Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sen. Bob Corker Breaks Ranks With Republicans

If anyone had bothered to ask me which Republican would be first, if ever, to cross the aisle this past year, I never in a million years would have dreamed of Sen. Bob Corker from Tennessee. My pet name for him has always been Corker the Dorker.

It surprised hell out of me as I read the news. My fellow Tennessean is breaking away from his controlling comrades to begin negotiations with Democrats on overhauling financial regulation.

His move comes less than a week after Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) said he had reached an "impasse" with the panel's ranking Republican, Richard Shelby of Alabama. It essentially leapfrogs Mr. Corker over the Senate's long-established pecking order, and prompted fuming from his Republican colleagues amid a hyperpartisan moment in Washington.

Always the obstructionists, GOP lawmakers urged Corker not to vote for Dodd's bill "without other Republicans." Wow, I can see them  knocking over each other to be the first to vote yea. Republicans warned against "the risks of breaking ranks." So this is how the party of no keeps their comrades in line - by threatening them.

Corker said more effort should be made to get a bipartisan deal and if each party worked on their own bills it would be a "train wreck."

Corker said he was "taking the step because the financial system needed to be repaired. He stressed the need for new rules to prevent failing financial companies, such as Lehman Brothers Holdings in 2008, from wrecking the broader economy."

As for new consumer-protection rules, which have proven to be the biggest sticking point in negotiations between Democrats and Republicans, Mr. Corker said he wouldn't agree to anything that lacked a "balance" between protecting consumers and allowing banks to extend credit.

Of course politics doesn't lend itself to guarantees, so its possible an agreement between Dodd and Corker won't be reached.

A GOP Senate aide said, "Corker may understand markets well, but he doesn't know how to count votes very well." Don't count on it.


  1. That's certainly good news! Perhaps the growing talk of using reconciliation to un-jam health-care reform is bearing fruit -- the smarter Republicans are realizing that if they don't join in the process, they may end up being completely bypassed.

  2. Infidel: " the smarter Republicans are realizing that if they don't join in the process, they may end up being completely bypassed."

    I think this is true but I think I have to wonder if they're not looking after their re-election hides. I can't remember who or where, but today some GOP governor of a northern state criticized his party. Toward the end he is announcing that he won't run for re-election because he's going to run for office. I'd never even heard of this fellow but obviously the good of the people wasn't behind his criticism.

  3. That would make sense too, certainly in this case. Right now Wall Street is about as popular as a swarm of cockroaches with swine flu, even among a lot of rank-and-file Republicans. Corker probably figures there's no up-side, vote-wise, to shielding them from regulation. For a politician who's taken unpopular-enough positions, even money can only do so much.

  4. Frodo cautions against giving Corker too much credit for anything that doesn't involve his personal pocket change. It would be easy to correlate his support for the Detroit automakers some months back as largesse, if you didn't know how many auto plants there are in Tennessee. When Frodo is in the same State as Corker, he buttons his wallet.

  5. tnlib...that was Pawlenty, of all people, criticizing the GOP. I 'bout dropped my teeth when I heard that.

  6. Infidel: "Right now Wall Street is about as popular as a swarm of cockroaches with swine flu"

    You do have a unique way of expressing yourself and, of course, you're right.

    Frodo: Corker isn't the only scoundrel in TN - there's Alexander, Cooper and a host of others. And then there's just little ole me.

    Bee: Oh yes. Thanks. I was going to look for it but decided to act like a wing-nut and not do my research.

  7. Before, I form an opinion one way or the other, I want to see what happens. Remember that snake-in-the-Grassley pretended to conduct honest negotiation on HCR and later bragged about how he had delayed it long enough for the astro-turfed town hall fiasco.

  8. TomCat: Trusting Corker would be like trusting McCain or Grassley or any of the rest of them. I'm sure Dodd realizes that.