When is a shutdown not a shutdown? As Noah pointed out at great length last night, the answer is when Democrats do it. This applies not only to their fellow progressives, but to most of the media as well. (But I repeat myself.) It’s never a shutdown for them, but a principled stand to prevent Republican robbery, murder, mayhem or whatever. But a new twist was put on this theme when Elizabeth Warren addressed the current budget turmoil.
It’s no secret that Warren is steaming mad over sections of the cromnibus which would roll back certain provisions of the dysfunctional Dodd-Frank regulations. It’s a great selling point for her if she is actually is harboring some secret ambitions to take a run at Hillary, because her signature move is to jump on anything which weakens capitalist principles. But when she took to the podium to lambast her colleagues on the subject, we saw an entirely new bit of verbal sword dancing. (Emphasis added)
Now, the House of Representatives is about to show us the worst of government for the rich and powerful. The House is about to vote on a budget deal. A deal negotiated behind closed doors that slips in a provision that would let derivatives traders on Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money and get bailed out by the government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system. These are the same banks that nearly broke the economy in 2008 and destroyed millions of jobs.
And now, no debate and no discussion, Republicans in the House of Representatives are threatening to shut down the government if they don’t get a chance to repeal it. That raises a simple question. Why? If this rule brings more stability to our financial system. If this rule helps prevent future government bailouts. Why in the world would anyone want to repeal it? Let alone hold the entire government hostage to ram through this appeal.
Excuse me? Did you really just say that Republicans were threatening to shut down the government? You are aware that you’re actually a member of the Senate now and that there are cameras recording you, right?
Not that I’m all that anxious to give a boost to your career, Senator Warren, but allow me to help you out with something. The House – both Democrats and Republicans – have put together a package, detestable as it may be in many regards, which funds nearly the entire government for a full year. (And Homeland Security for at least a couple of months.) The GOP worked with your party to put it together and by passing it, you keep the government open. If you stand up and begin a stampede of your Democrat counterparts to shoot it down over a single provision that you don’t care for, you are the one shutting the government down.
This is some awe inspiring verbal gymnastics. Perhaps I’ve been underestimating Warren all this time. She just might be enough of a politician to run for the Democrat nomination, because it takes some serious chutzpah to deliver a line like that with a straight face.