GOP’s Blocking Nobel Winner From Fed, Exposes Broken Senate

October 12, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)—Meet Peter Diamond, distinguished MIT professor, accomplished economist and the recent recipient of the Nobel prize in economics for his brilliant work on employment policies. By any standard, Diamond would be more than qualified to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, but the Republican minority in the senate has taken obstructionism to such extremes, Diamond’s nomination has been blocked since April. Why? Republican senators, particularly Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama say Diamond is not qualified. The senate is so broken as an institution that a single lawmaker can anonymously block a nomination, and force our country’s highest legislative body to a standstill. And imperil the functioning of the federal government at a time of a deep rescission and two wars for political gain.

Senate Republicans have abused the arcane rules of the senate at unprecedented levels, filibustering even the smallest of measures and placing secret holds on the President’s nominees, to prevent simple up-or-down votes.

Unable to bring Diamond’s nomination to the floor for a vote, the senate sent the nomination back to the White House in August and the President sent it back in September.

Both President Obama and Robert Gibbs, the White House secretary issued statements blasting the Senate Republicans for obstructing a vote on Diamond’s nomination.

The New York Times reports:

‘“Obstructing a nominee as well qualified as Peter in a time of economic crisis is a harmful attempt to score political points that hurts our middle class and our broader economic recovery,” Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said in a statement.”

“Mr. Obama issued a separate statement congratulating Mr. Diamond and pointing out his expertise in unemployment and housing. “I hope he will be confirmed by the Senate as quickly as possible,” Mr. Obama said.”

Shelby released his own statement, dismissing the Nobel prize as coming from a socialist type European organization that has no bearing on U.S. lawmakers.

‘“While the Nobel Prize for Economics is a significant recognition, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences does not determine who is qualified to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,” Mr. Shelby said, according to the spokesman.”

This is lunacy. As the Political Animal’s Steve Benen points out, Shelby wasn’t so picky with his standards when approving Bush’s nominees to the Federal Reserve Board.

“The Alabaman has argued that Diamond’s background is not in monetary policy, which is true, but it’s hardly a prerequisite — of the five sitting Fed governors at the time of Diamond’s nomination, three are not specialists in monetary economics. One of Bush’s appointees has no advanced degree in economics and has never done any academic research in the field. Shelby never raised questions about his qualifications and didn’t hesitate to support that nomination.”

But that was then and this is now. Today, the acute Obama derangement syndrome that has taken hold of the Republican party, dictates that if Obama wants it then they must oppose it, regardless of whether their actions harm the country.


2 Responses to “GOP’s Blocking Nobel Winner From Fed, Exposes Broken Senate”

  1. Old Man Dotes on October 12th, 2010 12:14 pm

    Since when have the Republicans ever cared if they harmed the country? Nixon illegally bugged political opponents, and lied to the voters repeatedly about his “secret plan” to end the war in Viet Nam. Reagan’s Administration deregulated the banks, which led directly to the mortgage meltdown during the Bush years. Bush started not one, but two foreign wars, to distract the American people from his disasterous economic policies (such as the 1.5 *trillion* dollar bailout for Republican-owned banks) and line the pockets of his Republican cronies; even Bush could not have been stupid enough to not know that the Afghan rebels had already defeated Soviet forces in the USSR’s version of Viet Nam, and that the only way to win a war in Afghanistan is to carpet-bomb the entire nation with nukes.

    The last Republican who put the nation’s good ahead of his own wealth was Dwight Eisenhower.

  2. rbyb23 on October 12th, 2010 3:26 pm

    So childish that Sen.Shelby would hold up Pres. Obama’s nominations( 80 of them, I believe), as retaliation for Alabama not becoming the site of a new FBI lab. Sen. Shelby surely will never be nominated as a statesman. He’s a perfect example of why people are so angry and a perfect example of why many will surprise the Rs on election day by voting for Democrats. I am one Republican who will be voting for Democrats.

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