As Consumer Protection Burns, The President Dithers

Why doesn’t the president speak up for Elizabeth Warren? He chose her to design the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau because of her credentials. It was not a political appointment. Financial services lobbyists are apoplectic about the possibility of genuine consumer protection. Warren is their enemy and her destruction is their goal. Support for her by the president requires courage of his convictions and sticking by the promises of change he campaigned upon.

Joe Nocera, the New York Times business columnist, describes the sources of opposition to Warren and consumer protection in his op-ed column of June 11 (“Blocking Elizabeth Warren,” available online) and the president’s lack of support for his own nominee:

Unfortunately, the president’s response has been to dither.

Yes, the nomination would spark a partisan fight….Americans would be able to see, in the starkest way imaginable, who’s trying to help them—and who’s not.

The president is more compromiser than fighter. But consumer protection qualifies as one of those fights the president promised he would be willing to make even if he knew he might lose. The president could be inspired to take on the financial services lobby by recalling President Truman’s famous remark about lobbyists:

The president is the representative of the whole nation and he’s the only lobbyist that all the…people have.

Courage, Mr. President! Remember your own words about change, “We can do it.” The we includes you. Speak up for your choice as the head of CPFB.


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