Amidst the voter anger at Wall Street and Washington, D.C., ABC News has learned that the Senate Democratic leadership isn't sure there are enough votes to re-confirm Ben Bernanke for another term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.It might be recalled that unlike TurboTax Tim Geithner, Helicopter Ben is not an Obama Original but a holdover from the Bush administration, foisted on the nation by El Presidente Pasado and supported wholeheartedly by a majority of Republicans*. So you have to wonder: why is it that Obama and the Democrats are so concerned about re-appointing and confirming him?
The easy answer is that Bernanke is already a tame lion and Obama simply has no interest in breaking a new chairman to his will. One almost as easy is that the differences between Obama and Bush are in this case, as in so many others, difference of form without substance; Bernanke fits the Obama administration because he fit the Bush administration so well**. The third is that the Goldman Fed owns Obama like it owned Bush, so Obama appointing Bernanke is the equivalent of a 100-lb woman "walking" a great dane. She may hold the leash, but he's walking because he chooses to walk.
Whatever the reason, it is beginning to dawn on more and more Republicans, as they line up against Bernanke or at least fail to fall into line for him, just how mercilessly and in how many ways they were tricked by their erstwhile leader.
* Only a few right-wing nuts actually had problems with Bernanke. As usual, their concerns turned out to be justified.
** Shiela Bair at FDIC is another good example of the phenomenon. After all, a regulator with the audacity to take out a million dollar mortgage from a company while working on its taxpayer bailout would be welcome in nearly any administration.