I’ll fess up right here and now. I’ve gotten to a point where I can’t stand to listen to anything John McCain has to say. For a number of years I’ve seen him as nothing more than a poster child for Republican talking points. It’s a betrayal problem I guess, as I started out really liking the guy. You know, war hero and straight shooter and all of that. A guy who wanted what was best for the country irrespective of party politics. Sarah Palin comedy bits notwithstanding, John McCain really was, at one time, a maverick. Then suddenly, he turned and became a puppet for the neocon thinking of George W. Bush, supporting nearly everything the guy had to say in spite of Dubya’s obvious intellectual difficulties.
It now appears that McCain has flip-flopped again. Now he’s supporting controls on the economy originally put in place by the father of the “New Deal,” Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And his co-sponsor on legislation to get it done, is a Democrat who has been labeled a “Democratic Firebrand.”
The Act, passed in 1933, separated commercial from investment banking, which prevented bankers from using the money in their banks as casino chips for risky investments (like real estate loans to people with no collateral). It’s purpose was to insure that another “Great Depression” would never again be allowed to happen. But it almost did, didn’t it? It would have, except that the FDIC (another gift from FDR) and the federal government are backing up the bankers, who were permitted to do what they did because Glass Steagall was repealed in 1999 by President Bill Clinton.
The repeal was introduced in the Senate by Republican Phil Gramm and by another Republican, Jim Leach in the House. It was passed by a Republican majority in both houses and signed by Bill Clinton on November 12, 1999. Clinton is said to have been urged to sign the repeal by his treasury secretary, Robert Rubin, who was a member of the board at Goldman Sachs for 26 years prior to his government service. The outsiders are on the inside, and the insiders are on the outside. That’s how they control the system. That’s how they got Bill Clinton to repeal the Act.
And so Glass Steagall, put in place to insure America’s future economic stability, went away just as the administration of George W. Bush was arriving. Eight years later the economy was shot to pieces.
Republicans will tell you it isn’t their fault. So why is a conservative Republican like John McCain joining forces with a “Democratic firebrand” like Maria Cantwell, in an effort to reinstate Glass Steagall which is undoubtedly the last thing the banking and investment industry wants?
Has John McCain come to his senses? Has he determined that his age and all those years in the Hanoi Hilton give him the right to do what’s right for the country without regard for campaign contributions and party politics?
Or is he the point man for a “new” Republican Party? A party that badly needs to change its image from one of showing blind support for a mismanaged and privatized war on two fronts and unmitigated corporate greed, to that of a kinder and gentler Republican Party, championing the interests of mainstreet America? A Republican push to reinstate Glass Steagall, might help do just that.