean and a few other Democrats, and tell them how dire the consequences of the proposals would be, and that the members who understand how the economy works need to step up to stop Nancy and the crazy liberals from doing something rash. Then those Democrats will go to Steny and tell him how terrible Nancy‘s crazy ideas would be, and how we can’t rush into something like that without much, much more thought. Maybe Barney will try to talk to Dennis or Melissa, but it will become apparent quickly that they have no idea what they’re talking about; they’re just repeating by rote what the lobbyists told them to say. Melissa may actually be dumber than Sarah Palin. Barney will realize he might as well talk to the lobbyists directly and save a step. The lobbyists will agree to something inconsequential, but certainly nothing that would really affect the industry’s conduct. Then the leadership will do the math and conclude that because the vast majority of Republicans will vote against any bill, we can’t get enough votes without the Dennis and Melissa crowd. The only way, our leadership will conclude, to get anything at all passed is to include nothing more than the inconsequential proposals that the lobbyists agreed to. Then we’ll all go along because it would be wildly irresponsible not to act when we’re staring over the brink of a complete collapse of world financial markets.
I’d diagram it for you if I had a chalkboard. I’ve seen the play again and again, and it always goes for long yardage. The only defense for the play is for a significant group of Democrats to say they won’t vote for any proposal that isn’t unpalatable to industry, and mean it. It’s a pretty high stakes game of chicken, but otherwise we come out of this with nothing but a $700 billion giveaway to a crooked industry. MORE
RELATED: Congressional Democrats considering the Bush administration’s emergency plan to shore up the U.S. financial system yesterday countered with their own demands, presenting draft legislation giving the government power to cut salaries of chief executives at firms that participate in the bailout and slash severance packages for their top management. Democrats sought to add oversight provisions and taxpayer protections to the proposal, which amounts to the largest government intervention in the private markets since the Great Depression. “We will not simply hand over a $700 billion blank check to Wall Street,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement. MORE