Marionette Bob Bennett

photo credit: © Giorgio

While candidate Mike Lee acted like a senator on the issue of confirming Ben Bernanke for another term as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Bob Bennett acted like a marionette under the control of the mystical wizard of Washington D.C. With a short press release and a predictable vote, our “Senator” Bob Bennett plainly demonstrated the cancerous logic that is rampant among Washington insiders. Here is how he justified his vote to confirm Ben Bernanke:

I reluctantly cast a vote in favor of Ben Bernanke because I do not want to give President Obama the opportunity to put someone who shares his leftist views in charge of the Federal Reserve. I am aware of the mistakes that have been made at the Fed while Chairman Bernanke has been there, but I fear an alternative would be worse for the country’s economic future.

So our elected Marionette is simply trying to save us from having the president nominate someone else. Cute. Perhaps he should have engaged his brain and realized two simple facts – first, if Bernanke was not confirmed by the senate there is little chance that President Obama would have name a more extreme nominee (the natural reaction would be to nominate a safer pick); second, considering the makeup of the Senate (not to mention the final vote tally) opposing Bernanke would have been unlikely to prevent his confirmation but at least it would not have demonstrated approval for his performance (a vote to confirm sends that message more strongly than any press release about your supposed reluctance to cast the vote).

In contrast, Mike Lee (who ought to be replacing Bennett within a year) demonstrated what senatorial advice and consent should look like. Mike issued a statement opposing confirmation for Bernanke and giving solid reasons for that opposition:

“It is clear that during Chairman Bernanke’s term, the Federal Reserve has played a significant role in creating and perpetuating policies and strategies that have contributed significantly to the most difficult economic environment our country has faced in a generation.” Mike Lee continued, “To confirm the Chairman to a second term would be both a tacit approval of his actions during these past few years, and an endorsement that ‘business as usual’ is acceptable. That is something I am simply not willing to do.”

. . .

“Simply replacing Bernanke may not be sufficient, but Chairman Bernanke must be held accountable for the Fed’s actions. It is time to send a clear message that ‘business as usual’ is not acceptable, that transparency is mandatory and that everyone is accountable, now and in the future. This is the first in a series of important steps which must be taken to ensure the integrity and reliability of our monetary system.” (emphasis added)

Bennett failed to demonstrate any responsibility for the senatorial task of advice and consent. Instead he chose to throw up his hands and issue a statement about how sorry he was to vote against the wishes of his constituents and even his own better judgment. Worse yet, he did so on a vote where voting his conscience would not have made a material difference except to be honest about his position.

7 comments for “Marionette Bob Bennett

  1. January 29, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I actually called Senator Bennett’s office in Washington and asked him to vote against confirmation of Bernanke. Senator Bennett does not represent my beliefs or interests in the Senate and he is not a strong defender of the Constitution.

    It is time for a change and I hope that Mike Lee is chosen by the people of this State to represent us in the Senate.

  2. Charles D
    January 29, 2010 at 10:07 am

    The Senators from New York voted as usual with their Wall Street masters to confirm Bernanke. Both are up for election this year but there is no significant opposition to either of them from either party. At least Utahans will have a choice of Republicans.

    • January 29, 2010 at 10:16 am

      I pity you in your lack of choices – and New York is much larger so it is harder to launch a successful campaign against the incumbent(s). On the other hand I had the impression that Gillibrand was vulnerable (correct me on that if I was mistaken).

  3. Matthew Hailstone
    January 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I’m glad that someone feels the same way I do about Bob Bennett and posting their opinion on the web. I sent multiple emails to several influential (as I saw them) individuals that we should be seeing an outcry in Utah for Senator Bennett’s actions to confirm Ben Bernanke. This small outcry makes me worried. Are we going to forget this? We definitely need to sure-up the grass roots effort. This is my first time reading this blog today because I was referred to it from another site. I think I’ll visit this one more often. 😉 Thanks!

    • January 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      I hope the volume continues to rise against our incumbent senator. Regardless of how loud it gets publicly I just hope that come the convention he finds himself looking toward a new career. “My wife likes Washington D.C.” is just plain not a good reason to seek another term in office and it’s time the people of Utah let Bennett know that.

  4. Charles D
    January 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Gillebrand has only one announced opponent, Jonathan Tasini, who got 17% against Hillary Clinton last time. He is a true progressive so has no money, gets no air time, and is usually cut out of the debates. DINO Democrat Harold Ford, Jr. is thinking about moving to NY from Tennessee to run as a conservative carpetbagger, but I doubt he’ll get the funding and he’ll probably decline to run. The Republicans, amazingly enough, have no one poised to run against either of these two jerks.

    What is particularly rankling is that bipartisanship, which is so elusive when it comes to anything really important, is certain when Wall Street’s interests are on the line.

    • January 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm

      “Rankling” is definitely the right word there. The only thing they can agree on is giving money and power from us to their friends. I find it interesting that 70 to 30 is the closest vote ever on confirming a FED chairman.

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