Master of the Financial Universe

November 30, 2017

Mick Mulvaney

Since Wall Street is incestuously intertwined with its own government regulators, it makes sense to shield a newly empowered regulatory entity from subversion. But make it unaccountable to Congress? Disconnect its funding from the democratic process? Have its director sabotage a presidential order?

Under no fair scrutiny does the CFPB’s governing structure meet our constitutional standard. The president maintains control over all executive bodies. For English to defy Trump is insubordination on the highest level, made all the more slimy by her last-minute litigation. It was, as Brutus said, conspiracy showing its “dangerous brow by night/When evils are most free.”

And yet her insolence was predictable. English and her rebellious coterie are representative of what James Burnham called the “managerial class.” Detached from democratic accountability and full of hubristic confidence, these managers act beyond the reach of average citizens. Like Marxist commissars, they direct society’s means of production by controlling the strings of power, pulling and tugging to correct individual behavior.

A permanent governing class is antithetical to American republicanism. Somewhere there’s a happy medium between licensing a select group of bureaucrats with all-consuming authority and letting inexperienced philistines run the government. Cordray’s cutesy game of undermining a sitting president didn’t work. A federal judge already tossed out English’s frivolous suit.

The semi-coup was averted. But how much of Burnham’s “managerial revolution” lives on in the deep recesses of Washington?

Expect this not be the last bureaucratic putsch we see in Trump’s tenure.

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