"Will no one rid me of this meddlesome Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?"
When King Henry II uttered something along those lines in 1170, only four particularly unsavory knights figured lopping off the top of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket's head would be a great way to earn big-time toady points with His Majesty the King.
When America's Wall Street money moguls snapped their fingers in 2011, however, every Senate Republican in sight fell over each other to do whatever it took to block Elizabeth Warren's appointment as head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Republicans are fighting on every front to shield their big money overlords. From their scorched-earth battle to stop President Barack Obama's draft Executive Order requiring that big-money contractors reveal their political contributions if they want fat government contracts, to sinking Warren and the nascent CFPB, Republican vassals are brandishing battle-axes and broadswords to bludgeon and butcher any effort to stifle their plutocrat overlords' plundering of Americans.
It's now Memorial Day weekend, the beginning of what is normally a one-week recess, but Republican pols were so terrified Obama might install Warren by way of a recess appointment they called pro-forma sessions to technically prevent Congress from going into recess.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is critical to implementing Dobb-Frank, the landmark legislation enacted to curb the fevered abuses that crashed the global financial markets in 2008 at the climax of the Bush plutocoddling debacle.
The CFPB is scheduled to be get going July 21, but Republicans are scheming to sink the agency by blocking appointment of any director until the agency's mission is gutted, and figure if they prevent the agency from having a boss in the meantime, it won't be able to fulfill it's mission to prohibit "unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices."
Apparently, Republicans exist for unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices, and prohibiting them on Wall Street is anathema to them. Apparently, Republicans figure if big money moguls can't conduct unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices, there won't be any ill-gotten billions in spoils and plunder, and there won't be any ill-gained millions in lavish gifts, contributions, and junkets for Republican snouts to root after in burgeoning payola troughs. Apparently, Republicans believe if big-money plutocrats can't conduct unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices, they might not make as many of the piles and piles of cash they're raking in on the backs of ordinary Americans they're driving to ruin and bankruptcy every day. Apparently, Republicans fear if their forefathers hadn't resorted to unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices, there might not be any Republicans at all today.
Republicans figured if July 21 rolled around with no head for the CFPB, the agency couldn't begin its work regulating the financial markets and protecting consumers from the Republican cronies' depredations.
Another way Republicans are fighting to shield their wealthy masters is by doing anything they can to stop Obama from issuing his Executive Order requiring companies getting fat government contracts to disclose their political contributions.
The President figured if big corporations were going to shower politicos and agency heads with cash, contributions, and golfing junkets to Polynesian resorts to snag fat contracts while pawning off the American people with substandard widgets that fall apart at the first sign of use, folks ought to know about it.
Republicans howled and moaned at the President's abuse of his power. Apparently, Republicans exist to be showered with cash, contributions and golfing junkets to Polynesian resorts in exchange for handing out fat contracts to their liege lords for useless, substandard, and nonfunctional widgets.
Unlike 1170, when only four knights stepped up to murder Thomas Becket, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and 19 GOP Legislators, along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and 26 GOP Senators stepped up to lambast the President's bid for transparency.
The GOP toadies shrieked, "This proposed EO seems like a blatant attempt to intimidate and potentially silence certain speakers who are engaged in their constitutionally protected right to free speech." Well, the President's draft EO is at least a blatant attempt to intimidate and potentially stop the bribery, kickbacks and general shovelling of dumptruck loads of cash at GOP pols eager to auction off America's freedom to the highest bidder.
It is understandable Republicans would be upset. After all, from big oil to such groups as the Business Roundtable and US Chamber of Commerce, who rank among the most vehement GOP overlords opposed to Obama's draft Executive Order, the vast majority of seamy "contributions" go to the GOP. During the 2010 elections, Republican candidates were bestowed with $122,000 of the $150,000 the Business Roundtable and the US Chamber Commerce sloshed into the fray. The oil industry alone has plied GOP Senators with $21 mil over the last decade or so.
Republicans muttered some sort of convoluted rationalization that the Executive Order would actually, "increase political considerations as a determining factor in how federal contracts are awarded," because, "losing contract bidders could then point to the differences in their disclosed contributions and those of their competitors..." Republicans are saying bidders would either complain they made big bribes but didn't get their fat payday, or they didn't make big bribes and lost out to a bidder who did. Well, yeah, that is sort of the idea.
From lavishing big money subsidies on oil magnates to plundering Medicare for their insurance company cronies, from unleashing money moguls to run roughshod over consumers to pillaging Social Security for Wall Street tycoons, Republicans are shamelessly pulling out all the stops in their war on America.