The national banking war began its second week on Monday, with government forces ready to storm Wall Street firms unless they surrendered to new financial reforms. Approximately 1,000 National Guard troops have been camped out on Wall Street since the fracas began.
Skirmishes so far have been light, with limited casualties on both sides. While the White House has not offered details of its plans, sources indicated an all-out assault could be days away. President Barack Obama, speaking to the troops, vowed he would not back down.
“This is a fight for the very soul of our economy. Make no mistake, the bankers and their supporters took our money and we want it back, give us repayment or we’ll take it back in blood,” Obama yelled to the cheering crowd. “These bankers will submit to regulation or none of them will get out alive.”
While polls show most Americans support the president’s move, the bankers are not without their supporters. Conservatives, led by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, previously attacked the bailouts as a war on the free market but now contend that the government getting its money back and seeking reform is a war on the free market. Limbaugh called on his followers to lay down their lives, if necessary, to fight against new financial regulations that were approved last week by Congress.
“Make no mistake, for the bankers it’s bend over and grab your ankles. These tycoons are the ones who crashed our economy with their reckless behavior and they should be allowed to do this as many times as they want,” Limbaugh said. “How can our economy grow without irresponsible people profiting from risky investments they don’t understand, then getting the government to bail out their mistakes?”
At least some of Limbaugh’s followers heeded his call. About two dozen Congressional Republicans were seen climbing into makeshift rafts and boats in an attempt to sneak into New York City Monday morning. They were turned back by National Guard troops, who have sealed off the financial district.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), led the incursion effort and said his party had no choice but to reap the crops of ignorance and anger that it sowed for more than a year over health care reform. He predicted their efforts to stop financial reform would fail, but he still had to come to the aid of his Wall Street overlords.
“Our campaign of fear and lies about health care reform didn’t work and we were unable to stop financial reform from being passed so now we’re going to try some stronger methods. These angry mobs we created are perfect for fighting Wall Street reform as well, “ Bohener said. “If a little bloodshed happens, so what? It’ll probably earn me some campaign contributions.”
Former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin posted a comment on her Facebook page encouraging her followers to keep their voices shrill, their heads empty and their guns loaded.
“The bailouts and our collapsed economy started under President Bush, but us Tea Partiers are blaming President Obama instead because this movement is about misdirected anger more than making sense,” Palin wrote. “I want all of you Tea Partiers out there to defend the right of Wall Street to destroy our economy and ruin your lives over and over again. By keeping financial companies unregulated, we can make sure that our movement will constantly be replenished by a stream of angry taxpayers that I can continue to profit from.”
Sources within the Wall Street firms indicated that morale was holding up well, despite dwindling supplies of caviar and vintage champagne. Their spirits were buoyed by news that Republicans and Tea Partiers were willing to do their bidding.
“I’ve only bathed three times since this whole mess began and I had to use the 2006 Dom Perignon for my bathwater. Ugh, that was such a horrible year. I usually prefer the 2003 vintage but us bankers have had to make some serious sacrifices in order to stand our ground,” said one banker who asked to remain anonymous. “I love those Tea Partiers. Where would this country be without people willing to fight against their own self interests?”