Is Chuck Schumer the best of a bad bunch?
The new Senate Majority Leader might be the best of the worst, out of the trio of Biden, Pelosi, Schumer.
The Democratic establishment has no answers to the problems America faces, and are in no way a sufficient bulwark against Trumpism. But over the last few days, while examining what I’m hearing from President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, that Chuck Schumer is the most willing the push for anything whatsoever.
Sure, Schumer has a record of being in the pocket of Wall Street and caving to the GOP on countless policy areas as Minority Leader, but right now, we’re stuck with this god awful trio, and out of those three, he’s the only one I’ve heard saying he’s willing to push against an insurgent GOP, pass legislation, and learn the lessons of 2008–10.
This may all be just words, and I suspect it may turn out to be, but it’s welcome to see in an interview recently Schumer acknowledge the pitfalls of 2009 (something I’ve certainly not heard President Biden say, since he was intimately involved in those legislative catastrophes as Vice President), and speak of bipartisan legislation as a nice ideal, but not the end goal.
This may simply be because Schumer (and this is certainly a poor verdict of the US political class) is the only one there who wasn’t knee deep in those failings and that capitulation upon President Obama’s election with a trifecta of Democratic government control.
Pelosi was there, failing, Biden was there, handing the Republicans juicy rightwing priorities and shafting his own ticket’s voters. Schumer wasn’t at the top of the leadership chain in the Senate, so wasn’t complicit in that disaster to the same extent, which perhaps gives him a slightly different, one step removed perspective on it all.
Don’t get me wrong, Schumer is no ally of progressives, and is an establishment neoliberal Democrat through and through. His removal and replacement by someone like Elizabeth Warren (more realistic than Sanders for this role, thinking of the internal dynamics of the Senate) as Majority Leader should always be a priority, but out of this terrible trio, he might be the lesser of three evils.