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Republicans don't want former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to be the first chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau any more than they wanted the watchdog agency's intellectual godmother Elizabeth Warren to get that post. They don't want anybody to run the bureau. Certainly not someone like Cordray, a kick-ass defender of rank-and-file Americans who cut himself some notches going after corruption and fraud. They don't want a bureau period.

But because they couldn't stop it from being created, they long ago made clear their determination to eviscerate it from crotch to chinbone no matter who President Obama decided to nominate as chief.

The only way enough of them might be persuaded to "compromise" and not filibuster Cordray's nomination is if the president agreed to impanel a committee chosen from the ranks of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with authority to toss out all the work that Warren and the staff she hired have done in the past 10 months. That same panel would be required to give a thumbs up or down to every bureau decision. Make certain that none of the diluted rules were enforced too vigorously.

A consumer protection bureau unable to protect consumers would be a perfect match for today's GOP game plan. A CFPB Republicans made toothless wouldn't be able to do anything to prevent the ripoffs that contribute to the next financial crisis, so they could say, "See, government regulations don't work," and proceed to deep-six its budget on the grounds it had wasted taxpayers' money to no good end. Win-win for them.

Some of us little people, as Leona Helmsley so preciously called us, might be tempted to label the Republican insistence that mortgage lenders and credit card providers remain unconstrained as mean, crazy and obscene.

Or sociopathic.

But, as usual nowadays, they're merely buttering their bread. Once upon a time there were, believe it or not, Republicans who would occasionally break ranks and do something for the common good instead of uninterruptedly toadying to their benefactors and the extremist fanatics who have transformed the party into the grotesque creature it has now become. In those long ago days, a Richard Cordray could have squeaked through.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 06:13 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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