Frank the Bank

by Miles Leicher

You know what they say: all good things must come to an end. Which is why the Republicans can’t stop holding debates. But the time has come for ‘Real Time’ to take its winter hiatus so that Bill can spend some time at home getting the nursery ready for baby number 20. And me? I just read that a Mexican drug cartel killed its fourth blogger in as many months, so I’m gonna lie low for a while.

Before we go though, we’ve got one more awesome show for you guys. Common, Chris Matthews, Andrew Sullivan, Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep. Barney Frank will be here to talk about America and, you know, what’s up with it.

If the studio smells like smoke tonight, it’ll be because Barney Frank’s ears have been burning since Wednesday’s CNBC debate, where the GOP candidates took turns dumping on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act:

Michele Bachmann:

Our biggest problem right now is our regulatory burden. The biggest regulatory problem we have is Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. I will repeal those bills.”

Newt Gingrich:

“If the Republican House next week would repeal Dodd-Frank, and allow us to put pressure on the Senate to repeal Dodd-Frank, you would see the housing market start to improve overnight. Dodd-Frank kills small banks, it kills small business.”

Mitt Romney:

“Barney Frank and Chris Dodd told banks they had to give loans to people who couldn't afford to pay them back.”

Rick Perry:

“The real issue facing America are regulations. It doesn't make any difference whether it's the EPA or whether it's the federal banking, the Dodd-Frank or Obamacare. That's what's killing America.”

Herman Cain:

“I agree with some of the others who have said we have got to repeal Dodd-Frank. There's three big things wrong with Dodd-Frank, which is why it needs to be a top priority to repeal. Number one, it doesn't provide oversight for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…The two other biggest problems with Dodd-Frank: Dodd and Frank.”

That’s right, America: It’s not the reckless gambling by those Wall Street firms that bet against homeowners and sold their mortgages to Nigerian princes that’s killing you. It isn’t disgraced financial executives receiving “golden parachutes” after driving their companies into the ground (and nothing screams excess like having a parachute when you’re already on the ground). And it certainly couldn’t be the fact that these big banks were bailed out by taxpayers with the understanding that they would lend the money to consumers, but instead put it right back into the high risk investments that screwed them in the first place. The result? Huge profits on Wall Street, while the rest of the economy is stuck in the mud. No, that’s all swell. What’s killing America is people like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank who looked at what happened and said, “Fuck. That.” And then crafted a bill that made sure it would never happen again.

If the real problem is this so-called “regulatory uncertainty ” that’s keeping businesses from hiring, it would seem that the most straightforward solution would be to regulate with certainty. And that’s exactly what this bill does.

It all reminds me of something that Bill Maher asked on the show back in July:

When did the business community in America become so sensitive that we have to treat them like some sort of rare, exotic animal? ‘Don’t startle them or they’ll fly away! We need to soothe them so they can nest here and lay their magic eggs full of jobs.’ Which never hatch, by the way.”