This video of Idaho Blue Dog Congressman Walt Minnick appears on the official YouTube channel of Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican Whip. It has scored over 2,000 views, in six days vaulting to rank 36 of over 330 videos Cantor has uploaded in the last two years.
Minnick is railing against the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. This is the agency whose job it will be to watchdog over the financial industry, to protect consumers from fraud and unfair lending practices and prevent the kinds of excessive risk-taking that led to last year's taxpayer-funded bailouts.
Backed by the power of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce multimillion dollar lobbying effort, Minnick sponsored an amendment attempting to kill the creation of the agency in favor of a council of existing regulators without the enforcement teeth of the CFPA. Commercial banks and finance companies also fiercely opposed creation of the CFPA and, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, "aggressively fought to water down Democrats’ plans for new regulations and oversight" and have "long lined the pockets of lawmakers who voted against the bill." Leading the fight against the CFPA, Minnick was funded by over $566,000 in campaign contributions from the financial sector.
Minnick's amendment failed narrowly 208-223 and he ended up voting for the bill on final passage, the banking industry winning sufficient concessions (read: weakening the legislation) to make the vote palatable. Now the banking industry is gearing up for an all-out battle in the Senate. They really, really don't want to be regulated by the CFPA.
Here's where Walt Minnick has completely lost my respect and my vote and it started sometime in mid-July. There's a difference in being a proud Democrat with an independent voting record and being a reluctant Democrat who uses Republican talking points to skewer other Democrats.
Many on the other side have called Rep. Mike Simpson a RINO. They've demonized him at TEA parties and are delighted to have a "true" conservative running against him. All this even though you don't hear him using Democratic talking points in press releases, editorials or debate. Can you imagine Simpson calling his fellow Republicans the party of "no?"
Yet that is exactly what Walt Minnick has done, time after time, and this is just one more example. How many times is the Idaho Democratic Party going to allow Walt to skewer other Democrats? If Walt wants to be a Democrat, then be a Democrat. We are a big tent and we can disagree on issues, but don't use messaging designed to appeal to the teabagger wing, trampling over Democrats in the process and then expect them to embrace you.