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What is it about Democrats in Washington that makes them clang a slam dunk?
They have the greedheaded, boneheaded Wall Street bankers back on their heels, exposed as frauds and finaglers. They also have the broad public shouting that those being ripped off by the bankers ought to get some semblance of justice. Yet, on April 30th, Senate Democrats flubbed an easy shot to support hard-pressed American homeowners who’re being unfairly squeezed by banksters.
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At issue was a common-sense proposal by Sen. Dick Durbin – a top Democrat – to allow bankruptcy judges to lower the monthly mortgage payments of homeowners trapped by exploding interest rates imposed by banks. This would keep families in their homes, stop the decline in housing prices, and boost our economy.
But Wall Street screamed, spooking a number of pusillanimous Democrats. “Timid Timothy” Geithner, the treasury secretary, meekly cautioned that there should only be “carefully designed changes” to the bankruptcy laws, so as not to create “uncertainty” for Wall Street. Never mind the uncertainty that millions of homeowners face.
Obama himself, who had pledged in the election campaign to stand with homeowners on this issue, suddenly disappeared, refusing to take a shot. Then came the capitulation of 12 Democratic senators, who joined every Republican to back bankers and keep ordinary folks from scoring this important victory.
Who were the 12 Democrats who deserted us you ask? Let’s call their names! Max Baucus of Montana, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Tom Carper of Delaware, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jon Tester of Montana – and that brand new of Democrat, Arlen Spector of Pennsylvania.
“Senate Refuses to let Judges Fix Mortgages in Bankruptcy,” The New York Times, May 1, 2009.
“Mortgage bankruptcy bill fails in the senate, www.msnbc.com, April 30, 2009.
“Dems blame W.H. for bankruptcy bill,” www.politico.com, April 30, 2009.
“12 Democrats, including Dorgan, Tester and Specter, vote against mortgage bill,” www.democraticunderground.com , April 30, 2009.
“In Their Own Words: Why Dem Senators Screwed Homeowners,” www.alternet.org, May 1, 2009.