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As Republicans Declare War on Bank Customers, a Call for Obama to Appoint Elizabeth Warren

The only downside to a recess appointment of Elizabeth Warren is... honestly, we can't think of one.

A group of Democratic representatives has joined consumer groups -- along with prominent figures like Dr. Phil (yes,  that Dr. Phil) -- in calling on the president to make a "recess appointment" of Elizabeth Warren. That will allow her to get to work running the new bureau charged with protecting bank customers from deceptive, dishonest, and unfair bank practices.


That should be a no-brainer: A Warren appointment would be a policy win  and a political win. Republicans have purchased first-class tickets on the Crazy Train by vowing to block  any appointment to that position, even a person that shares their radical anti-regulation ideology. The president can be a voice for sanity by acting decisively to fill this urgently-needed position.

A well-run CFPB wouldn't just make people's lives easier. It could also reduce the likelihood of another financial crisis. As for Ms. Warren herself, she hasn't even been nominated and the war over her appointment has already turned white-hot. Whether or not the president wants this battle, it's on. He can either attack or retreat. There's no third choice. The only way for him to win this war is by striking preemptively.

A petition is now available that allows people to send a message to the president urging him to make  a recess appointment of Elizabeth Warren. Tell 'em Dr. Phil sent you.

Declaring Warren

With their latest attacks on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Republicans have declared open warfare against the interests of everybody who does business with a bank -- which is pretty much everybody. While the Democrats' record on bank regulation has been less than perfect, the GOP has now gone completely overboard. They no longer even pretend to offer a coherent critique of agencies like the CFPB.

That leaves their real goal revealed in all its naked glory: To troll for Wall Street cash by protecting it against anyone who wants to help the people who are still described as bank "customers," but who might more accurately be deemed "serfs."

Recently 44 Republican Senators -- that's almost all of them -- said they would refuse to confirm  anybodyas head of the new bureau. They made their position clear: Republican, ultraconservative, bank president -- President Obama could reanimate the corpse of Ayn Rand and they wouldn't confirm her. Their statement made clear that they would refuse to appoint anyone for the position unless the agency was watered down to the point of complete paralysis.

The Art of Warren

That's why more and more people have concluded its time for the president to stand up to them -- by appointing the best person for the job during the upcoming Congressional recess. Today a group of Democratic members of the House, led by Reps. Keith Ellison, Carolyn Maloney, and Brad Miller, began circulating a letter among their colleagues asking the president to appoint Warren to the position during the upcoming Senate recess.

Warren is extremely popular among the Democratic base, a group that has been demoralized by recent events. She's also a terrific, folksy communicator for the rights of bank customers. A recess appointment by the president would be extremely well received by the people he most needs to mobilize and energize in 2012.

It would also be an opportunity for him to do something he seems to like doing: Posing as the only adult in the room. A Warren appointment would be an ideal opportunity for the president to declare an end to the current silly season in American politics, where political minorities feel they can overturn established law simply by refusing to fulfill their duty when it comes to government vacancies.

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