Last week, Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) “cram-down” amendment — which would rewrite bankruptcy law to allow judges to renegotiate mortgages with banks — was rejected 45-51 by the Senate. Twelve Democratic senators voted against the bill, after furious lobbying from the mortgage and banking sectors. The financial sector had funneled millions into the coffers of Democratic senators who voted nay, leading Durbin to decry that banks “own” Congress.
This weekend, on the Bill Maher Show, Maher suggested to Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) that progressive Democrats fighting against moneyed interests form a new party: “Let’s be honest, the Democratic party, starting in the 90′s, also became the party of business and Wall Street. So what we really need is another party that’s the progressive party.”
Frank objected, saying, “We who don’t feel that Wall Street should call the shots are in the majority of the Democratic party.” Frank then suggested that the “minority” in the party that is blocking progressive financial reforms break away to form a third party:
FRANK: Yes, I agree with you that I wish there were more Democrats on one side. But what you’re saying on the Democratic side, who are on the side you want, should leave to become the second party. No, I’m the first party. Let the minority, who doesn’t agree with us, let them become the second party.
Frank suggested six times during the interview that Democrats cozying up to the financial sector form their own voting bloc. Watch it:
Even with the setbacks, Frank said that progressives should be happy that legislation protecting credit card holders against abuses — which “the banks hated” — passed the House. “If the Senate doesn’t do that, people have a right to be frustrated. But again, the answer is, kick out the minority, don’t kick out the majority,” he urged.