Republicans right to be scared, Progressive right to be bold on financial reform
NBC News and the Wall Street Journal have a new poll out that puts numbers to some of the sneaking suspicions that have been making the rounds about the financial reform that the Senate is currently debating. On who is acting in the best interests of average Americans vs. large corporations, Republicans are in a tough spot:
That is, needless to say, an overwhelming majority of people who believe that Republicans are in the tank for Wall Street and large corporations. Those numbers are not very confidence inspiring given the public mood right now (Goldman Sachs at 4% approval rating in the poll, even lower than BP at 11%). Pair it with the fact that, of those people who prefer a Republican controlled Congress, a clear majority do so not out of support for the GOP and its candidates, but out of opposition to President Obama and the Democrats and you can start to see how financial reform could well play out as a late game bell weather in November:
In short, Republicans have every right to be scared over financial reform. But the numbers also show that while people are roughly trusting of President Obama, Congressional Democrats have some distance to close in terms of their trustworthiness.
Liberal Senators like Byron Dorgan, Ted Kaufman, Sherrod Brown, Al Franken, Russ Feingold, and Maria Cantwell get this and are trying to push their colleagues in the right direction. Even conservatively minded but embattled Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln understands the dynamics at play and the public has now said loud and clear that timid reforms are not the order of the day:
And the efforts of progressives are starting to pay off as restless voters, in spite of ever fierce anti-incumbent sentiment, start to shift back in the Democrats’ direction. The story here is that doing financial reform and doing it properly is more than just an insider narrative about how Democrats are going to come from behind in November, it is how average Americans actually feel about the issue.
Progressives have been banging this drum for months now and their party really needs to listen.