For those of you who may be concerned that the Senators assigned to the conference committee to sort out the House and Senate financial reform bills may not be up to snuff, we have a McClatchy profile of Senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), one of the Republican conferees, to assure us.

I assume McClatchy reporters David Lightman and Keven G. Hall were rolling their eyes when they wrote this:

Gregg, who’s retiring from the Senate after this year, thinks some features of the legislation that initially passed the Senate and the House of Representatives amount to dangerous liberalism. He’s unenthusiastic about expanding government oversight of banks and other financial institutions, and creating a powerful new agency to protect consumers’ financial interests.

"This is more of the global agenda of the left to take control of the marketplace and promote their social justice agenda," Gregg told McClatchy in an interview.

Nor does he like a provision that’d make it easier for dissidents to offer a counter slate of candidates for election to corporate boards. Some fear that could expand unions’ influence.

"This is the industrial policy of the social left," he muttered.

So, we have one of those Beltway revered "centrist/moderate" Republicans worrying about liberals, unions and "a social justice agenda," which sounds indistinguishable from Glenn Beck — yes, this Glenn Beck. Given that introduction, what constructive role should Judd Gregg play?

"He will help to serve as an honest broker to achieve consensus among the conferees," said Scott Talbott, the chief lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, the trade group for big financial firms.

In which alternate universe? But alas, poor Gregg:

Gregg, however, worried whether voices such as his will be taken seriously.

"I don’t know that we’ll be invited into the room," he said.

Democrats say that not only will Gregg be invited in, he also could become a crucial voice as deliberations progress.

And there in a nutshell is what’s wrong with America’s political discourse and our Congress.

We have a near idiot fearful of social justice, never mind that worker’s perspectives might intrude in a corporate boardroom. He’s worried that the financial sector that just looted the Treasury, tanked the economy and put millions out of work but has been bailed out to become bigger, richer and more arrogant than ever might be too strictly overseen. Yet the Democrats are hopeful he’ll be a "crucial voice [in] deliberations." And we’re to trust them?

Excuse me, but this guy should not be allowed to even sit at the kitchen table until he can hold and express two consecutive non-crazy thoughts.

John Chandley