Say, have you noticed how often Chuck Schumer has been nuzzling up to Lindsey “Huckleberry” Graham lately?

There’s their plan on immigration reform which, among other things, calls for a national biometric ID card.

And there’s a bill to pressure China on currency manipulation.

I raise this for two reasons. First, Huck’s efforts to institutionalize indefinite detention thus far lack a real legislative champion. At the same time, Chuck’s flip-flop on 9/11 trials in NYC was one of the key reasons that plan failed. So I worry that Chuck will be the guy who gives Huck’s Constitution shredding a liberal face (and why not, if you’re already instituting national ID cards).

Of course, this is all happening against the background of a potential Majority Leader fight next year if Harry Reid loses his re-election bid. Chuck seems to be prepping a run on bipartisan effectiveness. With an eye at least partially on the Majority Leader run, after all, Chuck negotiated a deal with Orrin Hatch that ended up being the only jobs bill passed this year (though of course it won’t really do squat for jobs because it is far too small, and it may well endanger social security in the long run.

I have long thought Chuck would make a badly flawed (because Wall Street owns him, and because his moral compass blows with the wind) but effective (because a significant proportion of Senators owe their seat to him, and because he has the ability to throw big fundraising dollars to Senators) Majority Leader. Moreover, no matter whether I like it or not, I do think he’s the most likely person to replace Reid, if it comes to that.

Which is why I think it all the more important to start cataloging the way that Chuck’s efforts to rack up a quick record of bipartisan success compromise on bedrock Democratic principles.

You know … things like the Constitution.



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.