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    Chuck Schumer Tag

    Democrats are doing everything they can to obstruct the confirmation of Trump's team. It's not doing much good considering the fact that Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions have been confirmed in the last few days. Their strategy is simple. If they can't stop Trump's nominees, they'll just try to damage them as much as possible. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer had a different attitude about this a few years ago, however. Philip Wegmann reports at the Washington Examiner:
    Did Chuck Schumer think we'd just forget about 2013? Thanks to Google, there's no such thing as the memory hole. Just about everything is neatly archived on the Internet forever, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's hypocritical political record on presidential nominees.

    We have covered many times how Democrats laid the foundation for Republicans to use the Nuclear Option for a Trump Supreme Court nominee. That Nuclear Option would construe Senate Rules to only require 51 votes for cloture, effectively eliminating the filibuster, the 60-vote requirement to close debate. The foundation was laid in 2013, when Democrats, who then controlled the Senate and presidency, used the Nuclear Option to eliminate the filibuster for almost all Obama nominees. Harry Reid was gloating about going nuclear. Republicans warned that Democrats would regret the day.

    As discussed many times recently, Democrats have a yuge problem stopping Trump from naming just about anyone he wants to the Supreme Court, Will Republicans press SCOTUS Nuclear Option button? In 2013, Democrats pulled the Nuclear Option, eliminating filibusters on all judicial nominees short of the Supreme Court. That was an imaginary line in the sand Democrats thought they could rely on to defend themselves in the future as to Republican nominees to the Supreme Court. Though Republican's sometimes threatened to go nuclear, only Harry Reid and the Democrats did it. Republicans warned Democrats that they would come to regret it, maybe sooner than Democrats expected:

    The lesson Democrats are learning from the evisceration of the Democratic Party at the state level, the continuing loss of control of Congress, and the defeat in the presidential election is not that Democrats need to move back to the center. No, it's that Democrats need to move not just further to the left, but to the fringe left. Several top Democrats, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer, are backing Keith Ellison, Democratic Congressman from Minnesota, as the next DNC Chair. Daily Kos reports:

    The Free Beacon broke a story today about how The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is holding a forum on Capitol Hill supporting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, Congress to Host First-Ever Forum in Favor of Boycotting Israel:
    Congress is scheduled to host what insiders described as the first-ever forum in favor of boycotting Israel, according to congressional sources and an invitation for the event being circulated by an anti-Israel organization. The briefing is scheduled to take place Friday on Capitol Hill and will feature several speakers known for their criticism of Israel and support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which has been cited by Jewish organizations as an anti-Semitic movement. The event is being sponsored by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a pro-BDS organization that recently came under fire when it hosted a Democratic member of Congress who referred to Israeli settlers as “termites.” Senior congressional sources with knowledge of the event told the Washington Free Beacon that the Capitol Hill office in charge of reserving the event room would not disclose the name of the lawmaker sponsoring the event.

    Singling Out Jews in Yellow

    Shortly before the Senate vote on the nuclear deal with Iran was supposed to take place (but was filibustered by Democratic supporters of the deal), The New York Times *helpfully* provided a list letting everyone know which Jewish lawmakers were against the deal, with the names highlighted in yellow.

    New york times congressional jew tracker iran deal senate

    The New York Times, after the expected (and deserved) outrage, removed the "Religion" column from the list but acknowledged no wrongdoing, "[under] Times standards, the religion or ethnicity of someone in the news can be noted if that fact is relevant and the relevance is clear to readers." Nonetheless due to readers' outrage, it adjusted the list.

