Saturday, December 17, 2016

Morning Read - Keep The Pressure On Schumer

Jonathan Chait is keeping an eye on Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D- Wall Street), and isn't liking what he's seeing:
There are good, sound reasons why Democrats in Congress might want to cut some deals with Donald Trump. Maybe they can persuade him to stay in the Paris climate accords, or to preserve Obamacare with some tolerable revisions, in which case giving him bipartisan cover might be worthwhile. But Charles Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, seems to have a completely misguided understanding of how the calculation works. Obviously Schumer is not providing candid accounts of his political strategy to the public. But a series of reports from Democrats who have spoken with him paints a consistent account of a leader who thinks his party’s best chance of survival lies in working with Trump.  (our emphasis)
Chait goes on to outline the basic elements of a "stop Trump" survival strategy for Democrats, one that Schumer, a retail pol who values dealmaking over standing up for principles, is already in danger of abandoning. It's worth a read.

We admit we're not fans of Schumer's to begin with (to say the least). We were disheartened when Senate Democrats, perhaps swayed by Schumer's ability to dole out campaign funds in his role as DSCC chair, was elected Minority Leader rather than Sen. Dick Durbin, or any other plausible candidate for that matter.  To us, the turning point was Schumer's stabbing President Obama in the back on the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, a disqualifying act of cowardice and petty calculation for a party leader. Beyond that, Schumer's cozy ties to a particular home constituency -- Wall Street -- are sending the wrong signals at a time when the plutocrats are already in full sway in neo- fascist oligarch Donald "Rump" Trump's emerging administration. Ideally, a progressive fighter in that position would have been better suited for these times, but...

Chait concludes,
If Schumer wants to prevent bad outcomes, he might cut some deals with Trump. But those deals are going to put his members at risk. If he wants to protect his red-state seats, he needs to drive down Trump’s approval ratings, which means fighting Trump on everything. It’s unfortunate for the Democratic Party that its most powerful elected official does not seem to understand the basic political dynamic.  (our emphasis)
Given his track record, we don't think Schumer is going to be the rock that garbage scow Trump founders on. That's why we all need to keep relentless pressure on him to stand up for progressive principles in this dangerous environment.

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