The Country Club wing of the GOP has the Tea Party right where they want them, and that's fine with the money guys because they're sick and tired of the nutjob side of things interfering with the corporate takeover of America.
Banks are breathing a sigh of relief after established GOP incumbents bested a handful of Tea Party challengers at the polls recently.
Industry sources said the establishment wins improve Republican odds of retaking the Senate, which would in turn lead to a friendlier climate for the long-beleaguered sector. But some note that the Tea Party has left a mark on the Republican Party, presenting a challenging landscape for the industry.
The Tea Party movement can trace its roots back to fury about bailouts and banks, but the force that pulled the Republican Party right in recent years is finding less success at the polls recently.
In Idaho, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) was repeatedly blasted by outside groups for his 2008 vote in favor of the Wall Street rescue, but he soundly defeated his conservative challenger all the same.
Voters in Georgia, Oregon and Pennsylvania also opted for more mainstream candidates as opposed to conservative upstarts. And in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) trounced his primary challenger, Matt Bevin, who made McConnell’s vote in favor of the bailout a central plank of his campaign.
The recent shift away from feisty conservatives who are antagonistic toward Wall Street is a welcome development for a sector long in the political crosshairs of those at both ends of the political spectrum.
“The fact that [Sen.] Ted Cruz [R-Texas] will not have a whole lot of new allies is very encouraging,” said one senior financial industry executive.
Shutting down the government and screwing up the markets? Not what the corporate types signed up for. They run the GOP and they're more than happy to continue to do so. If the Tea Party suckers vote for them too after losing in the primaries? Let them. It's all good with the money men who really run the place.
Who are the bankers scared of? Democrats.
Banks are also watching election returns this year with one eye on a lawmaker who isn’t even on the ballot in 2014.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is not up for reelection until 2018, but he currently occupies the inside track to take over the Senate Banking Committee in the next Congress once Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) retires.
Brown is a frequent critic of Wall Street, and has advocated for tougher restrictions on the industry.
With more mainstream candidates on the general election ballot, financial industry advocates are hoping Senate power changes hands, and shifts that panel’s gavel away from Brown.
So what a surprise, the anti-banker bailout Tea Party saps are voting for the same guys that destroyed our economy again and again. The bankers fear the Democrats however.
There's a lesson there.