OPINION by T. KEITH GURNEE
Having been a Democrat for most of my life, I can’t believe what the Democrats did to themselves last week. In orchestrating a deliberate shutdown of our federal government, Senate Minority Leader Chuck “Shutdown“ Schumer irrevocably harmed the Democratic agenda and, in turn, his own party.
Schumer not only shot himself in the foot, he shot himself in the head. That the majority of his party ran with him in lockstep like lemmings jumping off the cliff was mind-boggling.
Thankfully, he concluded that his unnecessary exercise of brinksmanship over DACA while leaving 9 million children without health insurance was felony stupid. Realizing that his actions were actually harming DACA and preventing the Senate from reaching agreement on a long-needed, coherent policy of immigration reform, he finally came to his senses and voted along with 32 fellow members of his party to reopen the government for barely three weeks. Yet the fact that 18 Democratic senators voted to keep the government closed shows there are many who remain flat tone deaf.
In this “Schumer shutdown”, Schumer simply whiffed the ball and it remains to be seen whether he will have another relapse in the next few weeks. By choosing confrontation over compromise, a “photo opportunity” over accomplishment, and chaos over leadership, he has become an embarrassment to his party and his country.
Perhaps it’s time that “Shutdown” Schumer step aside as Senate Minority Leader and let a more rational member of his party like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin take over that position. Who knows? Perhaps then, would it be too much to believe that we can resolve the immigration issue and allow peace to finally break out within our national governance?
Let’s see what the next three weeks can bring. Time will tell.
The Republicans have precious little time to deliver, but deliver they must. But I won’t be holding my breath that Schumer will be a reasonable contributor to the solution.