Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quit Yer Whining Sen. Corker

I’m trying to understand why Tennessee's Sen. Bob Corker is blaming President Obama for his own failure to get the Republican Party on board with financial reform.

Just two months ago Corker was complaining about how his Republican colleagues refused to participate in the process:
GOP Senator Bob Corker was emphatic on Wednesday that Republicans missed a big opportunity to influence what is perhaps the most ambitious financial reform bill to pass through the Senate since the Great Depression.

Republicans declined to offer any amendments during Monday's scheduled mark-up of the bill, choosing instead to vote against sending the legislation to the Senate floor strictly along party lines. It passed out of the Senate Banking Committee with 13 Democrats in favor and 10 Republicans opposed.

So, sorry, but exactly who is to blame for the lack of bipartisanship here?

I think it’s all theater. I think Corker got his hand slapped by the Republican Party for daring to speak the truth two months ago. I think Republicans are worried that this “party of no” stuff is starting to stick, so instead they hope that by screaming ever louder that there’s no bipartisanship, people won’t notice that they’re just sitting on their hands. Tennessee's junior Senator may have voiced initial opposition to this obstructionist game, but now appears only too happy to play along. I wonder what happened?

In April Yglesias wrote:

Corker is exactly right about this. Chris Dodd’s bill, as written, would make bailouts less likely not more likely. But Corker is also correct that there are a lot of doubts as to exactly how much punch it really packs. This is a concern that responsible Senators should actually look at and try to address, rather than just fling around vaguely as a cover for the fact that they don’t want banks to be regulated at all. But will Corker stand his ground on this, or will he follow the lead of so many of his past colleagues and end up giving in to Rush/Fox/Tea Party pressure to simply obstruct?

Well I guess we have the answer to that question.