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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Tea Party Movement Is a Women's Movement

Posted by: Peter Roff on Friday, September 24, 2010 at 10:51:52 am Comments (0)

 To the extent that it is run by anyone, the Tea Party movement is--like all great social movements--largely run by women.
     Many of the movement’s most important political figures, like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Minnesota GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, are women. Many of its important writers, bloggers, and commentators--like S.E. Cupp, Dana Loesch, Kathleen McKinley, and Michelle Moore--are women. And you are more likely than not going to see a woman like Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, Amy Kremer of the Tea Party Express, or FreedomWorks’ Tabitha Hale out front leading rallies, organizing activists, and driving the point home that the American people are fed up with the government in Washington. [See who contributes to Bachmann.]
     In point of fact, the number of women holding visible, important, leading roles in the Tea Party movement are too numerous to list here or anywhere. But they are all part of an important social movement, one that filmmakers David Bossie and Stephen K. Bannon examine closely in their sure-to-be-controversial documentary Fire From the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman.
     Drawing a line from the pioneer women who settled the frontier straight to the modern era, Bossie and Bannon respectfully--one hesitates to use any of the warm words like “lovingly” here--show how they and their contemporaries are changing America, by working to restore that which has been lost and preserve what is still best about America, particularly its grounding in the idea of liberty.
Continue reading...The Tea Party Movement is a Women's Movement

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do as i do, Not as i say?!

Posted by: Tom Sullivan on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 12:37:53 pm Comments (0)
"Do as I do, Not as I Say!?"

Friday’s action by President Obama to appoint Elizabeth Warren as his assistant in the White House and as an advisor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was extraordinary for several reasons, not the least of which was the 180 degrees reversal from positions by congressional leadership and the President since Wall Street reform became a legislative hot-button issue fifteen months ago. 

When the President launched his push for financial re-regulation, he made creation of a new agency, charged with protecting consumers from harmful financial products and services, the cornerstone of his legislative initiative.  Paramount to the future success of this new agency, according to President Obama, was its absolute independence from political influence. 

Generally, agencies operate under the President’s supervision and major policy direction is determined through a dialogue between each agency and the White House Office of Management and Budget which sets agencies’ budgets.  President Obama and Chairmen of the House and Senate Banking Committees insisted that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should be independent from any political interference from the White House or other agencies.  They accomplished this through provisions in the law that exempt the new bureau from having to check with the White House before making policy decisions, guaranteed funding through the Federal Reserve, and through the appointment of a Director for a 5-year term (as opposed to most Senate-confirmed appointees who leave office in conjunction with the President who appointed them). 

Anyone who listened to the strong pronouncements by the President about why the consumer agency should be independent must have been surprised on Friday when he announced that his pick to staff up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would not be independent at all.  Instead, Elizabeth Warren will report to both President Obama and Secretary Geithner. 

Looking at President Obama’s decision, it is easy to see that appointing an advisor is easier than submitting a controversial nominee to the Senate for approval.  However, the attempt to avoid a political battle may backfire by putting Elizabeth Warren in a role subject to the very political interference the agency was supposed to avoid. 

It is unclear how the President’s appointment will work out.  However, his about-face on the importance of an independent voice for consumers suggests that President Obama has twisted a familiar old adage into, “do as I do, not as I say.” 

Tom Sullivan is an attorney with the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough where he runs the Small Business Coalition for Regulatory Relief.

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