May We (Finally) Criticise the President for Weakness in the Face of a Bad Bill?
Obama and the Democrats almost always blinked first. Ever since the ACA. Why? Corporate influence trumps them all? Flailing in the face of a divided GOP? WTF?
WASHINGTON — Less than a month after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) landed a new Senate leadership position, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and President Barack Obama risked a fight with her over government subsidies for risky Wall Street derivatives trading.
They won the near-term policy fight: After a bruising bicameral battle, the House of Representatives narrowly approved an annual spending bill that granted taxpayer support for the risky financial contracts at the heart of the 2008 meltdown.
But the bitter feud left Reid and Obama politically embarrassed, while consolidating a burgeoning populist movement within the Democratic Party that highlighted Warren’s influence in wings of the Capitol far removed from her perch on the Senate Banking Committee. It also forced Obama and a host of Democratic leaders into the crosshairs of a critique Warren typically levels at Republicans: that powerful people in Washington are rigging the system to help Wall Street at the expense of the middle class.