Steele Stumbles Into Wall Street Reform Debate

April 21, 2010 4:48 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

We haven't heard much from RNC Chairman Michael Steele since the whole "bondage-themed nightclub" fiasco. But with the debate over Wall Street reform heating up, the embattled party leader appears ready to reenter the fray. 

As you may recall, during the health care fight, Steele routinely embarrassed conservatives with his lack of knowledge.  At one point, he was unable to identify even his own health insurance provider.  Republican leaders eventually told him to "quit meddling in policy."

Steele didn't listen then, of course, so there's no reason to believe he'll steer clear of the debate this time around.  And, if today's blog post is any indication, he still doesn't have his facts straight:

After months of bipartisan talks, the White House and the Democratic leaders now refuse to allow negotiations with Republicans and have swooped in with their own plan that amounts to nothing more than a permanent bailout and job-killer for the American people. 

Similar to the health care bill, the proposal will do the exact opposite of what it claims to do by propping up the same Wall Street fat cats who contributed millions of dollars to the coffers of Democratic leaders and providing them with a safety net.

The "permanent bailout" argument -- which was dictated by pollster Frank Luntz before the pending bill was even written -- has been widely rebutted, including by conservative Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Judd Gregg (R-NH).  Today, the nonpartisan PolitiFact.com rated the claim "false."

What's more, for Steele to suggest that Democrats are standing up for the banks is laughable.  As PolitiFact explains, the bill's "intention is to liquidate failing companies, not bail them out." And it's the Republican leadership who's been spending time lately huddling with "Wall Street fat cats" and promising to do their bidding. 

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