2010 & a pro-Bernanke Democratic Party

The Senate Banking Committee vote approving Bernanke was 16-7, with only Senator Merkley joining the 6 Republicans in voting 'No'. Merkley's vote was both the right one on the facts and strategically smart, but Repubs are now way out ahead of Dems on the faux populist anger front, which will be a very important factor in the mid-term elections.

In a voice vote four years ago, only Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, expressed opposition to Mr. Bernanke's first nomination. This time, five other Republican committee members joined him, while four approved the nomination.

Only one Democrat, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, opposed the nomination. He said that while Mr. Bernanke had proved "adroit with the fire hose," he also bore some responsibility for having allowed the economic blaze to erupt.

No "no" vote by Sherrod Brown, so he has disqualified himself imho as a possible authentic future progressive Presidential candidate. At present count, btw, there'll be a few more Dem anti-Bernanke votes on the Senate floor.

2010 strategy-wise, the Dems being identified with Bernanke and 'Wall Street Democratic' economic policy is disastrous. Don't believe me then listen to Arianna Huffington, or Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano:

Rep. Capuano Tells Fellow Dems: 'You're Screwed'
12-15-09 12:03 PM

When House Democrats gathered on Friday for their end-of-the week caucus meeting in the basement of the Capitol, caucus chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) told the group he wanted them to hear first from Rep. Michael Capuano . . .

Capuano took to the microphone, looked out at his colleagues and condensed what he'd learned into two words. "You're screwed," he told his friends in the House, according to one attendee. The room's silence was broken only by soft, nervous laughter. . . .

Everywhere Capuano went in his state, he said, he was bombarded with demands that the government do more to create jobs. He was also greeted by deep skepticism about Obama's escalation of the eight-year-old war in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan will matter in pushing down progressive turnout next year, but the economy and who is to blame matters far more than Afghanistan in this in-economic-pain and inward-looking country. Bernanke is one focus of increasingly noisy anger that President Obama has done little to calm (more the opposite). And that anger is not just 'progressive anger' (like that over Afghanistan and the health care bill) but goes all across the voting public.

The Democrats are screwed unless somehow they figure out they need to be on the right side of the economic pain issue, and that would start with Democrats leading the "NO MORE Bernanke" vote on the Senate floor.

Tags: Ben Bernanke, Senate Banking Committee (all tags)

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