No, really… this is an editorial from the Seattle Times:
LISTENING to Republican senators mouth scripted lines opposing financial regulatory reforms is to hear them auditioning for jobs as industry lobbyists after Congress.
… [Senate Republican leader Mitch] McConnell and his colleagues do not offer any suggestions or ideas about how to rein in the most reckless — and lucrative — behavior by commercial and investment banks.
Nor do Republicans offer any leadership in providing American consumers and investors with trustworthy, accessible information about investment products, and their hazards to the treasury. How or why the GOP would oppose such elementary transparency must puzzle voters.
Huh. And on a similar note, how or why the Times would consistently endorse such Republicans must puzzle its readers.
The unsigned editorial goes on to laud U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell for her leadership on this issue, a Democrat whose candidacy the Times has twice opposed despite the fact that during the run up to her 2006 reelection the editorial board agreed with Cantwell on nearly every single issue except her opposition to repealing the estate tax.
Does anyone believe that had Times-endorsed, insurance industry executive Mike McGavick won the 2006 campaign, he’d cast anything but a party-line vote against financial regulatory reform, let alone provide the kind of effective legislative leadership we’ve seen from Cantwell? I don’t think so.
The Times’ endorsements have proven incredibly predictable in recent years, even the Democratic bones they toss readers in an effort to maintain a semblance of nonpartisanship. (This cycle it will be Patty Murray, even if Dino Rossi enters the race. Mark my words.) So if they’re going to complain about “Republicans missing in action,” shouldn’t they be focusing on Western Washington’s only congressional Republican, Rep. Dave Reichert, who recently voted against financial regulatory reform along with every single other House Republican?
No doubt when they endorse him again next October, the Times will praise Reichert for his moderation and bipartisanship — you know, his “conscience-driven independence” — but apart from some environmental issues, and that one vote on Terri Schiavo, when has he ever bucked his party leadership when it really mattered?
The Times implies that Republican opposition to financial regulatory reform stems from greed — the lure of an eventual windfall as a Wall Street lobbyist — and who am I to dispute such a cynical assertion? But given the bigger picture, one in which House and Senate Republicans vote as a unified block against nearly everything President Obama proposes or supports, one can only understand their uncompromising obstructionism as part of an even more cynical political strategy.
So the question is, at what point will Republican boosters like the Times editorial board hold the candidates they endorse responsible for the votes they cast? At what point, instead of simply castigating Republicans in general, will the Times call out Republican Reichert for his own lockstep politics and lack of leadership?
Personally, I’m not holding my breath.