Yesterday, I composed a lengthy piece which is generating a lot of traffic titled, It’s Not Just the GOP – The Democratic Party is Also Imploding. Here’s one of several observations:
While it might sound strange, a coronation of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary will mark the end of the party as we know it. There’s been a lot written about the “Sanders surge,” with much of it revolving around Hillary Clinton’s extreme personal weakness as a candidate. While this is indisputable, it’s also a convenient way for the status quo to exempt itself from fault and discount genuine grassroots anger. I’m of the view that Sanders’ support is more about people liking him than them disliking Hillary, particularly when it comes to registered Democrats. He’s not merely seen as the “least bad choice.” People really do like him.
The Sanders appeal is twofold. He is seen as unusually honest and consistent for someone who’s held elected office for much of his life, plus he advocates a refreshingly anti-establishment view on core issues that matter to an increasing number of Americans. These include militarism, Wall Street bailouts, a two-tiered justice system, the prohibitive cost of college education, healthcare insecurity and a “rigged economy.” While Hillary is being forced to pay lip service to these issues, everybody knows she doesn’t mean a word of it. She means it less than Obama meant it in 2008, and Obama really didn’t mean it.
Hillary is the embodiment of a sick and detested status quo. She stands for nothing, is nothing, and a vote for her all but guarantees both murder abroad and oligarchy at home. I think a large number of Bernie Sanders supporters understand this and won’t be going off silently into that quiet voting booth to commit ethical self-sacrifice despite the terrifying prospects of a Trump presidency. I think they’ll stay home, but they won’t sit there passively. They’ll be seething inside, and many will renounce the Democratic party forever. Many rank and file Republicans already came to such a conclusion years ago, which is precisely why the nomination was wide open for a man like Trump to capture.
Hillary is the candidate of the corrupt establishment. The status quo wants Hillary in the White House so the parasitic gravy train can roll on. DNC head and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is one of these people. She isn’t interested in reform, because reform wouldn’t advance her personal interests. She wants things to stay the way they are, because it’s working great for her.
Genuine liberals are finally starting to see these people for the frauds they are, which is why the Democratic Party is currently splitting in two. On one side there are those who understand United States policy doesn’t need a tweak here or there — it needs to be hauled off to the emergency room immediately. The so-called “elites” in the Democratic Party are just as disconnected and clueless as their Republican counterparts. Instead of accepting that paradigm level reform is required, they merely double down on their support of cronyism and rent-seeking.
A perfect example of this has just been revealed in the person of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Specifically, she is intentionally trying to sabotage Elizabeth Warren’s reform efforts when it comes to the abuses of payday lenders.
The Huffington Post reports:
WASHINGTON — Payday lenders have been gunning for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since the day President Barack Obama tapped Elizabeth Warren to set up the new agency. They’ve had plenty of help from congressional Republicans — longtime recipients of campaign contributions from the payday loan industry. As the CFPB has moved closer to adopting new rules to shield families from predatory lending, the GOP has assailed the agency from every conceivable angle — going after it’s budget, attempting to tie its hands with new layers of red tape, fomenting conspiracy theories about rogue regulators illegally shutting down businesses and launching direct attacks on payday loan rules themselves.
To date, the GOP blitz has resulted in a few close shaves for the young agency, but no actual defeats. But the industry has cultivated a powerful new ally in recent weeks: Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
Wasserman Schultz is co-sponsoring a new bill that would gut the CFPB’s forthcoming payday loan regulations. She’s also attempting to gin up Democratic support for the legislation on Capitol Hill, according to a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.
The DNC chair isn’t the first Democrat to defend payday lenders. A handful of House Financial Services Committee members consistently join the GOP’s payday loan boosterism. But support from such backbenchers has been politically impotent. Wasserman Schultz, by contrast, is the nominal head of the Democratic Party. Her support undercuts efforts by liberals in Congress to draw contrasts with Republicans on economic issues.
The misleadingly titled Consumer Protection and Choice Act would delay the CFPB’s payday lending rules by two years, and nullify its rules in any state with a payday lending law like the one adopted in Florida. The memo being passed around by Wasserman Schultz staffers describes the Florida state law as a “model” for consumer laws on payday loans, and says the CFPB should “adjust their payday lending rules to take into account actions Florida has already taken.”
Remember this for later. She is espousing the Florida approach.
Consumer groups are appalled by the bill. The Consumer Federation of America, the NAACP, The National Consumer Law Center, The National Council of La Raza, The Southern Poverty Law Center and hundreds of others wrote a letter to every member of Congress in December urging them to oppose the legislation.
Data compiled by the nonpartisan Pew Charitable Trusts is similarly dismal. A typical Florida payday loan customer ends up taking out nine payday loans a year and is stuck in debt for nearly half of that year, according to Pew. The average interest rate on Florida’s payday loans is 304 percent — only slightly better than the 390 percent annual average. Critically, the average payday loan amount of $389 is equal to 35 percent of average paychecks in the state — in line with national figures.
So that’s what the Florida bill has achieved — 300% interest rates.
Going after the CFPB is becoming something of a habit for Wasserman Schultz. In November, she voted to undercut the agency’s standards on auto lending, helping car dealers charge higher prices to customers of color. She recently signed onto a letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray asking him to exempt credit unions and banks with up to $10 billion in assets from consumer protection rules.
Republicans routinely push deregulatory legislation to dilute federal consumer protection standards. But the Wasserman Schultz payday loan bill had implications at the state level, as well. If approved, the bill would unleash a nationwide lobbying campaign at statehouses that would put new pressure on states like Colorado to weaken their consumer protection standards to fit Florida’s law.
As I said yesterday, if Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton, full blown civil war will erupt and it’ll be the end of the party as we know it. Good riddance.
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