UPDATE: Richard Shelby admitted that Cordray was “well-qualified” at hearings.”

Remember when Sen. Richard Shelby thought the politics should be eschewed in the nomination process. For instance, in 2005, he proclaimed:

Far too many of the President’s nominees were never afforded an up or down vote, because several Democrats chose to block the process for political gain. Inaction on these nominees is a disservice to the American people.”

Or when in February 2005, Shelby specifically promised his constituents in Tuscaloosa that he’d do “whatever it takes” to confirm Bush’s judicial nominees, including killing the filibuster.

Now that the White House isn’t occupied by a Republican, things have changed. President Obama has nominated former Ohio Attorney General to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But he cannot get a fair hearing:

But when he appears before the Senate panel, he’ll be stepping right back into that glare, knowing full well he’s got a tough road ahead of him. That’s because a filibuster-proof bloc of Republican senators headed off the White House in May, announcing their plans to block any nominee to head the bureau unless several changes were made to it.

There is no indication that the opposition of 44 GOP senators is wavering. In fact, they argue that the nomination of Cordray is pointless now, as any selection will be ignored without those changes in place.

“Opposition to or support of Mr. Cordray’s nomination will become relevant as soon as the president agrees to make the structural changes we’ve requested,” said Jonathan Graffeo, the spokesman for Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “Until then, Sen. Shelby and his colleagues stand firmly behind the statement they expressed in their May letter: No accountability, no confirmation.”

In other words: no confirmation if we don’t get our way. Is that blocking nominations for political gain?

It appears that the Senate panel will actually vote on this nomination on October 6.

Democrats have the votes to move Cordray’s nomination out of the committee to the Senate floor, but that will likely be as far as it gets for the foreseeable future as political tensions remain high over the creation of the CFPB.

Republicans have promised to block Cordray’s confirmation by the full Senate unless the Obama administration agrees to change the structure of the agency. . .

Republicans have not focused on his record when objecting to his nomination, saying they will oppose any nominee.

As expressed by Congressman Barney Frank:

“Senate Republicans are not entitled to use the confirmation power as a bludgeon to get their way when they cannot do so through the normal legislative process,” Frank wrote in The Washington Post. “We’re going to see an extraordinarily qualified administration to an important consumer protection agency be trashed by the Senate Republican minority because their primary goal is to ensure that financial institutions are not troubled by what they may see as an excessive concern for consumer fairness.”

So why do Alabama families need an effective CFRB?