The Obama administration and the left are attacking Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for opposing the Iran deal.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest suggested that Schumer lose his bid to lead Democrats in the Senate after 2016. Former Obama White House staffers said that he was unfit to lead the Senate. The Daily Kos called him a traitor, and MoveOn.org accused him of being a warmonger.
The sheer vitriol–some of which has been “bigotry, pure and simple“–shows the price Schumer is paying, and is meant to be a signal to undecided Democrats.
Schumer deserves little personal sympathy. He participated eagerly in smearing the Tea Party as “extreme”–“That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week,” he said on a conference call in 2011, when he thought journalists were not listening. He also urged the Obama administration to use the IRS to target conservative groups. Now that he is on the receiving end of the Alinsky treatment (“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”) he is getting a taste of his own medicine–realizing, too late, how corrosive that behavior is.
But if you want to know why Schumer is not going to budge, consider that a massive coalition of left-wing groups, acting on President Barack Obama’s orders to mobilize support for the deal, only managed to bring four Iran deal supporters to a town hall meeting in Brooklyn on Wednesday night with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), while hundreds of people showed up to oppose the deal.
Consider, too, a new poll of New York City voters that shows that a plurality opposes the deal (as do other Americans). Is Schumer expected to defy their wishes?
There is a strong case for cynicism about Schumer’s decision to oppose the Iran deal, which took too long and is entirely too timid. He is reportedly reassuring other Democrats that he will not whip votes against the deal, and many speculate that he only made his opposition public when the White House was sure it had enough votes to override a congressional veto.
All of that may be true, but Schumer’s own essay on the Iran deal is a potent weapon against Obama’s arguments.
Obama’s army is in retreat. Forget Schumer himself (for now). Fight.