What on earth were Democrats thinking when they nominated Maxine Waters to chair the House Financial Services Committee after gaining control of the House last November? Did they think that Waters, who in 2009 exploited her position to bail out a black-owned bank that her husband held stock in, was the right person to investigate financial abuses? Did they think that a loose cannon who in 2018 incited mob violence against members of the Trump administration had the right temperament to preside over a committee? Did they think that a woman who in 2013 claimed that sequestration could cost the nation 170 million jobs was suddenly going to sprout a brain?
Whatever Democrats were thinking, on Wednesday they got a double dose of “Auntie” Maxine, beginning with a morning hearing where she attempted to blame bank executives for the student debt crisis. One by one, she grilled the CEOs, trying to determine, in the memorable words of a previous president, “whose ass to kick.” She began with Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan, whose name she mispronounced as “Monahan.” He explained that his bank had “stopped making student loans in 2007 or so.” Ditto down the line until Jamie Dimon, of JPMorgan Chase, shared with her the embarrassing reality that student loans had been nationalized nearly a decade earlier under former President Barack Obama.
That flub didn’t faze Chairwoman Waters, who was back on her high horse later the same day. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who had been testifying, explained that he needed “to leave to meet with an official for Bahrain and … asked for the hearing to be adjourned.” Waters refused, “telling Mnuchin not to tell her how to run her committee.”
When Mnuchin said that Republicans had never treated a treasury secretary in this manner, Water simply said that it’s a “new day” and she’s in charge.
Isn’t that comforting to know?