Barack Obama ran what was arguably the most disciplined and on-message presidential campaign in history. But all that the Republicans need to do right now to ensure that financial regulatory reform never happens is sit back and watch the Democrats fight each other to a bloody stalemate. It's inconceivable that the GOP would ever allow itself to get into a mess like this.
I don't think anybody anticipated this turn of events back in June, when we saw the first relatively detailed Treasury proposal on the subject. Sure, there were a lot of problems with it, but it was necessary, the Democrats had control of both houses of Congress, and at least it was something. What's more, insofar as there were weaknesses in the proposal, they were generally a direct consequence of the fact that Treasury had been careful to put together a proposal which could pass political muster.