Liberal Chuck Schumer Pushes Republican Civil War Meme

Liberal Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was on CNN with Candy Crowley on Monday when he efforted to push the liberal meme that the GOP stood on the precipice of a civil war.

I think that the differences between — among Democrats are small compared to the huge chasm of Republicans. On the fundamental issues that face us, the economic issues that we need to address to get the middle class moving again, to get middle-class incomes going again, there’s amazing unity on the Democratic side, from Elizabeth Warren, through Hillary Clinton, all the way to Joe Manchin and some of the more conservatives. 

You look like — on issues like minimum wage, and equal pay, and infrastructure construction, helping people pay for college, the Democratic Party is unified. And if we put together a strong economic message aimed at the middle class, not only will it unify our party, as the Republicans are truly divided, but we can actually, actually do really well in 2016.

Here’s the thing. He’s not necessarily wrong. However, he’s not necessarily right, either.

What I mean is that the GOP really does have some serious divides on foreign policy issues, but the libertarian wing of the party is so small that the divide isn’t really threatening the party. Where the GOP threats lie are with domestic economic and fiscal policy. See, the GOP generally voices agreement on these fiscal issues… but when it comes to actual votes, there is a disconnect. Conservative representatives are knocking heads with moderate Republicans and the fight is tough. But that isn’t “disagreement” – the moderates say that they agree.

On the Democrat side, Schumer is also right and wrong. Democrats generally show amazing unity on BIG votes (like Obamacare), but they talk like there is a huge gap in the things they believe. (Did anyone else see the advertisements during this last election season where all of those Democrats kept talking about how they were “Independents” who vote against President Obama and their own party?)

Either way, I think Schumer’s talk is overblown. The GOP is in a dominant position – not just at the National level, but even at the local level. At the local level they are dug in, and the GOP is a lock to be running the majority of local and state governments for at least the next 10-15 years… and that is an enormous advantage for the GOP Party nationally.

One last point – notice how Schumer paints Senator Ted Cruz (and his allies) as the bad guys in this drama? Isn’t it odd that both Democrats and the GOP establishment are anti-Cruz? Isn’t it odd that Schumer acts as though the Republican leaders are good, reasonable leaders… but Cruz and other conservatives are out of line? We need to watch out, folks – the Democrat leadership and the Republican leadership are really on the same team.

I’m just saying…

 

Partial Transcript:

 

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER: Well, I think it shows that Democrats will work together with Republicans when we get things — when they want to get things done in both cases.

CROWLEY: Some of them.

SCHUMER: Well, certainly enough to make the majority.

But I think the big news today was the fight, the open fight between Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz on the — there are huge differences in the Republican Party. On the floor of the Senate, we saw the soul of the Republican Party being debated.

Ted Cruz was in the well pushing his so-called constitutional point of order, which risks shutting down the government. Five feet away from him was Mitch McConnell imploring senators to vote the other way. And the vote, unfortunately, was about 50/50 on the Republican side.

And so that makes me worry a great deal, because if, after the terrible, terrible brickbats Republicans took when they shut down the government a few years ago, half the Republican senators are still willing to risk it again, despite the fact that their leader went against it, I’m worried about the next two years.

The chasm in the Republican Party is huge.

Chuck SchumerSCHUMER: And one more point. It’s going to get worse because, first, you have the presidential candidates in the Senate pulling things to the right. Second, when they’re in the majority, the Tea Party is going to feel its oats.

We want to work with the Republicans to help the middle class, but I’m worried the Tea Party is going to pull them much too far over.

CROWLEY: OK. Let me — I want to — since you — you brought up the schism in the Republican Party, I want to show you something that we have, and it’s about how the potential 2016 candidates voted on this bill.

Now, these are the candidates who voted no, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz and, from your side, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders.

So there was commonality among 2016 candidates. They didn’t like this bill. Isn’t that representative of the Democrats also having a problem with their…

SCHUMER: No.

CROWLEY: Well, you did — you do have the Warren wing.

SCHUMER: Yes. But…

CROWLEY: You did have her trying very hard. You had Nancy Pelosi on the House side.

SCHUMER: Yes, let me say this.

I think that the differences between — among Democrats are small compared to the huge chasm of Republicans. On the fundamental issues that face us, the economic issues that we need to address to get the middle class moving again, to get middle-class incomes going again, there’s amazing unity on the Democratic side, from Elizabeth Warren, through Hillary Clinton, all the way to Joe Manchin and some of the more conservatives.

You look like — on issues like minimum wage, and equal pay, and infrastructure construction, helping people pay for college, the Democratic Party is unified. And if we put together a strong economic message aimed at the middle class, not only will it unify our party, as the Republicans are truly divided, but we can actually, actually do really well in 2016.