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Poor Bob Corker. He’s the rare Republican senator who actually seems to be serious about financial reform, but his own party is undermining him with the usual Luntz-inspired deceptions about “endless taxpayer-funded bailouts,” coddling of Wall Street, and so forth. Corker has basically asked the GOP leadership to put a sock in it, explaining exactly how his proposals to wind up failing banks would work and how it would protect taxpayers. Matt Yglesias:

Corker is exactly right about this. Chris Dodd’s bill, as written, would make bailouts less likely not more likely. But Corker is also correct that there are a lot of doubts as to exactly how much punch it really packs. This is a concern that responsible Senators should actually look at and try to address, rather than just fling around vaguely as a cover for the fact that they don’t want banks to be regulated at all. But will Corker stand his ground on this, or will he follow the lead of so many of his past colleagues and end up giving in to Rush/Fox/Tea Party pressure to simply obstruct?

And more to the point, even if Corker does defy expectations and continue to work on financial reform seriously, can he persuade any of his fellow Republicans to join him? And if he can, will the price be the watering down of legislation that’s already too weak to really have much of an impact? Stay tuned for answers to these exciting questions.

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