What an amazing news day it was today. Speaker Pelosi officially surrendered on ObamaCare. The Supreme Court gutted McCain Feingold and invited the likes of Exxon and BigPharma to enter the political fray directly. And President Obama declared war on the very Wall Street speculators that were his biggest financial backers in the 2008 election.
It’s amusing that Speaker Pelosi needed forty eight hours to acknowledge the humiliation that Massachusetts delivered to her door in the form of Scott Brown but denial is a river that courses deep and wide through the Democratic Party on this anniversary of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. However, the stunning Massachusetts defeat that was, in effect, a plebiscite on ObamaCare may turn out to be the third most important story of the week.
The Supreme Court ruling on first amendment rights today promises to rearrange the funding apparatus of campaign finance. The immediate winners, as Tom Maguire noted, are the broadcast outlets and the losers are the print media dinosaurs that pined for the exclusivity of their position. Put a fork in them. At the next level, consider that lobbyists may have just been disintermediated, a fancy term for having someone else take your place at the competitive table. Big and small business will invest heavily in their new found freedom to push their message on a more level playing field, particularly against unions and quasi governmental 501 C3 organizations that operate under the radar of McCain Feingold. In short, today’s ruling was a body blow to the financing apparatus of the Democratic Party.
The President’s new regulatory policy recommendations regarding the banking industry are more complicated and require some fleshing out. As they say, it’s all in the implementation. The problem plaguing Wall Street and its largest banks is that the public has figured out that these bankers continue to operate with a pre 2008 policy mindset regarding compensation for themselves while the public now understands that these same banks would be out of business without taxpayer support in the form of TARP and access to the Federal Reserve. Lord help these bankers when the Tea Party movement moves its attention away from federal spending, privacy rights and national security to the cronyism that has corrupted our financial system.
Note: Some commenters have noted that Pelosi hasn’t given up on ObamaCare. The ObamaCare debate has devolved from a real political debate to a perception issue. I think what we are seeing now is some residual pandering by Pelosi to a fringe element of the base that is furious about the outcome and not easily placated. The House Democrats now opposed (after the Brown election) to a vote on the Senate version of ObamaCare are bending to the number one rule of politics: at the end of the day every politician will do what is in their own self interest. Surprisingly, even in the age of Obama, elections still have a way of distilling the base interests of politicians. Maybe Pelosi is still entertaining these objections out of self interest? After all, her Speaker position is clearly at risk.