Last week, at a House hearing on financial institutions and consumer credit, Republicans lined up to grill and attack Elizabeth Warren, the law professor and bankruptcy expert who is in charge of setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Ostensibly, they believed that Ms. Warren had overstepped her legal authority by helping state attorneys general put together a proposed settlement with mortgage servicers, which are charged with a number of abuses.
And Republicans were clearly also hoping that if they threw enough mud, some of it would stick. For people like Ms. Warren — people who warned that we were heading for a debt crisis before it happened — threaten, by their very existence, attempts by conservatives to sustain their anti-regulation dogma. Such people must therefore be demonized, using whatever tools are at hand.
Given Ms. Warren’s prescience and her role in shaping financial reform legislation — not to mention her effective performance running the Congressional panel exercising oversight over federal financial bailouts — it was only natural that she be appointed to get the new consumer protection agency up and running. And it’s hard to think of anyone better qualified to head the agency once it goes into action.
The fact that she’s so well qualified is, of course, the reason she’s being attacked so fiercely. Nothing could be worse, from the point of view of bankers and the politicians who serve them, than to have consumers protected by someone who knows what she’s doing and has the personal credibility to stand up to pressure.
Paul Krugman pulls no punches here.
More positive proof that Republicans are hypocritical lying sacks of shit. Protect the bankers at all costs and screw the consumer in doing so. Krugman is right that Obama must use this battle to expose the mindset of Republicans. Sadly, he can't expect full support from all Democrats on this issue.
The people who were right about the financial crash have been marginalized by the media and mainstream Washington thought, just as the Iraq war skeptics were correct but were marginalized themselves.