And the Democrats will take that same skill and precision that they used to craft the HCR bill now on life support to financial regulation:
I don’t think anybody anticipated this turn of events back in June, when we saw the first relatively detailed Treasury proposal on the subject. Sure, there were a lot of problems with it, but it was necessary, the Democrats had control of both houses of Congress, and at least it was something. What’s more, insofar as there were weaknesses in the proposal, they were generally a direct consequence of the fact that Treasury had been careful to put together a proposal which could pass political muster.
Except, Treasury’s finely-honed political calculations turned out to be somewhat awry: it wasn’t long before Barney Frank was tearing into one of the key legs of the proposal, removing both community banks and the vanilla option from the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
And then Chris Dodd came along, with his own set of entirely idiosyncratic ideas: where Treasury put the Fed at the center of the regulatory nexus, for instance, Dodd wanted to remove it from that role entirely. And where Treasury soft-pedaled on regulatory consolidation, for fear of angering powerful constituencies, Dodd went much further, combining not only the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency with the Office of Thrift Savings, but throwing in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for good measure.
At this point, all semblance of party discipline had clearly broken down. Did the Republican leadership in the Senate ever put forward versions of White House proposals which were fundamentally at odds with what George W Bush’s White House wanted? There’s a time and a place for negotiating these things, but Dodd seemed to have slept through that entire time period, releasing his list of bright ideas a good five months after the release of the Treasury plan should have put an end to the discussions.
Please note- this is before the moderates have even weighed in. And the shit show fail parade that is the Democratic Congress marches on, each to the beat of a different drummer.