Bank Reform Shatters Usual Party Lines

Next big domestic issue will be 'fascinating' to watch
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2009 11:37 AM CDT
Bank of American Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Once health care reform is “settled,” Nate Silver writes, the White House will be searching for a new domestic issue. Card check is too hard, immigration will have to wait for 2012’s “younger, more diverse electorate,” and gay rights is a slog. The winner, in Silver’s opinion, is bank reform. What's "fascinating" is how the issue has so far elicited responses from Congress that are “the strangest in the history of the institution.”

When it comes to finance, the parties are split “between leadership and rank-and-file, between service-sector states and manufacturing states, and between swing districts and safe districts,” Silver writes on FiveThirtyEight. The debate will be between those who want tougher regulation (Summersists) or the wholesale breakup of large banks (Volckerists). The "hardline" left will make up the latter camp. "How the right will respond is less predictable, but this may become the issue that tests whether the 'tea party' movement is ultimately more libertarian or populist in character."