The Honorable Richard Shelby, Mitch McConnell and -- to quote Spiro Agnew, "those nattering nabobs of negativism" (by which I mean the 43 Senators who always say "never") --sure had their turkey shoot last week. The innocent bystander was Richard Cordray, the President's nominee for Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The targets were Barack Obama and the CFPB itself. However, when dinner is served, consumers throughout the land will come to realize that they are the plat du jour, and ultimately only have themselves to blame.
It has been said that the members of the minority party in the Senate (whose favorable ratings compare with a hat size) wouldn't confirm Ronald Reagan as Director of the CFPB unless and until its structure and funding mechanisms are amended -- which means that it will remain in a state of regulatory limbo until after the 2012 elections. You see, Congress' approval ratings may be in the toilet (it's between 11 and 13% depending on which poll you believe), but that doesn't seem to bother most of us. According to OpenSecrets.org, re-election rates for both the Senate and the House of Representatives were 84% in 2010. But there is a glimmer of hope. A just released Pew survey indicates that a record number of voters intend to vote incumbents out of office.
The study notes, "Public discontent with Congress has reached record levels, and the implications for incumbents in next year's elections could be stark. Two-in-three voters say most members of Congress should be voted out of office in 2012--the highest on record. And the number who say their own member should be replaced matches the all-time high recorded in 2010, when fully 58 members of Congress lost reelection bids--the most in any election since 1948."But talk is cheap and incumbent re-election rates have been near or over 80% for more than thirty years. Plus, the study notes that while the number of voters who want their representatives replaced is at 33%, 50% of voters want their representatives to remain in office. So it's entirely possible that despite our collective dissatisfaction, most of us will give them a free pass come election time.