It's not clear to whether Senate Banking chairman Chris Dodd simply lost his patience or was told by his Democratic brethren to end the fruitless attempt to negotiate with Republicans over financial regulatory reform.
It doesn't matter. The important thing is that Dodd finally called it quits and announced on Thursday that he will unveil his own bill on Monday without any Republican support.
If that means there is no financial reform this year, because Republicans block it by filibuster, it will be a setback for much-needed fixes to catastrophically broken system of regulation.
But the way things were going, this bill would have been worse than no bill. There comes a time when you need to tell the obstructionists to put up or shut up. As in health care reform, Democrats bent over backwards to lure Republican support for regulatory overhaul.