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The Democrats Have a Great Point on CRomnibus

nancypelosipic3So help me God, I have no way to refute the basic point that the Democrats are making about the CRomnibus fight right now. In fact, I might even go so far as to say they are right. Here we have a bill that will kick the funding question almost a full year down the road, increases government spending, funds a wildly unpopular and probably unconstitutional executive amnesty, and continues the very practices voters sent Republicans to Washington to oppose. In this context, what possible good faith reason can the Republicans have for threatening to gum up the whole works over doing a favor to Wall Street?

But the spending agreement showed signs of friction when Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Democrat of California and the minority leader, told her members in a closed-door session that she had called the speaker and signaled that Democrats could have difficulty supporting the final deal if the financial regulation and political contribution provisions were not changed.

“These provisions are destructive to middle-class families and to the practice of our democracy,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement. By Wednesday night, Democratic opposition to the bill had hardened over the two provisions. Mr. Boehner told Ms. Pelosi that Republicans were not willing to budge on those issues, said people with knowledge of the discussions, and that if House Democrats were not willing to provide the necessary votes, they should be prepared to vote on a short-term measure that would push the spending package into early next year, when Republicans will have more leverage.

Let me say first of all that generally speaking, if Nancy Pelosi is opposed to something then instinctively I know I should be for it. Beyond that I haven’t the slightest clue why the proposed tweak to Dodd-Frank ought to be anything resembling a hill the Republicans should die for. I will go a step farther: I am a reasonably well-educated person who follows politics obsessively and I don’t even understand what the proposed change to Dodd-Frank does. Every time I try to read about it, my eyes glaze over and my brain shuts down.

If that is my reaction to what the Republicans are doing, imagine what the reaction of the general public, low-information swing voter is to this entire debacle.

Regardless of whether this is, in fact a boondoggle to Wall Street or not, it is fatally easy for the Democrats to portray it as such. When people hear “roll back a part of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 that limits the ability of big banks to trade certain financial instruments known as swaps — contracts that allow the banks to hedge their risks or to speculate[,]” (I literally copied and pasted this description because again, my brain refuses to make itself care about the particulars) what they hear is “blah blah blah allows Wall Street to speculate.” And what they know is, this is not what Republicans were sent to Washington to do.

What a sad spectacle this is, that the principled left and the principled right are joined together against the middle who are hoping to reap the benefits of Wall Street’s campaign donation trough (a trough that has been mostly open to Democrats in the last decade, which is why Boehner knows he will have to depend on Democrats to pass this crappy bill). If this is the only thing Boehner can bring himself to show the testicular fortitude to defend, I really hope liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans refuse to pass anything more than a CR through February. Heck, I’d prefer they passed nothing at all rather than this garbage.

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