The perfect example of how pervasive sexism is in politics is the contrast between Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi is an expert vote-counter, fundraiser and she knows the ins and outs of the weird rules of congress as good as anyone. While there are reasonable criticisms that one can make of her leadership, if you can make a case that Pelosi should lose her job in the House, then it’s an absolute certainty that Chuck Schumer should lose his job in the Senate—yet only Pelosi is fighting off challengers to her post. It is an objective fact—like gravity—that Pelosi is better at her job than Schumer is at his. I could write this headline every single day and still have it be true. Chuck Schumer is a disgrace to liberalism.
So why the anger today? Because in the wake of the largest victory EVER in a midterm election, the leader of the Senate Democrats is proposing that we capitulate to Republican priorities and the most unpopular president of most of our lifetimes. Again, Chuck Schumer is a disgrace.
Senator Sherrod Brown had the correct response when talking about passing this Republican legislative priority (that isn't very popular).
We don't need extra security at the border. We are already spending over $40 billion each year on border security, and the Department of Homeland Security requested a $3.5 billion increase on our current spending figure. Instead of doing the correct thing and telling a party that just lost an election by the margin of more than the population of New York City to go pound sand, Schumer is trying to meet them in the middle because he has the kind of brain disease which defined the Democratic Party the last generation, which awards more importance to some amorphous measure of “bipartisanship” than to serving liberal interests.
The idea that Americans want less immigration is a lie confined to the annals of right-wing media. In reality, decreasing immigration is immensely unpopular compared to the beginning of the 21st century.
Democrats—you know, the party that Schumer is supposed to represent—want more legal immigration.
Who the hell is Chuck Schumer serving by beefing up an already massive border security infrastructure? Certainly not Democrats. The implicit message behind Schumer's new spending proposal is that he wants less immigration (because anti-immigration policies are almost always rooted in a response to an amorphous and largely racist perceived threat, not specific immigration patterns).
Not to mention, the idea that we will build one contiguous wall stretching the entirety of the border is betrayed by the geography of our southern border. There are mountains and rivers in the way. What passes for “border security” is ostensibly the same thing as a wall in many of those areas. Schumer seems to think that meeting Trump “in the middle” on “border security” will quell Trump's desire to make good on his signature campaign promise. Has Schumer met the guy?
(at the very least, we know that Schumer took money from Trump many times over the years and as recently as 2010)
Instead of doing both the politically and morally right thing, Schumer again is acting like a de facto Trump supporter, like when he helped confirm a litany of unqualified judges to lifetime appointments via a unanimous voice vote. Politically, the correct thing to do is to say “President Trump campaigned on having Mexico pay for his wall and so that is our position. If Trump wants his wall, Mexico should pay for it, like he said. We will not approve any more funding for border security that we don't need when Democrats already invested $106 billion in it earlier this decade and unauthorized entries have been steadily declining for nearly two decades.”
Here's how depraved Schumer's position is: Fox News' Geraldo Rivera has expressed more liberal views on “border security” than Chuck Schumer has.
Chuck Schumer is not a liberal and he is not an effective legislator. He capitulates to Republicans every moment he gets a chance, so why is he leader of the Democrats? Why did Senate Democrats UNANIMOUSLY reelect him to represent them? He is such a transparently ineffective politician that part of me feels that all Senate Democrats running in 2020 are nonstarters because they voted this guy back into power, demonstrating a disqualifying lack of judgement. How can any sane person look at Chuck Schumer and say that this is the man who can stand up to Trump on behalf of the sixty million-plus people who voted for Democrats this cycle?
(the answer is that is how powerful a grip the economic interests which control the Democrats have over Schumer, and going against Schumer means going against the powerful financiers of the Democratic Party, who are so unhinged that many of them are blaming Kirsten Gillibrand for Al Franken’s sins)
Schumer is a stain on the Democratic Party. He is the walking embodiment of its fecklessness and its wrong turn towards conservatism this past generation. The fact that Senate Democrats reelected him without any opposition is enshrined in each and every one of their legacies, and they should all have to explain their vote to reelect him in detail if they want to run for president in 2020. If you stand with Schumer, you stand opposed to progress. Any sane party would have jettisoned him from leadership a long time ago, but we’re talking about the party who lost to Donald freaking Trump. Sanity isn’t always on the menu here.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.