Thursday, April 22, 2010


I'm reading (at Talking Points Memo, in The New York Times, and elsewhere) that the GOP has abandoned its obstructionist campaign against financial reform. I'm being told that the Republicans blinked and the Democrats are going to win.

Hey, I hope so -- and I think it's possible. But I can't help noticing that the memo hasn't gone out yet to some of the people in the GOP's press office:

Yup, "Massive Gov't Takeover!"

The link goes to a video of Karl Rove being interviewed last night by Greta Van Susteren. I can't embed the video, but here's what Rove says about the finance bill:

You may not know about this. It creates a new office and gives it a half a billion dollars a year and a huge start-up for computer systems in order to monitor every financial transaction in the United States and to use that data to arrive at policy recommendations about sensible regulation.

So they're literally going to have the capacity to go through everybody's brokerage account and everybody's checking account and everybody's credit card and everybody's financial transactions and collect -- sweep that information and then analyze it.

This, presumably, is the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and, of course, what Rove says is a typical wingnut/Murdoch distortion:

Rep. Barney Frank, who chairs the panel, said exceptions were being made to clarify that the agency will monitor financial products and not every financial transaction made by the American public.

So -- is this the final death spasm of obstructionism? Or a sign that the GOP and the wingnut media occasionally part company? Or is it a signal that the obstructionists are regrouping, while working up fresh new talking points?

I can't tell, but I never consider these obstruction campaigns to be dead until I see the president picking up the bill-signing pens. And, of course, as we see from the health care repeal movement, even after a bill is passed, the obstruction efforts of the Party of No can actually turn out to be undead.


By the way, according to the transcript, immediately after the excerpt quoted above, Rove said something truly shameless:

And do we really -- I mean, I remember when people got really upset when we were taking a look in the Bush administration at sweeping the electronic communications of suspected terrorists abroad. Now we're going to be empowering an agency and giving it half a billion dollars a year to peer into our brokerage accounts and our IRAs and our SEPs (ph) and our banking accounts and our -- all of our financial accounts and sweep that information in order to do with it whatever they want to do to arrive at, quote, "sensible policy recommendation"! Doesn't sound to me like a smart thing to do in this environment and this climate.

These guys are going to be as bad for privacy as Bush! That would be unacceptable!


ALSO SEE: John Boehner's op-ed "President Obama's 'TARP Forever' Act" in Investor's Business Daily. No, these guys aren't giving up.

No comments: