Thursday, November 17, 2016

Is Chuck Schumer The Right Choice For Minority Leader ?

Democrats in the House picked up a few seats on November 8th, but they are still substantially outnumbered in that body. There is little they can do to stop the Republican agenda -- no matter how horrendous it becomes.

The only hope Democrats have to rein in the excesses of the Republican Congress lies in the Senate, where Democrats have enough members to effectively use the filibuster to kill the worst Republican efforts. But doing so will require tough and dedicated leadership.

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats chose Chuck Schomer of New York to be their Minority Leader in the new Congress.

I have questioned Schumer's leadership in the past, and I still have serious doubts that he is the right man for the job. On the plus side, he is fairly progressive on most issues. On the negative side, he can be a die-hard right-winger when it comes to Israel. I remember his abandoning of President Obama and the Democratic Party on the Iran Treaty. He faltered when his party and president needed him.

I don't know why Schumer abandoned his party to side with Republicans on that issue. I suspect he simply lacked the political courage to stand up for peace and party principles, and that bothers me. With the Senate as our only hope to rein in Republican excesses, we need a tough and strong Minority Leader that will stand with his party and show leadership. Can Schumer be counted on when the going gets tough (as it surely will)?

I have my doubts, but I hope I'm wrong because we need him to be a real leader.

(NOTE -- The photo above of Senator Schumer is from

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