There was a pretty amazing moment Tuesday when a JPMorgan shareholder said to CEO Jamie Dimon: "As a person of faith, my God believes you shouldn't take advantage of people when they are down. Do you believe in the same God I believe in?"
The Republicans in the Senate have thrown down the gauntlet: 44 Republican senators have signed a letter saying they won't confirm anyone to be the director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unless the new agency is made toothless.
Congressional Republicans and the big banks are classic bullies, used to getting their way on all issues all of the time. When you stand up to them and ask for something as foreign to them as fairness and decency, they lose it and lash out in return.
Eventually, our ancestors gave up the practice of sending away a goat to atone for their sins. We can only hope the bankers reach a similar enlightened age and stop blaming others for their own business decisions.
The ideologues who want no check whatsoever on the power of big business have declared war on the middle class. But these attacks on the things we hold dear are putting the "movement" back in the labor movement.
The president didn't challenge the Chamber, or the American business community, enough in his speech. But it was good to see him make a strong case for the role of regulation, and for the importance of the social contract.