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Schumer Congratulates Lincoln for “Fighting Unions” (Updated with Schumer’s Excuse)

Chuck Schumer by Zawezome on Flickr

It takes some gall for the Senator who literally represents Wall Street to not just congratulate Blanche Lincoln for “fighting Wall Street” with her sham derivatives bill, but to in the same breath congratulate her on “fighting unions.”

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.”

The aftermath of the Arkansas Senate race is really quite illuminating to see just who in the Democratic Party actually stands up for its core constituents. (Hint: not a one.)

UPDATE: Schumer tried to walk back his statement today, but it’s not helping. Greg Sargent:

That, naturally, pissed some people off, since it smacked of specifically cheering on Lincoln for defeating unions, as if they should be treated as just another garden variety opponent of Dems whenever they threaten a Dem incumbent. But Schumer spox Fallon says it was just a reference to this recent ad, in which she said:

“I won’t back down to the Washington unions or the Wall Street banks that don’t care about Arkansas.”

Seems fair enough. Still not crazy about the fist-pumping bit, though.

I disagree that it’s “fair enough.” First, I’m just skeptical Schumer would reference one of Lincoln’s ads to congratulate her. But let’s say he did: it’s completely inappropriate for Schumer, who is vying to be the next Senate Majority Leader should Reid lose reelection, and who led the DSCC for two cycles, to at all congratulate anyone for “fighting unions,” even if Blanche’s campaign made the reference in the first place.

This incident is indicative of the club-like nature of the Senate, and how its members prioritize saving their own above all else. It doesn’t matter if Lincoln said she was the one fighting Wall Street and unions in the first place. Chuck Schumer shouldn’t use that as an excuse to echo that message on the floor of the Senate.

P.S. Hey Chuck, what’s a “Washington union?”

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Michael Whitney

Michael Whitney

My name is Michael Whitney. I'm a progressive online organizer working with FDL Action. Rush Limbaugh called me "clueless" once. He went into rehab two days later.