Bond passes along Missouri values in financial reform debate
Brett Blume Reporting
WASHINGTON D.C. (KMOX) -- President Barack Obama will talk financial reform Thursday during a speech at a New York college not far from Wall Street.
U.S. Senator Kit Bond of Missouri met with two of the president's top financial advisors this week to pass along what he's heard from Missourians during recent public hearings.
"Basically, they want to stop 'too big to fail', they don't want government picking winners and losers," Bond told reporters during a conference call after the White House meeting.
Bond says most of the blame for the financial meltdown can be placed on what he calls "a few bad apples" on Wall Street.
Honestly - what are the "Missouri values" that Kit Bond has conveyed regarding the Wall Street reform proposals before Congress? Politicians often use "Missouri values" (or Kentucky Values, Arkansas Values, etc.) as code for conservative social positions. Or, "Missouri values" can be shorthand for "commonsense values," and a way to suggest that the opposing position or politician has the values of a foreigner (e.g. hippies, Frenchies, corporate lobbyists, etc.).
This KMOX story does little to clarify Bond's position on the important legislation being debated right now in Washington. The headline could have read, "Kit Bond wants a good bill," and it would have been just as illuminating.
More importantly, the story completely ignores Bond's documented position on financial reform legislation. Last week, he signed a letter affirming that Senate Republicans would unite to filibuster any financial reform proposals they deemed to be insufficiently bipartisan. The Washington Post Co's Plum Line blog:
Battle lines are drawn: Mitch McConnell’s office emails out a letter, signed by the entire GOP caucus, pledging to oppose the Dems’ financial regulatory reform plan unless they adopt a more “bipartisan” approach.
The letter repeats the widely-debunked claim that the reform plan would lead to endless bailouts, and claims the GOP caucus is “united” in opposition, suggesting McConnell has been able to keep the caucus together and prevent defectors...
The GOP is widely thought to be in a far weaker position this time than during the health care fight. It seems like a much bigger gamble to unanimously oppose financial regulatory reform, given public anger at Wall Street and the big banks, and given the GOP’s historic association with the sort of deregulation that helped lead to the current crisis.
But Republicans are rolling the dice. Dems are widely expected to introduce the bill next week and dare Republicans to maintain unity against it. Dems’ move.
Bond signed onto a letter with bogus arguments about the legislation. Moreover, the Republicans' late call for bipartisanship is completely disingenuous, as the GOP would decide themselves what could be considered "bipartisan." It was also an especially absurd criticism on the legislation in question, as Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Bob Corker (R-TN) have been a part of the process for months.
Finally, it's worth noting Bond's suggestion that the financial meltdown was the fault of "'a few bad apples' on Wall Street" -- and not the result of systemic failures or lax regulations. Using KMOX' values language, this would certainly seem to be a reflection of "Wall Street Values," and not the values of Missourians victimized by Wall Street's greed and abusive practices.
If the cause of a problem is just a "few bad apples," then no real rule changes are needed, right? That's what defenders of the status quo would have us believe. And Sen. Shelby made it very clear last month when speaking to banking lobbyists that the Republican agenda was very much aligned with bankers' values.
Also at the conference, attendees told Republican Senator Richard Shelby they view as unfair the Obama administration's proposal to set up a new government watchdog for financial consumers that would protect Americans from deceptive credit cards and abusive mortgage loans.
Asked what bankers could do to change the agenda, Shelby said, "What you can do is elect more Republicans to the U.S. Senate, that would help immensely." He asked each of the attendees to send $10,000 to Roy Blunt, a former House leader who is now running for Senate as a Republican in Missouri.
How 'bout those "Missouri Values?"