The Money Dilemma

by digby
Dday has the latest on the increasingly inexplicable Senate banking reform negotiations:

Sen. Chris Dodd appears obsessed with getting a bipartisan financial reform package through the Senate Banking Committee, no matter if it makes a mockery of reform, no matter if it includes virtually nothing to protect consumers or deal with the problem of “too big to fail” financial firms. He’s already seeking to drop the Volcker rule put forward by the White House that would limit proprietary trading from banks:
However, Shelby said he expects to hold a meeting with Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) regarding the way forward on regulatory reform in two weeks time. A Democratic banking committee staffer confirmed that the meeting between Dodd and Shelby will be critical as Dodd needs to determine the level of bipartisan agreement and the timing of bringing the bill through committee and on the Senate floor.

With the election of Republican Scott Brown to the Senate, the Democrats no longer have the necessary 60 votes to force through a Regulatory Reform package, and any bill will need at least some Republican support to pass. A Dodd staffer said the senator is likely to quietly drop or modify many of the recommendations in the Volcker rule to ensure Republican support for regulatory reform.
“Chris is retiring so he wants to end his career with an important regulatory reform bill and he wants to make the bill bipartisan,” the staffer said. “He is not going to risk bipartisan support to make the White House happy.”
A spokeswoman for Dodd denied that he would drop the Volcker rule, eventually stating that the Chairman supports it. That’s positive, that he’s walking back these reports after a host of criticism. But it’s not just Dodd. Mark Warner (D-VA) is also out there attacking the Volcker rule.

One hates to be cynical about this, but Dodd is leaving.  And he's going to need a job.

At this point you really do have to wonder if they aren't going to play into GOP hands and give them a nice "bipartisan" victory on a toothless financial reform bill (which they will combine with a nice bipartisan vote on the war) thus allowing the Republicans to call themselves the Party of Yes.  I would think that this would be a time to force the Republicans to make some tough votes, not easy ones.

On the other hand, this is really about something else altogether isn't it? Here's William Greider from a year ago: