Shame on Schumer
Chuck Schumer sees himself as a guardian of Jewish interests in the Senate, but the New York Sun is castigating him for his lack of leadership
on the Hagel nomination.
Crumpling is a pattern with Mr. Schumer. We remember watching him in
the mid-1990s, when he was in the House and the issue of Jerusalem came
to a head. There came a moment when the Congress was going to mark the
point by insisting that the American embassy in Israel, situated at Tel
Aviv, be moved to Israel’s capital city. It was a favorite issue of
Senator Moynihan, who once visited the offices of the Jewish Forward
newspaper voicing indignation over a State Department telephone
directory that had a listing for Jerusalem as not being in Israel.
The Democrats were being put on the spot by the Republicans, who had
swept to power in both houses of Congress and were, at the prodding of
Senator Dole, agitating to make an issue of Jerusalem. Mr. Schumer was
among those boasting that the Democrats and the Clinton administration
were finally going to fix the situation. At the 11th hour, however, the
Democrats watered down the Jerusalem Embassy Act, proposing an escape
hatch in the form of a waiver by which the president could evade the
requirement to move the embassy.
It was, as we recall it, Dianne Feinstein who first advanced this
dodge, which was promptly used by President Clinton. Senator Schumer
stood silent. It wasn’t a party problem. President George W. Bush and
President Obama also used the waiver, and Mr. Schumer stood silent then,
too. The result is that although the act of 1995 set a goal of moving
the embassy by 1999, we are coming up on a generation since the law was
passed and the embassy hasn’t been moved. What reason is there to think
that Mr. Schumer might have gone to the mat this time?
Mr. Schumer started cheering on the Republican opposition when Mr.
Hagel was first advanced as a potential defense nominee. The minute we
heard of Mr. Schumer’s bravado, we made a bet that he would reverse
himself. It’s not a bet on which we got rich, and we’d have rather lost
it. The fact, in any event, is that Mr. Schumer has been put to shame on
his own boast by such stronger senators as Lindsey Graham and James
Inhofe. New York’s senior senator could regain his reputation in a fell
swoop were he to stand up on what he knows in his heart to be a tragic
error by Mr. Obama. It’s unlikely, though we’d be happy to be proven
Indeed. I have more hope that New York's Junior Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, will try to distinguish herself on an issue her voters care about by standing up to President Obama, than I have that Schumer might do the same. Keep that in mind, New Yorkers, when you go to the polls in 2016.
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Charles Schumer, Chuck Hagel, Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senate