The world has been in such a perpetual state of roiling unpleasantness for so much of this year that it is difficult to remember the last time Chuck Schumer (D-Selfie) said anything annoying. Now that he has resurfaced, he’s…agreeing with Republicans?
Well, sort of.
“Unfortunately, Democrats lost the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem — health care reform,” the No. 3 Democratic senator, a leader on messaging and policy, told reporters in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.
Schumer even got a little backup from the brightest progressive star the Democrats have right now, Elizabeth Warren:
“Sen. Warren agrees with Sen. Schumer that there was an urgent need in 2009 and 2010 to help middle class families who were struggling to get by and that more should have been done,” said Lacey Rose, a Warren spokeswoman.
To be sure, Warren’s misgivings about the PPACA have as much to do with the fact that it isn’t a single-payer solution as with the timing.
While Schumer may think he’s only expressing frustration with the timing of the passage of the law, his (and Warren’s) words regarding the middle class are illuminating, even if they don’t get it themselves.
Bear in mind that these comments about timing will probably be the closest things to epiphanies that any Democrats have in the near future regarding this past election. After the Republicans got annihilated in 2012, they looked inward for what went wrong and made new plans. A lot of it was garbage but, hey, “A” for effort, right?
But progressives and liberals aren’t really given to introspection. When you adhere to a political philosophy that can’t exist without a chorus of scary bogeymen on whom to blame personal shortcomings, the inward gaze is a bit nonfunctional. It will never occur to them that the American people just rejected their policies because, well, mainly because few things occur to them.
“It wasn’t the right time,” is just a repackaging of “Communism hasn’t been done right yet, that’s why it keeps failing.” With leftists, it’s always a flaw in the implementation, not the philosophy and, bless their hearts, they place no cap on how many times something can fail before they abandon it.
Two things in Schumer’s comments are really worth noting.
The first is that it appears that Democrats up for reelection may not be done running from Obamacare yet. It was, of course, a huge liability this year but no one expected a 2016 Senate candidate to toss it under the bus before we got to Thanksgiving, especially one from a blue state.
The second notable thing is Schumer’s admission that Obamacare didn’t do the middle class any favors, even if he isn’t aware that’s what he actually said. It’s not just that the economic needs of the middle class were ignored by expending all of the political capital on getting the PPACA passed, it’s that the law exacerbated the problem by putting an undue burden on them.
The Democrats are absolutely nothing without the middle class to cow into submission at election time with class warfare rhetoric. When they talk about Republicans “cutting” Medicare (an effective ploy for over two decades that’s never been true) or robbing Social Security, they aren’t appealing to poor voters, they’re trying to scare the middle class into voting fleeing from the wicked Republicans into the arms of the Democrats who they promise will always be looking out for them.
What Senator Schumer basically said during his speech is that the Democrats deliberately ignored the middle class during its most trying financial time since the Depression. When you add to that the fact that the law’s burden on the middle class became apparent even to some of its media champions soon after the law was implemented, one could make the case that the Democrats’ regard for them isn’t in sync with the rhetoric. Throw Jonathan Gruber’s comments into the mix and a lack of regard suddenly seems like utter contempt.
When President Obama continually delayed various portions of the PPACA until after he was reelected, Democrats in Washington went along with the myopic strategy, never considering how it would play out for them. They found out this year that all of the cover they gave the president left them horribly exposed. As premiums continue to rise and the PR for the law becomes less and less believable to average, non-political Americans it will be even more difficult for those remaining legislators who voted for it to continue fleeing it.
Now that two members of Democratic leadership have essentially said they sold out the middle class to get this monstrosity in place, the Republicans are presented an opportunity to kneecap the inevitable class warfare rhetoric that arises during a presidential election year.
“Not only did they ignore you when you were bleeding, they came back later with a bigger knife and cut you again.”
The timing of this law didn’t make it a burden on the middle class, the size and scope did. It created a bloated new bureaucracy that’s so unwieldy it had to give new powers to the IRS make it work.
Senator Schumer’s comments came during a speech where he was imploring Democrats to embrace big government solutions, not run from them.
Perhaps he shouldn’t have begun by highlighting just how awful their last attempt at a big government solution is.