The Morning Money report from Politico hits my Inbox every single morning, authored by Ben White, and it may be one of the very few far, far left columns or pieces I both receive and read every single day. Some folks I am very close with swear Ben is a very nice guy, and I have no reason to not believe them. I enjoy reading it, though it has been a really, really tough year for him and his column (let’s just say, Nostradamus he isn’t).
But he said something yesterday morning that compelled me to write. Anyone who reads me and has followed by diatribes for well over a year knows that I have been outspokenly critical of Donald Trump, did not vote for him, and enter his Presidency with tremendous skepticism (though hopeful caution). With that said, Morning Money this morning took on the idea that Trump may go to war with the totally unaccountable, lacking-in-proper-oversight Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I will put aside whether or not Trump should fire bureaucrat Richard Cordray, and whether or not the CFPB is a net-net positive for consumers, financials, or anything else. In fact, I am totally willing to assume it is a good thing, and firing Cordray a bad thing. But I want to draw attention to this line:
“THE POLITICS of firing Cordray would be tough for Trump. He could argue that the CFPB is an unaccountable agency lead by a too-powerful single director. Banking groups, especially those representing smaller and midsize institutions, would be would be thrilled.
But the CFPB polls pretty highly and the left would go absolutely berserk and the legal battle might not go well for the White House and could distract from broader efforts on tax, immigration and health care reform. Still, the betting line seems to be that Trump will do it.”
I do understand that the only readers of Politico’s Morning Money are people who are (a) political junkies (yours truly), and (b) people in the business of money (yours truly). But it would be harder to imagine a better summary of where the left is just plain missing the entire point than a line like this. The CFPB polls pretty highly?????????? I want to make a suggestion to anyone reading this, and to Ben White for that matter. Find ten people in your local shopping mall – ten people who do not do politics or money for a living – and ask them what the CFPB stands for; ask them what it is; ask them when it started; ask them what they think of it. If you find one person who can answer any of those questions, lunch is on me. Polls pretty highly? Do people still not understand that the demographic driving Trumpism couldn’t care less about the CFPB, and certainly has never developed an affection for it? How could anyone say such a thing with a straight face?
“The left would go absolutely berserk.” Well that settles it. Because up until now they seem pretty calm and reasonable. I mean, really?????
And as for the idea that it may be a distraction from the key parts of Trump’s agenda – does no one on the left yet see that maybe, just maybe, these “distractions” work much better for Trump than they do his opponents? Is it possible he is distracting, ummmm, Politico, from his big agenda, and CNN, and no one else? I am not suggesting Trump is a Machiavellian genius but I am suggesting that he has thus far served up more “look over here” moments than anyone seems to realize, and each one has played to his favor.
My point is not to commend any action Trump may take against the CFPB, even though I would love to dissect that silly waste of taxpayer money and resources another time. My point is that the entire way the left and the media are interpreting Trump and the world around them continues to reflect just enough tone deafness to make me believe he may be much more successful in implementing his agenda than anyone yet knows.