Elizabeth Warren, President Obama, and my broken heart
I do a sport that results in a lot of broken toes. What I’ve learned is this: once a toe is broken, it will break more easily in the future until having a broken toe becomes a regular part of life. This is, I believe, why God invented sports tape.
Broken hearts are different. Once a heart gets broken a few times, it builds up a tough shell that stops it from ever breaking again, or at least from breaking into a million pieces again. That’s the way it is for those of us who actually opened our hearts and our wallets and our lives to getting President Obama elected. We got our hearts broken over and over and over again. And now, for many of us, we expect nothing but betrayal.
Of course, like any dysfunctional relationship, there were clues immediately that we should start hardening ourselves to the fantasy that we would finally have an administration that was ours and ours alone, rather than a President that is always sneaking off to cavort with big military and big banks. But then came Larry Summers and the TARP bailouts and the increase of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan and so many betrayals that by now, my heart is like stone and there is nothing left for the Obama-ites to do that will hurt me.
Or so I say. Like any broken-hearted lover, continuously rejected and then courted and then rejected again, I harbor a small piece of hope. This time he’ll do the right thing. This time will be different. This time he’ll appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the consumer advocacy agency that she invented. But even that little piece of hopefulness buried deep in the recesses of my stony heart knows, deep down, that the chances of this happening are about the same as the chances of a perfectly romantic ending to my life, where my beloved rides up on a white horse and takes me off into a sunset to live happily ever after.
According to an article in today’s New York Times, the Obama Administration has not ruled out appointing Warren, especially given how vocal the support for her is from leading Democrats and some of the press, as well as some labor unions and progressive. The Obama administration knows what we want.
It is essential to the bill and very, very important that Elizabeth Warren be appointed,” Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts and an architect of the law, said Friday on MSNBC.
But not surprisingly, our arch rival, the banking industry, opposes Professor Warren as too invested in protecting the people rather than being “neutral.” As if the head of a consumer protection agency should be neutral about how the banks have profited from the immense information asymmetry involved in debt. In other words, Warren actually believes we ought to know what we’re getting when we take on a mortgage or a credit card instead of continuing to allow a system where you would need an MBA to understand what the hell it means to sign on the dotted line.
According to Roger M. Beverage, head of the Oklahoma Banker’s Association, Oklahoma native Warren is “competent” and “exceptionally bright” but
We just fear what she might come up with. She’s a partisan and she’s bull-headed and she’s opinionated. And she’s terrific. She’s a great advocate. We just respectfully disagree with her view of the world.”
Already key Democrats, such as Senator Christopher Dodd (CT), the chairman of the banking committee, are warning that they won’t be able to muster the votes necessary for Warren’s nomination. It is only a matter of time till the Obama administration shrugs and says “What can I do.”
And the heart-broken progressives of this country either continue to excuse our beloved, like any abused spouse, with “He had no choice” and “He couldn’t help it” or, more likely, turn our backs on the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections and risk losing the only thing like a happy ending we have ever had.