Friday, August 7, 2015

Schumer is hurting Democrats by opposing the Iran deal

It came out last night that soon-to-be Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer will oppose the multi-country Iran deal brokered by the U.S., which limits nuclear weapon production in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. Setting aside the content of the deal, I think Schumer is seriously misjudging the benefits of Democrats passing a bunch of policy for its own sake, whatever the merits.

It might be cynical, but in this political moment, volume of accomplishment is king. Hillary Clinton's chances of succeeding Obama in the presidency hinge on Obama's popularity and legacy - the best way to boost these values is to be legislatively prolific and combat the widespread perception of government impotence. Schumer's chances of capturing far greater power with a Democratic takeover of the Senate is directly related to the party's electoral situation at the presidential level.

Schumer's strategists certainly understand this, and probably he's thrown political calculation to the wind and decided to go with his hardcore Israel-uber-alles values. Which is fine, really, but it probably means the Democratic machine should quickly identify and aggressively support a challenge to his Senate leadership claim. Amy Klobuchar anyone?

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