GOP LEADERS SHAMELESSLY COZY UP TO WALL STREET…. In politics, memories can be short, but Americans have not yet forgotten the fact that the financial industry’s recklessness nearly collapsed the global economy. And yet, congressional Republicans can’t stop trying to curry favor with the industry.

Last month, it was House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) embarrassing himself. This month, it’s his Senate counterparts.

As a financial reform bill starts to take shape in Washington, two key lawmakers came to New York City last week to explain what it means for Wall Street, and how financial executives might help prevent some of its least market-friendly aspects from becoming law by electing more Republicans, FOX Business Network has learned.

About 25 Wall Street executives, many of them hedge fund managers, sat down for a private meeting Thursday afternoon with two of the most powerful Republican lawmakers in Congress: Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and John Cornyn, the senior senator from Texas who runs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, one of the primary fundraising arms of the Republican Party.

It appears to have been rather shameless — Democrats, the GOP leaders said, are going to try to punish the irresponsible industry that caused the crash, and prevent similar crises from happening again. McConnell and Cornyn want to stop these efforts, and need the industry’s help — if Wall Street will work with Republicans, and elect a whole bunch of GOP candidates, the industry will be better off without all of those pesky regulations imposing oversight and accountability.

McConnell and Cornyn, in other words, are going out of their way to characterize Republicans as the Party of Wall Street. It’s an exceedingly odd strategy, given the larger landscape.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.