    Back in 2007, Chuck Schumer stated plainly that Democrats should block all U.S. Supreme Court judges nominated by then president George W. Bush. There is no other way to interpret his words: Having been confronted with this irrefutable evidence that Democrats played partisan politics on this very issue, Schumer has responded by claiming that was totally different. Sam Reisman of Mediaite:

    Well, that didn't last long. Chuck Schumer's breakaway from the Democratic Party and obedience to Obama, by coming out against the Iran nuke deal, lasted about as long as the inmates who escaped from Dannemora prison in upstate NY in June. John McCormack at The Weekly Standard reports, Schumer Praises Obama on Iran, Hits Republicans as Hostage-Takers:
    Senator Chuck Schumer of New York is the highest-ranking Democrat to oppose President Obama's executive agreement with Iran over the Islamic republic's nuclear program. But during the Senate Democratic leadership's final press conference prior to a vote on the deal, Schumer didn't say anything about it. Instead, he chose to attack Republicans. "Everywhere Republican leaders look this fall, there's potential disaster lurking thanks to their hard right members determined to hold the government hostage unless they get everything they want," Schumer said on Wednesday, referring to budget negotiations.

    Both Rep. Donald Norcross (D - N.J.) and Rep. Brendan Boyle (D - Pa.) have announced that they will stand on principle and oppose the nuclear deal with Iran (a/k/a, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.) I know almost nothing about either of these legislators, but I have tremendous respect for them. They are both freshmen and yet they have both announced that they will stand against their party's leader, President Barack Obama, even though the President has made it clear that the JCPOA is a priority. I have little doubt that both men understand the risk; the administration has made it clear that it will not tolerate apostasy. I give a lot of credit to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D - N.Y.) too, because he may have jeopardized his chances of a spot in the leadership by announcing his opposition to the JCPOA. The New York Daily News reported:
    Josh Earnest, President Obama’s spokesman, ripped Schumer Friday after the senior New York senator broke with the President over the nuclear deal with Iran. Earnest all but encouraged Senate Democrats to consider Schumer's opposition to the pact when they vote next year to elect a new Democratic leader.

    If the overheated rhetoric and denunciations of the opponents of the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal weren’t over the top before Chuck Schumer announced his position, they certainly have reached that point now. William Jacobson and Kemberlee Kaye have catalogued some of the more appalling responses here and here. Two of the worst accusations that are being made against Senator Schumer, as well as other members of Congress that have openly opposed the deal, are first, that they are acting against American interests, and second, that they do so at the behest of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and AIPAC. Those who call Schumer “Netanyahu’s marionette” appear oblivious to the Senator’s deliberative, thoughtful, and well-reasoned statement, which rebuts the President’s arguments point by point. They similarly ignore the fact that, as the New York Times reports, Schumer met with the President, with Wendy Sherman and John Kerry, and in addition to those meetings, had “three hourlong meetings with members of the negotiating team during which he received answers to 14 pages’ worth of questions on the agreement.” The charge that Senator Schumer did anything other than exercise his own independent judgment is scurrilous. Clearly, what is really unacceptable to his attackers is the fact that Schumer failed to blindly follow the party line. All of which has left me wondering, when did it become anti-American to exercise independent judgment?

    Monday, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer reiterated his opposition to the Obama administration's nuclear deal. "First let me say this, this was one of the most difficult decisions that I had to make. I studied long and hard, read the agreement a whole bunch of times, had many, many, many meetings and interviews people on both sides including three classified briefings where can ask questions that are not in the confines of the document but very relevant to making a decision." "I have found when it's such a difficult decision as this has been, you gotta study it carefully, come up with a conclusion, not let pressure, party, or politics influence your decision, and then do the right thing. Well that's what I've done."

    The approach of the President Barack Obama and his administration to the nuclear deal with Iran has been one of knocking down straw men and vilifying opponents of the deal as beholden to lobbyists, following mindless partisanship, and working against America's national security. These are "dog whistle" remarks, which have brought out a rather nasty response Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D - N.Y.) decision last week to oppose the deal. The administration's nastiness even earned condemnation from Tablet Magazine:
    This use of anti-Jewish incitement as a political tool is a sickening new development in American political discourse, and we have heard too much of it lately—some coming, ominously, from our own White House and its representatives. Let’s not mince words: Murmuring about “money” and “lobbying” and “foreign interests” who seek to drag America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card. It’s the kind of dark, nasty stuff we might expect to hear at a white power rally, not from the President of the United States—and it’s gotten so blatant that even many of us who are generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal, have been shaken by it.
    But I think it's a mistake to think that Obama's strategy is counterproductive because it won't build support for the deal.

