A revealing peek into the relationship between the finance industry and the Democrats came to my attention via Atrios via Greg Sargent at The Plum Line. It’s a Politico post on the bankers’ outrage that the Dems are trying to work both sides of the OWS phenomenon.
After the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent a recent email urging supporters to sign a petition backing the wave of Occupy Wall Street protests, phones at the party committee started ringing.
Banking executives personally called the offices of DCCC Chairman Steve Israel and DCCC Finance Chairman Joe Crowley last week demanding answers, three financial services lobbyists told POLITICO.
“They were livid,” said one Democratic lobbyist with banking clients.
The execs asked the lawmakers: “What are you doing? Do you even understand some of the things that they’ve called for?” said another lobbyist with financial services clients who is a former Democratic Senate aide.
…This cycle Democrats have a particularly tough sell, since they pushed through a financial regulatory reform law last year and Mitt Romney has emerged as a Republican presidential front-runner, whose deep Wall Street ties clash with Obama’s recent populist overtures. The lip service to occupiers is only hurting an already rocky relationship.
“You can’t have it both ways,” said one in-house financial services lobbyist. “It just makes it harder for people who are Democrats in New York, Boston, Chicago to on the one hand be demogagued and then be asked ‘Hey, you can get your picture with the president for $30,000.’ It doesn’t square.”
I never thought I would ever be able to see the banker’s point of view but I have to admit they are right. Democrats are notoriously fickle, disloyal and self-serving. I have been feeling the very same sense of anger toward the Democrats since they managed to get a filibuster proof majority in the Senate and then played a tricky little game of withholding one or two crucial votes that would have made the difference between good legislation for the 99% and a bill that has a nice sounding name and little else. Can we say Ben Nelson when it comes to abortion funding in the Affordable Care Act? I think we can. How about Bart Stupak? And remember those crazy dreams we had about the public option that would have forced the insurance companies to compete? Where was Joe Lieberman on that? Christopher Dodd, where were you when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was defanged and deep sixxed as an “interim affiliation” of the Treasury Department run by Tim Geithner, a guy who hated Elizabeth Warren? Shall I go on?
For far too long, Democrats have been calling us up, asking for money, scaring us about what would happen to the economy and reproductive rights if the Republicans got control. Finally, after all our contributions, phone banking, canvassing and advocacy for them, they got what they wanted. And instead of actually defending the values their constituents thought were important, they acted all helpless. I mean, what did we expect from them? They only had all the power they needed. Don’t even get me started about how they threw their base under the bus and rigged the primaries so they could benefit from all that financial industry cash that would be flooding into the DNC coffers in 2008. What was it again? $28,000 per donor? That might account for the substitution of student council president type congressional candidates for more liberal candidates in 2008. Maybe that’s why Eric Massa and Anthony Weiner had to go and why Charlie Rangel had to be sidelined. They were made examples of what would happen if others acted on their more Democratic impulses. It all makes sense now.
I don’t know what’s more laughable, that the bankers’ are pissed that the OWS movement may give them real competition for the money of the 99%, forcing them to compete for that money in a free market, capitalist manner for a change, or that the Democrats think that a pathetic letter of support is going to help them win elections next year.
It’s too late. You can’t be trusted. You’ve let the middle class down so badly it is unforgivable. The OWS movement is making people think that maybe there is a way out of this economic and political trap they’re in and that the solution doesn’t include Democrats.
We’re walking out of this relationship and even though we don’t know what the future holds, it feels good to be free.
You can’t have it both ways.