Schumer pumped that Lincoln beat unions

Okay. This is getting out-of-control. On Tuesday night, an anonymous “senior White House official” took a nasty swipe at labor.

Via Dana Milbank, here’s Chuck Schumer’s quote in response to Blanche Lincoln’s win:

Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) held up two fists and said of her primary campaign: “Fighting Wall Street with one hand, unions with the other.”

Really, Chuck Schumer?

So, we get that the Democratic Senators take great glee in Lincoln’s win. They’re a clubby bunch, those Senators. Royalty-like. I get that. But, piling on against the unions? That seems counter-productive in the short and long run. The clucking of Democratic leaders seems to belie a disdain for their base.

As Chair of the DSCC in 2006 and 2008, Chuck Schumer should know better than anyone just how much labor has done to elect Democrats. Sure, Democrats love sidling up to hedge fund managers who bundle lots of money for them. But, it’s the unions that knock on doors, make phone calls and, oh yeah, spend massive amounts on independent expenditures.

Now, of course, corporate-sponsored Third Way, which is always undermining the progressive agenda, piled on, too:

Matt Bennett, vice president of the Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank, called labor’s move “a strategic error” and waste of money that might have had real impact in November. “It’s difficult to send a message when you lose,” Mr. Bennett said. “They’re kidding themselves if they think otherwise.”

That’s BS. Members of Congress hate primaries. Hate them. Even if they win, they hate them. Labor and progressives almost beat Lincoln in a state that’s not friendly to labor and progressives. Imagine what they can do elsewhere.

The National Rifle Association wouldn’t think twice about challenging an incumbent who veers away from its agenda. Members of Congress know that — and it keeps them in line. The NRA doesn’t always win, but they make their point. But, leading Democrats have a problem when unions challenge Democrats who have bad labor voting records. Ridiculous. And, I can’t imagine any GOPer holding up two fists, cheering the defeat of the NRA like Schumer did with unions.

It looks like the unions are just another constituency that the Democrats take for granted.

One last thing: Right now, the Senate is debating Senator Murkowski’s resolution to gut EPA’s power. The President has threatened a veto. But guess who is a cosponsor of Murkowski’s resolution. Yep. Blanche Lincoln.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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