Read the BusinessWeek article here. Here's an excerpt:
"A deal reached by members of a House and Senate conference early this morning diluted provisions from the tougher Senate bill, limiting rather than prohibiting the ability of federally insured banks to trade derivatives and invest in hedge funds or private equity funds.Before we know it, election season will be upon us and we will be aswim in calls to support Democrat incumbents. Presumably, the Dems won't try to sell their (basically conservative) politics as "change" this time around. They'll sell their ticket as a bulwark against Tea-bagger reactionaries.
Banks “dodged a bullet,” said Raj Date, executive director for Cambridge Winter Inc.’s center for financial institutions policy and a former Deutsche Bank AG executive. “This has to be a net positive.”
But what happened during the two years of massive Democrat House majorities, a supermajority in the Senate, and an initially popular young president who was talking about fundamental change?
We saw the reactivation of the US's Latin American military strong arm in 2008, escalation in Afghanistan, complete continuity with the Bush years in terms of treasury policy, quick surrender on the already compromised "public option", failure to repeal anti-union laws that prevent organization of workplaces, increased drone attacks on Pakistan, severe cuts to public services, spending freezes for everything except the defense budget, refusal to enact progressive reform on the GLBT-rights front, a U-turn on off-shore drilling and an embrace by Obama of "drill baby drill", deference to a for-profit oil company that has devastated the Gulf of Mexico, etc. Now we have, basically, a failure to even secure adequate window-dressing to cover the fact that serious regulatory reform will not be passed.
It is more clear to me than ever that all progressive and left-minded people in the US need to organize independently of the Democratic machine, build existing social movements, and start new ones. We need to follow the example of the Black freedom movement of the 1950s and 60s- and, as Sherry Wolf has recently put it, "make them do the right thing". Of course, the ultimate aim must be to eliminate a social system in which there is a "them" who need to be made to do what's in the interest of the vast majority of people.