Chuck Schumer is in the administration’s crosshairs for breaking with the president over the Iran deal. So why did the long time Democrat stalwart and the heir to Harry Reid’s leadership seat jump ship over the nuclear deal?
Literally, as the 2016 Republican candidates arrived on the debate stage on August 6, news broke that the presumptive successor to Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) leadership position in the Senate–Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)–would be voting against the nuclear deal with Iran. In a lengthy statement posted on Medium, the New York Democrat voiced his concerns over the weaknesses in the accountability measures of the deal and the political nature of the country, noting that it’s dubious that hope and change will come to Iran any time soon. He noted that such sentiments for moderation have been present for over three decades and the only thing that’s happened is that the hardline elements in the country have further tightened their grip on power.
In the House, fellow Democratic Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), the highest-ranking Jewish Democrat in that chamber, voiced his opposition to the deal. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) also announced last Friday he would vote against the deal, and urged that we renegotiate the terms once Obama leaves office. So far, the Democrats are divided, and Obama’s speech at American University on August 5 has predictably done nothing to assuage any fears his side of the aisle has on this agreement.
Nevertheless, Sen. Schumer is catching heat for his planned “no” vote, with far-left organizations, like Moveon.org and CREDO Action, saying he’s “unfit” to lead the Democrats in the Senate, and that they should find “a new leader” (via the Hill):
The liberal activist group MoveOn is assailing Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for his decision, announced late Thursday night, to oppose the nuclear deal with Iran.
“Our country doesn’t need another Joe Lieberman in the Senate, and it certainly doesn’t need him as Democratic leader,” MoveOn political action executive director Ilya Sheyman said in a statement about Schumer, who is next to line to be the Senate’s top Democrat.
“No real Democratic leader does this,” he added. “If this is what counts as ‘leadership’ among Democrats in the Senate, Senate Democrats should be prepared to find a new leader or few followers.”
“In response to Senator Schumer’s decision to side with partisan war hawks, MoveOn.org’s 8 million members are immediately launching a Democratic Party donor strike,” Sheyman declared.
As part of that strike, MoveOn is urging its members to withhold campaign contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Sheyman said. Within 72 hours after Schumer’s Thursday evening announcement, the liberal group is hoping to withhold $10 million in campaign contributions.
Schumer said he will vote to override the expected presidential veto, and it seems unlikely that Republicans will muster enough votes to override.
However, isn’t it funny that whenever someone votes against their party, they’re treated like a pariah by their own party, but a hero by the opposition party? Americans often claim they want leaders who will vote their conscience like Schumer, but when they do, they’re ready to tar and feather them. Both parties are routinely guilty of this.