Posted by Brad @ 12:14 pm on July 26th 2012

Progressives for Audit the Fed

Ron Paul’s this-time non-watered-down version of Audit the Fed passed yesterday 327-98. The only people that opposed it were, essentially, Democratic leadership. It does not look likely to pass the Senate, and even if it did, Obama would veto it.

Which is a curious thing, really, as the biggest political movement within liberalism these last few years has been Occupy Wall Street (otherwise known as the Left’s Tea Party, just with more media gushing but less political effectiveness), and in general the movement, typified by people like Elizabeth Warren or rhetoric relating to the 1%, against corporate cronyism and Too Big To Fail institutions screwing the little guy. Ironically, that’s a movement that has some hold in conservatism as well, which certainly prays at the alter of capitalism but at the same time shares much of the left’s outrage at government giveaways and largesse to giant corporate entities – although neither side seems inclined to acknowledge that overlap.

Anyway, Glenn Greenwald has a nice post up explaining why Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed coalition is backed up in large measure by the Democratic party’s most progressive members, but that it is Democratic party leadership that will kill it. This, despite the fact that even the watered-down 2010 version of the Audit the Fed bill wound up more than earning its keep, discovering the the Fed loaned or gave away $16 trillion – I say again, trillion – to giant corporations and financial institutions, both foreign and domestic, that we mostly didn’t know about. One would imagine loaning out $16 trillion in the midst of a massive recession and debt crisis would be worth, you know, being kind of transparent about.

That is not the view of President Obama, however. The ultimate irony here is his belief, which is the establishment belief generally, that potentially subjecting the Federal Reserve to national politics cripples its ability to make critical decisions – that this is apparently not an issue with health care is cognitive dissonance on the level of the Republicans’ “government does not work at all unless it’s one we set up at gunpoint in a foreign country”. That is also, incidentally, Obama’s basic view on war and law enforcement powers, although in that he joins the GOP.

In any case, I remain a bit staggered by Democrats’ disinclination to hold their President accountable even in case where he is actively opposed to their fundamental principles and actively working to dismantle them in governance, in the same way I was staggered when it was the Republicans and Bush. But I think I’m officially at the point now where I’m no longer going to accept any charges of hypocrisy from the Andrew Sullivans of the world screaming “where were the Tea Partiers when Bush was doing X?!!”


  1. Understand-it is mostly High Finance buyout of the Dem elite, with more than a sprinkle, however, of a fear of alienating black votes.
    You would have more chance of change if O was a true black nationalist, something like elements of the silly “right” believe he is.

    Comment by truthteller — 7/26/2012 @ 7:10 pm

  2. In other words, multiculturalism of the kind the fashionable liberal and many fashionable libertarians like…isn’t working-except for the Elite.

    Comment by truthteller — 7/26/2012 @ 7:12 pm

  3. A little unclear on what this has to do with black people. Remind me?

    Comment by Brad — 7/26/2012 @ 11:03 pm

  4. Yeah, totally unable to parse what those two comments are getting at. Had there been a link I would assume it was comment spam.

    Comment by Jack — 7/27/2012 @ 11:41 am

  5. Even Katrina vanden Heuvel acknowledged
    the case for primarying O from the Left was very good but it shouldn’t be done for fear of alienating back voters.

    This explains much of the dramatically reduced opposition to O’s sellout to Wall Street across the board, (and to the drone program for example) but since I write as a populist-nationalist more than a libertarian the message might not be easily assimilated.

    Comment by truthteller — 7/27/2012 @ 2:55 pm

  6. There hasn’t been a serious intra-party challenge against an incumbent President in many, many years – it’s just incredibly hard to pull off (where do you get your donors? Where do you get your campaign infrastructure? Where do you get your staff? etc), with a near certainly that whoever tries it will become a marginalized figure to never work in Washington again – in fact, most of the fringe challenges that occur already draw from that set. And the fear of alienating voters has nothing to do with black voters specifically – why would you fear alienating them over, say, seniors, or blue collar Democrats, or Asians, or gays, or college students, etc. etc. etc.? Your premise just don’t make very much sense.

    You’re also confusing cause and effect. The decision to not primary Obama did not cause the lack of opposition to him – the lack of opposition to him pretty much decided the non-primary challenge. You say “dramatically reduced opposition” as if we STARTED OUT with opposition and it has since decreased. That’s just not the case, pretty much from the moment he put away HRC in the primaries. There has never been any groundswell of opposition, even when things like Occupy Wall Street were going on.

    Finally, a bit of Occam’s Razor here, but as you get closer to an election, the more partisans consolidate around a candidate. That’s as reliable as the weather, and has existed in more or less every Presidential election in my lifetime, only more and more amplified in recent years (think Bush in 2004 or Clinton in 1996). However you label yourself is fairly irrelevant to this conversation – I don’t know anything about your ideology so I’m not sure why you think it plays here – it’s just a simple observation. Liberals have always circled the wagon around Obama – there has NEVER been significant opposition to Wall Street or the drone program from the left – and they are less inclined to oppose him now that there is an R in the race.

    Hell, if you want another example of the same thing, you need only look to the OTHER candidate in the race, Mitt Romney, who seems almost tailor-made to be a poor cipher to fill with what Republicans have mainly occupied themselves about these last few years – anti corporate cronyism, anti-foreign policy nativity, and of course anti-health care. And yet, you watch how many Republicans peel off from him in the general election. It’s not any “elites” who are in the voting both with these conservatives when they pull the lever, and it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with blacks, or Mormons, or Masons, or what have you.

    I’m not constitutionally disinclined to talking about black voters or multiculturalism, just that I think that’s an incredibly micro-issue (if it exists at all) in the larger problem that Americans just seems fundamentally inclined to let themselves be herded into one of two opposing camps, even where both camps violate their core values. It becomes more of a tribal event, elections, than it is one based on ideas.

    Comment by Brad — 7/27/2012 @ 4:06 pm

  7. Okay, seniors are going to be alienated by an antiwar left challenge from the Left to Gitmo-sustaining Wall Street flunkie Obama in a vitual parallel with black alienation.
    Obviously with naieve perspectives like that, I’ll keep talking past you.

    “Dramatically reduced opposition” is juxtaposed with Move On’s relentless attacks on the Bush-Cheney “war criminal” regime, with the unfortunate
    non-follow up of insisting their hero Obama actually have the criminals brought to justice once he was in, rather than continue their warmongering and increase the droning.

    But you’re right in this respect…a working-middle class white who rallies behind outsourcing vulture capitalist Romney is about as effectively herded as the mass of blacks who fail to recognize their standard of living has markedly deteriorated during their hero O’s reign.

    Comment by truthteller — 7/29/2012 @ 2:00 pm

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