Ed Driscoll

Offshore Loss Mitigation Caps

“Guess which Democrat now becomes the ranking member on the financial services committee,” with Barney Frank stepping down next year, Megan McArdle asks at The Atlantic:

That’s right, none other than our favorite batty aunt, Maxine Waters.  The woman who, during a major hearing with the cameras on her, asked the heads of Goldman Sachs and State Street bizarre questions about how they set the limits on their consumer credit cards*.  She asked Ken Lewis, the head of Bank of America, a question about “offshore loss mitigation caps” (a term of which I–and also, clearly, Ken Lewis–had never heard) that was so bizarre–and garbled–that he was flummoxed into silence; he sat there squirming like a third grader being picked on by the teacher.

When he finally got the courage to ask what she meant, it became clear that Maxine Waters had no idea what she meant; I assume she’d either taken hasty and incomplete notes when her staffers briefed her about what to ask, or had flubbed reading the question, and couldn’t bring herself to admit on C-SPAN that she hadn’t really bothered preparing for the hearing to the extent, of, say, familiarizing herself with the institutions whose heads she was grilling, or actually bothering to understand the questions she was going to ask.  It was kind of hilarious, until you realized that this was her job, and that she voted on critical financial regulatory questions.

Nor is this an isolated pattern; every time I see Maxine Waters at a hearing I know that the questions are going to be bizarre, and that Congresswoman Waters will make them even stranger with garbled readings and off-topic follow-ups.

And let’s not even start with her dubious personal decisions and the ethics investigations that inevitably followed.  That’s serious–but it’s nothing compared to the damage she could do as head of the committee.

Now, I understand that seniority is not the only factor in who becomes committee head, and presumably the Democratic leadership will somehow assure that she doesn’t take over.  Still, it makes one shudder to think that such a thing is even possible.

When even liberal CBS News asks in a headline, “Is Maxine Waters Really As Dumb As She Seems?” you know a politician is in trouble — not to mention the country itself. But still, you never when someone can have their logic short-circuited and give a remarkably incompetent politician a pass.