I can't stop thinking about Elizabeth Warren, who the Times reports spoke yesterday to the Chamber of Commerce and whom President Obama chose to oversee the development of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She is the perfect progressive - sensible, thoughtful, not at all extreme, but with the best interests of ordinary people in mind. Her mission: to protect people with relatively little information or knowledge regarding financial practices from the manipulations of banks and other lending agencies. In a better world, Elizabeth Warren would be widely regarded as a heroine, as a public official who represents the highest standards of government service. But in the current political climate, she is seen as an extremist, as an enemy of commerce and capitalism. This could not be further from the truth. It is true, though, thankfully, that she does insist that government has an important role to play in ensuring that people have reasonable and trustworthy options when it comes to securing consumer credit and that financial institutions should not enjoy an unfair and built-in advantage when dealing with consumers.
How I wish the Obama administration could promote Warren as the person who represents the Democratic Party as its best. In addition to everything else she is a person of unimpeachable character. Yet I fear that the right-wing may cow Obama into not supporting her for the permanent director of this bureau. How Obama deals with Warren is a key test of his fortitude before the absurd anti-government onslaughts of Republicans.