15 Jun 2010

Glenn Greenwald Nails Chuck Schumer

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I have often thought that Chuck Schumer was the worst that we could get in terms of a politician. He was one of the biggest defenders of the government’s actions at Waco, he was a big supporter of the assault weapons ban, and yet he grins while firing this nice piece of hardware. I think I also have been aware of Schumer because he was “my representative” for my formative years, growing up in New York State.

In this context I loved Glenn Greenwald’s recent description:

…I’ve come to see the Democratic Party (and its apologists and loyalists in the pundit class) much differently now that it’s in power rather than out of it. Just look at Schumer himself. He isn’t some obscure Democratic official; he’s one of its leading figures. He’s not one of those dreaded Blue Dogs or “conservative” Democrats which Party pundit-apparatchiks and reverent Obama loyalists love to exploit to excuse the Party’s flaws (don’t blame the weak and helpless Obama; he is a prisoner to those bad, powerful conservative Democrats); rather, Schumer is considered progressive, or at least mainstream, within the Party, representing one of its largest and bluest states. If anyone is the face of the mainstream Democratic Party, it’s Chuck Schumer. That’s why he’s clearly the most likely replacement for Harry Reid to become Senate Majority Leader if Reid loses in November.

But look at what Schumer represents, who he is. Schumer championed countless, radical Bush appointees (including John Bolton, Michael Mukasey and Michael Hayden), but then sabatoged Obama’s appointment of Chas Freeman due to insufficient devotion to Israel. As The New York Times documented, he has long served as one of Wall Street’s most loyal and devoted servants, reaping huge benefits for himself and his Party. As the financial reform package gets negotiated and watered down, Schumer leads the way in doing Wall Street’s bidding. After spending years sucking up union money, he just congratulated Blanche Lincoln for fighting unions (and, showing how cynical he is, also congratulated her for fighting Wall Street even as business interests almost single-handedly funded her campaign and as he himself continues to serve as the most devoted property of bankers). So that’s Chuck Schumer: suffocate Gazans; champion Bush national security appointees; punish those with insufficient devotion to Israel; serve Wall Street. And that, by definition, is the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

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