They’d rather switch than fight.
Consider. Elizabeth Warren, brilliant Harvard Law Professor, stalwart defender of America’s beleagued middle class, championed the Consumer Financial Protection Agency as essential to protecting consumers from financial fraud and abuse.
Against the odds, she managed to get the White House to make the reform a signature of its financial reform legislation. Against the odds, she helped galvanize the public and media support needed to preserve the reform in final legislation. Along the way, she impressed all with her intelligence, her political savvy, her courage and her media presence.
By all rights, she should be appointed forthwith to be the first head of the agency that she invented. Her nomination will be opposed by the Chamber of Commerce and the Wall Street lobby which is another good reason to make it.
Yesterday, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn), chair of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, said he doubted that Warren could be confirmed by the Senate. “No idea,” Dodd said, “is terribly creative if it can’t sell,” asking rhetorically about Warren “Is she confirmable?”
Well, who the hell knows? Virtually anyone Obama nominates these days faces a Republican hold or filibuster. So let’s have the fight. Let Republicans –who voted for the bailout of the banks and against the financial reforms – now line up to oppose the nomination of a true consumer champion. Let’s line up the Democratic caucus – or at least those Democrats with an iota of sense – and have the fight.
There is no question that progressives, much of the blogosphere, women’s and consumer and senior groups would mobilize big time in favor. Let Republicans stand with the banks against a strong director, criticized for being too independent.
This is a battle worth having. First, it is more likely to be won that Senator Dodd suggests. Second, even if it is lost, it defines clearly just what side every Senator is on.
Politicians often claim on the campaign trail that they are going to Washington to fight for the middle class. Warren’s nomination will give them the opportunity to do just that. Let’s have the fight.