Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 29, 2010

SHELBY BACKS BOEHNER ON INSIGNIFICANCE OF CRASH.... House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) argued yesterday that sweeping Wall Street reform efforts are simply unnecessary. Sure, an unregulated financial industry nearly destroyed the global economy, but as far as Boehner is concerned, Democratic policymakers are "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon."

How ridiculous was the argument? Let's put it this way: usually, Boehner's press flacks can come up with a semi-coherent spin to make his more outlandish remarks seem somewhat reasonable. Today, Boehner left his poor spokesperson sounding like a fool.

What's worse, some of Boehner's Republican colleagues seem to think he's right. ThinkProgress caught up with Senate Banking Committee ranking member and financial conference member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) outside a D.C. fundraiser today.

TP: This morning, it was reported that Minority Leader John Boehner said that financial reform is too broad, it's basically like using a nuclear weapon on an ant. Do you agree with that kind of sentiment?

SHELBY: Well, I basically agree with that. I voted against it. We could have had a meaningful, substantive bill. There a few good things in it, but it's a broad reach of power, and you got to ask a question, the real question, "are we going to be better off because of this legislation?" And that's problematic.

Let's pause to note that, in the event of a Republican majority next year, Richard Shelby would be the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

It's really fascinating to see GOP leaders pursue this. The trick for Republicans has long been to work with Wall Street lobbyists to kill reform efforts while pretending to care deeply about accountability.

But now they're not even bothering to do that, dismissing a systemic crisis as being comparable to a small insect, and criticizing Democrats for trying to bring some oversight to the industry.

How bizarre.

Steve Benen 4:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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shorter boehner: lobbyists from wall street were paid tens of millions to let those ants run amok!!

Posted by: Kill Bill on June 29, 2010 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

there was an interesting nugget buried in that interview - he (boehner) actually advocated raising the retirement age to 70 for people with 20 or more years till retirement. While I think Boehner is generally an orange asshat the vast majority of the time, that was a comment that, as a free thinking Democrat, I miss from the GOP. That is a decent idea - let's talk about that. But no, the DCCC, or the DLC, or some other short sighted moron will blast the comments that "THE GOP WANTS YOU TO WORK TILL YOU DROP DEAD!!!oneoneone". That, IMHO, is a remark that is worthy of honest and open debate.

Posted by: polldancer on June 29, 2010 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

You know, if the great minds at the DCCC, DNC, and DSCC aren't kicking-ass-and-taking-names, then there's not hope for the Democrats.

These ads just write themselves...

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on June 29, 2010 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Bring Tom DeLay back. The Rep ex-exterminator could do a real bang up job killing this ant! What a joke...every last one of 'em.

Posted by: whichwitch on June 29, 2010 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Given the level of capitualation from Democrats creating all kinds of loopholes and just plain stupidity in the bill (tying bank bailouts directly to the FDIC which until this bill was to protect consumer accounts! FDR is spinning in his grave) I'm actually beginning to agree with Feingold. We might be better off if it doesn't pass.

The bill is nothing more than illusion that does little to nothing to protect the economy or the public. And in the case of FDIC provision mentioned above could actually make things far worse. But if it passes people will assume the market is now 'safe' and we'll be back to the races. The next crash will make 2008 look like the 90s boom times.

Posted by: thorin-1 on June 29, 2010 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

This only proves that they're all stupid.

Posted by: rbe1 on June 29, 2010 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

They almost have to claim the financial crisis is nothing given everything they have already said about the Dems being the next incarnation of Hitler. If the Dems were responding to a real crisis wouldn't the Republican response have been a little over the top the last year? It's just one more example of how utterly clueless they are about the lives of ordinary Americans. It fits in perfectly with the new Republican complaint that Supreme Court Justices shouldn't give ordinary Americans a fair shake.

Posted by: ceilidth on June 29, 2010 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

It is in general not physically possible for a laborer to continue in his or her job until age 70.
Food servers also have a hard time after their body loses strength and vigor.

And where are the jobs at which the 65-70 year old cohort are supposed to work while waiting for SS? Our economy doesn't now provide jobs for all those willing to work; there are five applicants for every job in many markets. Now a whole swath of additional people are supposed to compete for those same jobs ?

Raising the retirement age to 70 is class warfare by those who work in offices against those who must work with their bodies to get their bread.

There is no Social Security crisis except in the minds of those who wish that the poor were even more poor, apparently out of conviction that the poor do not deserve even what little they have.

Posted by: joel hanes on June 29, 2010 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

"The trick for Republicans has long been to work with Wall Street lobbyists to kill reform efforts while pretending to care deeply about accountability."

The stats I saw showed finance-industry lobbyists giving as much money to Dem Senators as to Repubs.

Dems aren't appeasing Wall Street contributors, but R's are? Based on what, trust?

Posted by: flubber on June 29, 2010 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

This only proves that they're all stupid.

And also that the collective "we" are even more stupid for electing them and giving them power.

Posted by: qwerty on June 29, 2010 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Make them filibuster! I get so sick of reading political stories that say that such-and-thus a bill 'can't pass' without any Republican support. For both financial reform and the energy bill, the Democrats have the votes to pass it, and these are two genuinely crucial pieces of legislation. If the GOP wants to block these bills, make them block them around the clock 24/7/365 - keep the Senate in session and make these clowns face the C-SPAN cameras explaining to the country why they're blocking these bills. Put the Senate in session and keep it in session until the GOP finally allows the bills to come to the floor for a vote. They WILL cave eventually. The public wants this legislation, and eventually the legislators are going to want to go home.

Posted by: JoyceH on June 29, 2010 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Next time you see a Republican ask them, "What about the 19th century don't you like?" Really. I'm not kidding.

Posted by: KurtRex1454 on June 29, 2010 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

@ polldancer

If you're going to find useful nuggets in what the orange bleephole said, find the whole nugget please.

He said he wants to explore raising the ss age as a way of funding the wars!!!

Ensuring there's enough money to pay for the war will require reforming the country's entitlement system, Boehner said. He said he'd favor increasing the Social Security retirement age to 70 for people who have at least 20 years until retirement, tying cost-of-living increases to the consumer price index rather than wage inflation and limiting payments to those who need them.

(next to last graf)

Posted by: efgoldman on June 29, 2010 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Joel Hanes nailed it. Raising the retirement age to 70 means that many people who work with their bodies (viewed differently, people who shower after work instead of before work) won't live to collect anything. Only someone who works at a desk would consider raising the retirement age a just solution.

Posted by: Jeremy B. on June 29, 2010 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

@ Jeremy B.

Raising the retirement age to 70 means that many people who work with their bodies ... won't live to collect anything.

Not that I'm advocating it, but this is kind of the way Social Security was originally conceived in the New Deal.

Posted by: efgoldman on June 29, 2010 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

They're Republicans, so of course they're bizarre. Would you expect rationality?

Posted by: AlisonS on June 29, 2010 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK



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