Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today in Consumer Protection

Michelle Singletary and Faiz Shakir sound off on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its nominee.

Singletary rightly regrets Obama's declining to name Elizabeth Warren to the post, while Shakir wants the WH, in the face of Republican obstruction, to let this, and perhaps other, nominees speak for themselves and the policies they'd advocate:

[CFPB nominee] Cordray could face the same ignominious fate. A toxic partisan climate, amplified by a round-the-clock news cycle, demands a new strategy.

The White House should take the muzzle off its nominees. Let them talk to the press over and over again to tout their accomplishments. Allow them to publicly defend their records, as they are best and uniquely qualified to do.

By silencing a nominee, the administration gives its critics the opportunity to spout unfounded concerns about the nominee’s fitness to serve. The conversation quickly descends from one about the individual’s merit to meritless attacks on his or her character or qualifications.

The White House must be willing to cede a degree of control over its day-to-day messaging in favor of the greater victory of getting its nominees passed and its policies enacted. The administration shouldn’t be turning down all press requests, but should instead be picking and choosing the venues that can give the nominee a fair and reasonable hearing.

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