Will Republicans Support Bank Reform?

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Jim Manzi on Barack Obama’s proposal to rein in the size and riskiness of big banks:

The political aspects of such reform are compelling. People are disgusted at recent bank bonuses. I’m a right-of-center libertarian businessman, and I’m disgusted by them….The “populist” observation that the fact of a bunch of well-connected guys each pulling down $10 million per year while suckling on the government teat constitutes almost certain evidence of self-dealing is accurate, and all the fancy finance talk in the world can’t get around it. President Obama has a clear political incentive to pursue this proposal. I assume Republicans will see that they have a clear political incentive to go along, rather than standing up for such a situation. Hopefully, this will create the political dynamic that will allow real, positive reform.

Well, I hope Republicans see it that way too. Unfortunately, Scott Brown’s victory on Tuesday probably makes this unlikely. After all, what lesson are they likely to take from it? There’s no deep thinking required to figure this out: obstruction works, and the louder and more furious the better. I expect them to double down on their opposition to all things Obama, cheered on by Drudge and Fox and Palin and Limbaugh and the tea partiers, certain that this is the path to maximal electoral victory in November.

But maybe I’m wrong! Maybe they’ll suddenly do a U turn and decide that cooperating with Democrats to reregulate Wall Street millionaires is a great idea. Offhand I can’t think of anything less likely, but you never know.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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