Democrats are freaking out.
President Donald Trump has named budget director Mick Mulvaney to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau following the resignation of Richard Cordray from the post. This has led to a bitter fight over who actually controls the bureau now: Mulvaney, or Leandra English — a bureau employee appointed by Cordray to serve as the number two at the agency.
As Politico notes, Democrats have only themselves to blame:
The CFPB, a brainchild of liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, was created by the landmark Dodd-Frank Act as an independent agency run by a presidential appointee with vast unilateral power — and now the president making the appointment is Trump.
You see, as it stands, whoever is in charge of the CFPB wields a great deal of power over regulating financial products available to consumers. Republicans tried to push the Obama administration to adopt a less-centralized approach, arguing that one unelected person shouldn’t have that kind of authority over any particular industry.
They had a point — a Constitutional one. Democrats were envisioning the CFPB as a fourth branch of government.
The Democrats wanted control. They wanted to make sure the CFPB was always theirs. It’s like when Harry Reid and Senate Democrats gutted the filibuster rule. There was no reason to allow Republicans or anyone else to have a say. After all, didn’t President Obama famously say that elections have consequences?
The problem with that, however, is that when you lay the groundwork for completely shutting out the opposition, you’re giving your opposition the tools to do the same when it’s their turn.
Our American political system is incredibly stable on the whole, but what isn’t stable is the party in power. Just because you have control today, it doesn’t mean you have a permanent majority by any stretch of the imagination. Your opposition will be in the driver’s seat sooner or later.
Democrats didn’t think about that. They only worried about the here and now, and wanted to make sure Republicans lacked the power to do anything in perpetuity. Now it’s biting them in the rear, because that’s not how representative government works.