Monday, July 24, 2017

Chuck Schumer Finally Gets the Memo


“When you lose to somebody who has 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that.” - Chuck Schumer


I'll be honest, I've given Schumer a lot of crap over the years. His decision to pander to his base and force Mitch McConnell to invoke the nuclear option over the Gorsuch nomination ranks as one of the dumbest moves of his political career. And just recently he "boldly" and "bravely" embraced a single-payer healthcare bill, saying Democrats were "too namby pamby" when they passed the Affordable Care Act.

Really, Chuck? I seem to recall you blasted then President Obama and the Democrats for spending too much time on healthcare reform in the first place. But that was way back in 2014, after the midterm elections gave the GOP the majority in the Senate. Now, after yet another shellacking - this one in the general - you have apparently changed your tune - AGAIN! Now you're firmly on board the Bernie bus.

But as predictable and shallow as Schumer can be at times, he does have his rare moments when reality and honesty converge and the obvious is given voice. So, for the record, let me just say to the senior senator from New York: Bravo, sir, well done. I couldn't have said it better myself. Actually, I have - several times. But then I'm not you; I'm just some schlep with a laptop with way too much time on his hands.

It may rub Hillary supporters the wrong way, but what Chuck Schumer said had to be said. In fact, it was long overdue. And as minority leader of the Senate, the responsibility fell to him to be the bearer of bad news.

For the umpteenth time, Democrats need to let go of last year's presidential election. Trump won. It disgusts me to admit it, but being disgusted isn't going to change the outcome; nor is dredging up irrelevant statistics like her popular vote margin, the majority of which came from a state that hasn't gone red since Reagan. Yes, Comey and Russia were factors, but we still don't know to what extent, and it is doubtful we ever will.

What we do know is this: Democrats got their butts handed to them in the Rust Belt region. Clinton may have lost Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin by a combined 82 thousand votes, but she lost Ohio by almost half a million. You can't chalk all that up to Comey and Vladimir Putin. The unwillingness of the Party to take a long, hard look in the mirror is what is most troubling here. Rather than own their shortcomings, many Democrats seem determined to double down on the same failed strategy that led to their butt whoopin'.

Give Schumer this much: his political instincts are firmly intact. A recent ABC News poll showing only 37 percent of voters believe that Democrats stand for something has gotten under his skin big time. He's already seen the Titanic sink; he's doing everything possible to keep the Lusitania from being torpedoed, even if it means incurring the wrath of millions of Hillary supporters.

And I, for one, applaud his courage, even if it is calculated. Democrats have never been this unpopular, or small in numbers. Forget gerrymandering for a minute. Regionally speaking, they are an isolated party with little appeal outside of the major urban areas. Subtract California and New York and Trump wins the popular vote hands down. If they really believe that dragging a few more African Americans and Hispanics to the polls will change their fortunes, they are seriously delusional.

Take a cold, hard look at Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. Then subtract the cities of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee, and what you have left is a giant sea of red with a few small blue islands sprinkled in. Face it, it wasn't the base that sank Clinton, it was the rest of the fucking country.

Chuck Schumer knows this, and I suspect a good percentage of the leadership of the Democratic Party knows it as well. Now the only thing they have to decide is what they are going to do about it. Schumer, for his part, has already laid down the gauntlet. It's up to the rest of us to pick it up and run with it.

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