    Ever since the White House leaked Thursday night that Sen. Chuck Schumer would be coming out against the Iran deal, the progressive movement has foamed at the mouth with vitriol directed Schumer's way. Much of it is just the plain old progressive vitriol of the MoveOn.org, Daily Kos and netroots types. Schumer is a warmonger, wants war, loves war, and so on. https://twitter.com/tparsi/status/630051055687090176 Obama set up that argument when he claimed that Republicans were making common cause with hardline Iranians -- even though Obama clinched the deal with hardline Iranians who are laughing all the way to the bank and an internationally-authorized nuclear enrichment program. Obama set up the disloyalty argument, and it's no surprise that it's being used against Democrats who don't support the deal, particularly Jewish Democrats like Schumer. That dual loyalty charge -- often expressed in terms of being an "Israel firster" -- is an old anti-Semitic line of attack, as we explored in detail in a prior post, GreenStar boycott group trainer hurls “Israel-firster” slur at Schumer. The dual loyalty charge is almost exclusively made against Jewish supporters of Israel. You rarely hear it used against American Christians who support Israel. As The Tablet magazine reports, given the various dog whistles put out by the Obama administration, it's no wonder these type of accusations are resurfacing.

    The Huffington Post is reporting that Chuck Schumer will come out against the Iran Nuke Deal:
    New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the chamber's third-ranking Democrat, plans to announce his opposition to the nuclear deal negotiated by the U.S., Iran, and five world powers tomorrow, three people familiar with his thinking tell The Huffington Post. Schumer's move will come a day after New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Schumer's fellow New York senator, Kirstin Gillibrand, announced their support for the deal. That momentum is blunted by Schumer's pending announcement. Backers of the deal had hoped that if Schumer decided to oppose the deal, he would hold off until the last minute.
    (added) Schumer made the announcement Thursday night, as reported by CNN:
    New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, an influential Jewish Democrat who's poised to assume leadership of his party in the Senate, will oppose President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, he announced on Thursday evening.

    Senator Charles ("Chuck") Schumer of New York faces a particularly tough choice: back Obama's Iran deal and anger many of his New York Jewish constituents, or oppose the deal and anger Obama and much of the Democratic Party leadership. My prediction: Schumer will cave to Obama and cling to his own long-nourished hopes of one day succeeding Harry Reid. Or he will take the weaselly option mentioned here, voting to override Obama's veto of a Congressional bill to continue sanctions but being careful to not bring along enough people with him to make an override stick. Schumer, as the probable heir apparent to Reid's position, seems to have quite a bit of influence over his fellow Democratic senators who are likewise hesitating, and therefore his vote is considered a sort of bellweather or linchpin. As for the vote itself, here's a good discussion of the "is the Iran deal a treaty or not?" question, from back in March:
    There is no currently no suit on the issue [of its being a treaty] being discussed on Capitol Hill, and it's far from clear that Republicans would be standing on firm legal ground with such a challenge. The debate, rumbling for decades, has yet to be definitively resolved in case law.

    Chuck Schumer (D-NY) might just be the worst Democratic Policy and Communications Center head of all time. Or, the best, depending on how invested you are to Congressional Dems' current messaging strategy. Yesterday, Schumer stood up at the National Press Club and unequivocally threw President Obama and his coalition under the bus for pressing forward with health care reform at the expense of more "middle class"-oriented programs. Fusion has his remarks:
    The “mandate” voters had provided Democrats with their 2008 victories, Schumer said, was put on the wrong problem. “After passing the stimulus, Democrats should have continued to propose middle class-oriented programs and built on the partial success of the stimulus, but unfortunately Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem – health care reform,” Schumer said. “The plight of uninsured Americans and the hardships caused by unfair insurance company practices certainly needed to be addressed,” he added. “But it wasn’t the change we were hired to make. Americans were crying out for an end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs — not for changes in their health care.”
    Sure, Schumer was one of Obamacare's biggest cheerleaders, but that was then and this is now, people!
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