The GOP’s Lousy Bluff on Financial Reform

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Jon Chait points to this paragraph in today’s Politico story about a Republican filibuster of the financial reform bill:

McConnell secured a commitment from his conference to hold together in opposition on the first vote, but all bets are off after that, aides acknowledge. McConnell’s challenge after Monday is preventing moderates such as Snowe and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) from breaking away and weakening Republican leverage.

It is a little peculiar that Republican aides would concede this, isn’t it? If even they think that a few moderates are going to peel off after doing their duty on the first round, what real incentive do Democrats have to seriously compromise? In fact, this puts them in the best situation they could have hoped for: they get to slam Republicans for obstructing a popular reform bill; they get to pass something fairly soon anyway; and they get points with their base for not caving in to GOP demands to water down the bill. What’s not to like?

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