Here’s Ezra’s gloss on the financial regulation compromise:
So rather than a bank tax, which Scott Brown worried would take capital out of the banking system, we’re going to drop part of the TARP program that was … putting capital into the banking system. And rather than making big banks and big hedge funds foot the bill, FDIC fees will be hiked so that small banks have to pay in but hedge funds don’t.
I’d like to blame Feingold and Cantwell’s principled stances for this one, but I doubt that it mattered. Without a 60-40 majority, whoever was Republican 60th vote would have extracted some other, equally stupid compromise to get this thing passed. Brown was just the designated prima donna for this one.