Saturday, June 11, 2011

Elizabeth Warren Again!

In another column praising Elizabeth Warren's selfless commitment to helping consumers make sense of the financial products that some unscrupulous bankers want to pawn off on them, columnist Joe Nocera reminds us that Warren has become a great ally of the ordinary person. In establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she is simply trying to make sure that everyday people get all the information they need when conferring with bankers. This is a clear case of someone trying to look out for the millions of ordinary people who are often manipulated into purchasing financial products they neither want or need and that may even threaten their financial security.

Who wouldn't want to get behind such goals? Apparently, most of the Republican Party that continues to block her nomination as head of the new Bureau. They claim that placing her in this position could threaten the financial system. As Mr. Nocera puts it: "How, precisely, an agency that tries to keep financial consumers from being gouged threatens the system is something no one ever explains." And the reason they don't explain it is because these politicians are in the hip pocket of the Big Banks. Doing anything that might upset the Big Banks appears to be anathema to the Republicans. Yet none of this filters down to the ordinary person who continues to think that Republicans and Democrats are the same. When the reality is, in fact, undeniably obvious. Republicans will always opt to support the leaders of large, well established institutions over the needs and concerns of less privileged people. Big banks over individual consumers.

Somehow, this conflict needs to be reported for the revealing story that it is: A fight between bigness and smallness in which the Republicans seem to be opting, almost without exception, for bigness. In the meantime, as Nocera says, it is important for Obama to continue to support Warren, even if it means her nomination is not approved. Nocera, for one, seems to look forward to this eventuality, for if Warren's nomination did go down, then "Americans would be able to see, in the starkest way imaginable, who’s trying to help them — and who’s not."

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