Sen. Harry Reid (R-Nev.)
Senate Majority Leader
No doubt, hidebound Senate rules to govern traditional committee assignments are, of necessity, more intricate than a cloakroom coin toss. That said, there is some exceptional talent coming in, which shouldn’t be wasted doing an apprenticeship in the shadows.
Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the Harvard Law professor and the financial industry’s Public Enemy No. 1, is one such star not to be hidden under the traditional bushel. As she handily sent Wall Street’s poster boy Sen. Scott “Beefcake” Brown (R-Cosmo Nude Centerfold) back home after his not-even half term, the paneled boardroom crap shoot players are frankly scared to death of Prof. Warren putting some toothy rules on their taxpayer-insured little racket.
Ms. Warren’s experience in trying to prevent the nation from weathering another financial industry “perfect storm” in “free market” mufti has the titans of finance mortified. Her Consumer Financial Protection Bureau so rattled the Ouija boards of banking, the financiers tried their best to keep her hand off the helm. No doubt, it’s probably a banner season for Washington’s better steakhouses with “small business” hedge fund honchos trying to keep her from any position more powerful than Homecoming Queen or Miss Congeniality.
Don’t be fooled. The financial “movers and shakers” are afraid. Very afraid. Heaven help us if American consumers actually had an ally in the so-called “markets.”
Warren may have been previously blocked from serving by guys whose last job was as a self-board-certified backwoods Opthamologist with an Ayn Rand fetish and an Eddie Haskell smirk, but this indefatigable woman beat her nay-sayers at their own game by winning her own seat in the Senate this time. Congress has a bad enough track record for not getting things done without wasting valuable talent on the bench.
The Senate is still a legislative body, despite the influx of overpriced specialist physician retreads of late. Sen.-elect Warren has a superb grounding in the law which we can’t afford to waste. Save the traditional leavening experience track for born-again male gynecologists looking for well-paying gigs without speculums and malpractice insurance premiums.
In newly-elected Senators such as Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), and a surprising win by former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitcamp (D), we have fresh, exceptional legal talent to serve America. We certainly aren’t talking about 2010’s wacky Sharron Angle of Nevada, and Delaware’s Christine “I’m not a witch” O’Donnell, who became all-you-can-eat buffet fodder of late night comedy writers. Ready to lead.
November’s election produced a bumper crop of fresh female talent for Congress. Use it.
As for the financial markets, few, if any, are run by fairy tale “creationists.” They adapt and hopefully evolve. America’s “business experience” CEOs aren’t exactly flocking to China to be closer to their offshored jobs. I’m certain that making money hasn’t gone out of style simply because there’s some adult supervision to their federally-insured Friday Night Poker Game.
Be bold, Harry. American consumers (a.k.a.: We the “You People”) are counting on it.