Last week's hearing on the nomination of Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau featured prepared speeches that were utterly without sound and fury but still managed to do a huge disservice to American consumers.
For the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be most effective and most insulated from politically-motivated criticism of its polices, it needs to be an agency that has a leadership structure with divergent views -- politically and otherwise.
Since the Republican Party now worships at the altar of "Saint Ronald of Reagan," it's always fun to point out the hard, cold fact that Reagan would simply not be acceptable to the Republican Party as it stands today.
I tend to be a "glass half full" optimist, so I'm pretty happy about the launch of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The "half empty" part that tempers my celebration is the fact that the president delayed his nomination and passed over Elizabeth Warren.
The Consumer Financial Protection Agency should have been a legacy of enduring value. Today should have been a day of celebration. Instead, the new bureau is just another contentious mess, another debacle that dispirits even the optimists.
Whatever she chooses to do, Elizabeth Warren will be an asset to the financial reform movement. If she passes on the politician's life she'd be ideally suited to galvanizing it. If she runs and wins she'd be a great voice for reform in the Senate.