There's a lot wrong with Chuck Schumer and he's bound to go down as one of the worst Senate majority leaders in history-- and not just in the book of Howie Klein. We both went to James Madison High School in Brooklyn at the same time. He comes from a long line of Ukrainian exterminators and Chuck was the smartest guy in the his class, although more a sly hard worker-- he worked for Stanley Kaplan, who got everyone ready for the SATs and no one was readier than Schumer, who got a perfect score, which got him into Harvard-- than an actual intellectual. Today he's the very embodiment of what's wrong with the Democratic Party and what has turned much of the working class away from the party.
The beef I usually write about has to do with fatal flaw that stems from the mid-1970s when Schumer, a state Assemblyman, was a putative-- not very committed or ideological-- progressive. He's sometimes credited with having been a Eugene McCarthy supporter but he wasn't really; he only went to a campaign event in New Hampshire for the Bernie Sanders of his day because he was friendless and lonely and someone invited him to come along. The ultimate ambitious careerist, Schumer has never been motivated by social or political values. He's always and exclusively been motivated by power and his own career trajectory.
Once, early in his career he took a minor, quasi-populist stand against Wall Street. He was slapped down so hard and so fast that he never made that "mistake" again and in 2009 famously said, in laughable understatement, that "When Wall Street comes in conflict with other entities-- large entities, overseas or elsewhere-- I try to help New York, at least when I think they’re right." He is well-known as "the senator from Wall Street." In 1998, when he was first running for the Senate, the Washington Post noted that "Wall Street money people have joked that they give campaign contributions to Schumer simply to stop him from hounding them." That has proven to be a very successful investment over time.
The problem I usually write about in regard to Schumer is that he looks, in his arrogant way, for candidates to run for Senate seats who are like him: non-ideological money-grubbers-- more often than not right-of-center-- who are wary of, if not disgusted by, Democratic Party values and principles. A career-long "centrist," motivated by fear of being defeated in a primary the way Joe Crowley and Eliot Engel were, he has begun to sometimes pretend to be progressive. He isn't. Most of his shit candidates lose and when they win, we wind up with Republican-lite monstrosities like Kyrsten Sinema, Jackie Rosen, Frackenlooper and Mark Kelly. His insistence on serially subverting progressives in Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Iowa, backing conservative Democrats and status quo establishment nothings like, respectively, Patrick Murphy, Sara Gideon, Katie McGinty, Amy McGrath, Cal Cunningham, Barbara Bollier, Theresa Greenfield have handed the Republicans a string of unmerited victories. Worse, he's doing the exact same thing again-- and in many of the same states where he failed so disastrously before, especially Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania as well as Wisconsin and Missouri. [Help defeat Schumer's conservative primary picks by supporting the progressive candidates you'll find by clicking on the 2022 Senate thermometer above.]
But... this isn't an anti-Schumer post about any of that. It's an anti-Schumer post about the insightful Rachel Maddow clip from last night up top. Why is Schumer wasting weeks and weeks of precious Senate time, helping McConnell run out the clock on progressive agenda items-- none of which have passed the Senate-- nor is likely to as long as Schumer is leader. Even if he can't move any legislation-- he has no skills to do so-- he could get all of Biden's judicial nominees confirmed, instead of the pathetic trickle he's getting done. The Democrats, Maddow pointed out, need someone more like McConnell in this regard, who drastically shortened summer breaks so that Trump's nominees could pass. Schumer may have been the high school valedictorian but he doesn't seem to understand why that's absolutely crucial.