Why Is David Vitter Backing Progressives In Their Attempt To End "Too Big To Fail?"
And Vitter backed him up on the Senate floor Thursday. “We have objective numbers and evidence that ‘too big to fail’ is alive and well. The fact is that since the financial crisis, the mega banks have only continued to grow in size and dominance in market share.” The legislation the two of them are crafting will reduce the amount of capital and subsidies for large banks if another financial crisis hits and will likely cause them to restructure. “I want to talk about the subsidy that these six largest banks get,” Brown said. “The market views their investments as not risky because the markets believe they are too big to fail because government would bail them out so they’re allowed to borrow at a lower interest rate... Only these six largest banks have that advantage... they are in a sense being subsidized.” It's exactly what Elizabeth Warren was grilling Fed Chaorman Ben Bernanke about this week. Watch:
I understand why this is important to Sherrod Brown and why this is important to Elizabeth Warren and, obviously, why this is important to normal working families across the country. But I honestly don't understand what David Vitter has to do with any of this. I can hardly believe he even understands it. In his book, Republican Gomorrah, Max Blumenthal offers the most insightful look into what motivates David Vitter and what drives him as a politician and a man. It's hard to grasp how "too big to fail" fits in. It's important to remember that Vitter, always a serious flawed candidate going back decades has a severe sex addiction and had been paying prostitutes for many many years before he was finally caught. Right-wing religionist charlatans like James Dobson, Gene Mills, Billy McCormack, and Tony Perkins-- a Louisiana crony of Vitter's-- have had Vitter on a string for his entire federal career and "have exploited the secret transgressions" to ensure Vitter's servility. He always carries their crackpot bills, puts in earmarks for their projects and does all he can to enrich them and their sleazy families. He's always fit in very nicely to the right-wing religionist honey-trap and personal crisis industry that feeds off their sick trauma-wracked subculture. Blumenthal, writing about the 2004 election that saw Vitter win a Senate seat:
Maier made certain that chains, whips, cuffs, and leather accoutrements were always available, particularly when a prominent Republican client had booked time with one of her girls. After all, she explained, Republicans were her kinkiest cients. "They wanted to be spanked and tortured and wear stockings-- Republicans have impeccable taste in silk stockings-- and these are the people who run our country," Maier said.
...Dutifully, Vitter manned the trenches against the onslaught of gay marriage. In June 2006, as the Republican Party sought to energize its Christian-right base for the upcoming midterm elections, Vitter co-authored a bill to ban gay marriage. Even as his constituents reeled from the damage of Hurricane Katrina, Vitter preached on the Senate floor, "I don't believe there's any issue as important as this one [keeping gays from marrying each other]. I think the debate is very healthy and were winning hearts and minds." Yet many members of Vitter's party, including Senator John McCain, disagreed, sending the bill to easy defeat.
...I did't have a crapload of clients," Wendy Cortez, Vitter's favorite escort, disclosed in an interview with Hustler. Cortez, whose real name is Wendy Yow Ellis, said that Vitter visited her twice a week for several years at a French Quarter apartment. He instructed her not to wear any perfume or lotion, and even forbade her to shower, for fear that the scent of another woman would pique his wife's supsicions. She described him as "a clean old man." When he finished, Vitter took his used condoms along with him, thus ensuring that the evidence would be destroyed... The escort explained that her motive in revealing his identity was that he had lied about seeing her. He lacked "Cojones," she said. She added, cruelly, "His penis was very small."
Now Vitter publicly confessed to employing the DC Madam at a press conference on July 16, 2007. When Vitter made his grand confession, however, he stage-managed it to appeal to the sensibility of the Christian right, emphasizing his redemption from crisis through the wonder-working power of God.
...Perkins rushed to Vitter's defense... Why did Vitter's allies so casually forgive his sins? Certainly political expediency factored into their motives. Vitter was a fervent culture warrior froma a state led at the time by a Democratic governor. If he resigned, his defenders reasoned, a Democrat would fill his seat, and the balance of power in the Senate would tilt even more against the Republicans. But there was more meathod to their madness than was apparent on the surface. Just two months after Perkins, Mills and other Christian-right figures leapt to Vitter's defense, Vitter earmarked $100,000 in federal money to the Louisiana Family Forum, the policy council that Perkins founded and Mills directed. Whether or not the earmark was a financial reward to his two most ardent defenders, it reprsented at the very least a troubling conflict of interest.
...Just as Reverend Billy McCormack pedicted, Vitter's redemption made him more determined than ever to demonstrate his fealty to the Christian right. In October 2007, Vitter introduced a bill the Family Research Council had long advocated that banned federal grants to women's health centers for STD testing, contraceptives, and pap smears... another token of his gratitude to his masters in teh movement.
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