I Confess Mild Sympathy For Chuck Schumer
I pity the man. I really do.
Charles Ellis Schumer turned 70 in the same month Joe Biden won the White House. The then Senate Minority Leader only became the minority leader in 2017 because Harry Reid departed after a ten year stint as leader of the Senate Democrats. Reid himself had hung on to become the longest serving Senator from Nevada before hanging it up.
And what did Reid leave Schumer? A Trump presidency, a Democratic minority in the Senate, and no filibuster to stop the Republicans from packing the judiciary. Reid had scuttled the filibuster and Schumer, as minority leader, lacked the instincts to restrain his own side into being reasonable about Gorsuch. They could have let Gorsuch take Scalia’s seat and made a credible argument to moderate Republicans that it was proof of their reasonableness. Nope. Schumer could not hold them back and Mitch McConnell finished off what Harry Reid started — a completed end to the judicial filibuster.
Reid had the audacity to claim the filibuster was only ended for other judicial nominees. Ironically, Republicans had only started used the filibuster to stop Democrats after Reid organized a filibuster to stop Miguel Estrada from getting a vote. The filibuster of Estrada was the first time a filibuster had ended the nomination of Circuit Court nominee. Reid weaponized the filibuster and ultimately had to scrap it once the GOP turned his weapon on him. Schumer played clean up for Reid’s mess.
Then, after turning 70, Schumer finally got what he coveted with gollumesque zeal — Majority Leader of the Senate. Unfortunately, it was a tied Senate and he is only Majority Leader because Kamala Harris breaks ties.
Again, though, Schumer could not get his own members to show any restraint. The man who said Democrats lost the White House in 2016 because they did not have “a strong, bold economic message,” now gets to work with a Democratic White House that still lacks such a message. And Schumer? He’s got the Senate stuck on voting rights.
Now Schumer is up for re-election in 2022. He can’t be a Senate Majority Leader who manages like he has a tied Senate because he has upstart progressives like AOC nipping at him in New York. If he manages the Senate as he should, they would primary him and might just defeat him. So he has to manage the Senate like he is part of the Squad and it is about to cost him the Majority Leader position he coveted. He’ll lose his precious to the filthy hobbits of the GOP because he cannot manage the Senate responsibly and run for re-election.
Chuck Schumer literally has to force a vote on the filibuster that he knows he will lose in order to save face with progressives who will otherwise work to make sure he really loses.
He wanted the job. He got it. And now he’s on the verge of losing it because to keep it he’d have to manage it in a way that would cost him his seat. Damned if he does. Damned if he doesn’t.
I pity the man, but oh my gosh I find it all hilarious.