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McCaskill: Republicans Like "Transformer Toys" on Financial Crisis

10/22/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Bob Geiger Author focusing on the lives of America's troops as they return from Iraq and Afghanistan

Flying under the radar in a week filled with Wall-Street turmoil was an excellent speech given on the Senate floor by Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in which she pummeled John McCain and the Republican party for their stupefying hypocrisy on deregulating the financial services industry.

Speaking on Thursday, McCaskill talked about how under the GOP financial firms have acted like teenagers with Mom and Dad gone for the weekend and called the anti-government Republicans on how, like the Transformer toys, they're now rushing like mad to shift their shapes.

"Here is the thing that is killing me -- it is just killing me," said the Missouri Senator. "All of the folks who have been screaming: Deregulation, get government off our backs, evil government off our backs, big bad government off our backs, deregulate, deregulate, deregulate -- in the last 24 hours there has been -- do you remember the transformer toys that went from an animal to a massive machine? We have transformers around here."

"These massive deregulation advocates all of a sudden say: We have to enforce rules on Wall Street. We have to regulate."

McCaskill also jumped on how GOP opportunists like McCain -- who are also scurrying to cover for their records over the last two decades -- suddenly think government has a role in protecting American taxpayers and now advocate a law-and-order approach with their Wall-Street benefactors.

"They are enforcing it today. Why wasn't it enforced last week? Why weren't the rules enforced the week before? Why weren't the rules enforced last year?" asked McCaskill. "They didn't want to. It is pretty simple. Nobody wanted to enforce the rules. Why not? Because the titans of Wall Street were in charge. The titans of Wall Street have had their way with this White House."

Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama hammered on McCain all last week, citing the fact that the Republican chameleon has always considered himself "fundamentally a deregulator" and is hungry to inflict some of the same damage he helped cause in the financial markets on the health care industry.

"My opponent actually wrote in the current issue of a health care magazine 'opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation,'" Obama said, quoting McCain. "So let me get this straight - he wants to run health care like they've been running Wall Street. Well, Senator, I know some folks on Main Street who aren't going to think that's a good idea."

Like McCaskill, Obama also ridiculed the sudden turnaround by McCain and said he's hopeful American voters will see through the charade. Here's Obama last week:

"While John McCain isn't offering real solutions, he can't talk enough about how greedy Wall Street is and how he's going to take on the old boys' network in Washington. At this rate, by the end of the week, John McCain and Phil Gramm they're going to be talking about how they're gong to grab those seven lobbyist [in the McCain campaign] and plan to storm the Treasury Department with torches and pitchforks.

"Come on! This whole pretense that somehow he's going to take on these folks when he hasn't taken them on in 26 years because it's election time, doesn't make much sense."

And we'll let Claire McCaskill have the last word on the latest round of Republican hypocrisy.

"Do you think we are dumb? You can't transform overnight from a big bad deregulator to I am now the cop on the beat; I'll take care of Wall Street. It is not honest. Be principled," she demanded of her colleagues across the aisle. "If you are a deregulator and you want to live with these consequences, you want to say to the American people: Hey, when we deregulate, this is the risk. This is the risk we are taking with your money."

"If the law is on the books and this administration is not enforcing it, they need to explain to the American public why the taxpayers are now on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars because these guys didn't think it was important to enforce the rules against their friends."

You can read more from Bob at BobGeiger.com.