President Obama went down to the playground where Wall Street bullies have been beating up kids and taking their lunch money. He suggested that the bullies should help create rules that would stop them from beating up kids.
How lame is that?
One blogger compared Obama’s timid performance to FDR’s attack on Wall Street for its rabid opposition to the New Deal. But I kept thinking about the other Roosevelt, the one who took on the railroad trusts.
While Teddy Roosevelt was far from perfect, he had his moments: “A typical vice of American politics,” he said, “is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.” He could have been talking about Obama.
What we saw on Thursday was a terrible thing: a brilliant and articulate president of the United States unwilling or afraid to tell it like it is.
It’s not the Republican minority who pose the greatest danger to real financial reform. It’s the powerful Wall Street wing of the majority Democrats who don’t want to offend the bankers. Our representatives need to know we want real reform, not just lip service that basically preserves the status quo. Our representatives need to have the courage to support the stronger proposals by Sens. Kaufman, Brown, Shaheen, and Merkley that would do more to actually break up the big banks and put limits on their risky gambling.
Mr. President: Let’s get real. Let’s say out loud that banks and bankers have grown too powerful.
Let’s get real. It’s absolutely not in the banks’ interest to “join us” in supporting reform. By suggesting that as the solution, you abandon your own credibility and avoid the “real issues” of a government corrupted by those bankers’ money.
Stop negotiating with Wall Street. Cop to their massive financial support for your campaign, and those of your colleagues in Congress. And tell Wall Street change is coming whether they like it or not.