Ron Paul released a video tape tonight in response to Bernie Sanders’ last-minute deal with Chris Dodd on Audit the Fed:
RON PAUL: I’m not a bit surprised that the Federal Reserve got to the Senate. I had expected Bernie Sanders to offer 604, which was the same as 1207, which is Audit the Fed bill, and at the last minute he switched it and watered it down, and really it adds nothing. It’s a possibility that it even makes the current conditions worse.
This is essentially the bill plus more of the bill we beat in the House Financial Committee, the Mel Watt bill,.
But this is so disappointing to me that this happened. Especially since for months now I’ve worked with Bernie on this and introduced the bill, and our language, which was 1207.
But as we speak — this is Thursday night — they are working on this on the Senate floor. And we need to get as many messages as possible to as any Senators you can think of, especially to Bernie Sanders’ office, that we don’t want this version. We want a true audit of the Fed. We need to know what the Open Market Committee does. And we need to know what they’re doing overseas with the agreements with central banks and financial institutions and other governments.
And in this bill that is being offered, that amendment is being offered now does not include this. So I am sure that Senator DeMint is working on this and may come up with an alternative. But the only thing that would be fair to the American people after all this work and energy that we put into this is have an up and down vote on what was our 1207 in the House which is 604 in the Senate.
Yes they may water it down and they may win it, but if they don’t have an honest vote on the Senate floor to me it would be very very discouraging. But it also shows what kind of forces we’re up against. The President doesn’t want this, the leadership on Wall Street doesn’t want it, the Federal Reserve doesn’t want it, so they’re powerful forces.
But just think of the people that do want it. You know everyone from progressives and liberal Democrats, to libertarians and constitutionalists, and the average person, so many of the Tea Party members, they all want this. They want transparency and they want to find out what’s going on at the Fed. So it’s very very important, it’s a crucial time, and whether — I doubt if they’ll vote tonight, which is Thursday, but they may vote tomorrow, who knows they may vote Monday. But it’s vital and urgent that we do as much as we can to bombard the Senate with information that we the people deserve to have an up-or-down vote on Audit the Fed bill.
The Kaufman “break up the banks” bill got drubbed tonight because it was perceived as a Democratic bill and the banks could work through the GOP to kill it, which gave the ConservaDems cover for opposing it too.
But nobody got on the floor of the Senate today to speak against Audit the Fed. They were all scared shitless. The left/right coalition supporting the bill includes everyone from Richard Trumka, Bill Black, Andy Stern and Jamie Galbraith to Grover Norquist, the Campaign for Liberty and Freedomworks on the right. We worked hard to put that coalition together for the past year, and it was transpartisan by design. If you stood against Audit the Fed, you were just a shill for the banks. There’s no justification. It made the dividing lines extremely clear: populism vs. corporatism, with no ability to take refuge in the safe crannies of partisanship.
It took a lot of courage for the people involved in that coalition to join together and say “enough.” Party hacks on both sides launched endless personal attacks against those involved, accusing them of “consorting with the enemy” in a desperate attempt to restore a disfunctional chess board. But everyone stood their ground, and when all else failed, the White House put the squeeze on Bernie Sanders.
Bernie thought he was going to reprise the “free clinics” tapdance he did on the health care bill, and that the tribalists would raise him on their shoulders and coo about what a good progressive he was to justify any compromise he made. But that’s not so easily done with a transpartisan alliance — because Ron Paul doesn’t have any reason to roll over for the White House or the Democratic party. The GOP is afraid to balk the anti-tax crowd, and without their cover, the ConservaDems just look like whores. The entire system comes apart.
Ron Paul is going to make a stink. Good for him.
I don’t think that Bernie’s amendment would make matters worse, and to be fair it was Merkely’s amendment that was the clone of Mel Watt’s. But Bernie allowed the banks to draw the lines around an audit to exclude the things they didn’t want examined, and he obviously didn’t get Ron Paul’s sign-off before he did so. I guess he didn’t think he needed to.
Well, Audit the Fed has been Ron Paul’s lifelong dream. As someone who has worked intimately on the effort for a year, I had to reverse the Tivo and listen to CSPAN a couple of times to figure out what was happening when Bernie mumbled something about his “deal.” I thought at the time, “I don’t think anyone knows about this — it’s not going to go over well.” And it hasn’t. Bernie shouldn’t be surprised.
Good for Ron Paul for telling Rahm and his little pro-bank whip operation to get stuffed. He’s seizing a moment of transpartisan anger at the banks and he’s pointing it straight at the Wall Street apologists. It will be interesting to see how far he can take it.