Political Animal


September 08, 2011 1:45 PM Schumer: Some want the economy to fail

By Steve Benen

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” earlier today and was asked whether he believes there are some in Congress — party names weren’t mentioned — who would rather see President Obama defeated than seeing “something beneficial done for the country as a whole.” Schumer didn’t hesitate.

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“I think that is true,” he said. “I think that is absolutely true.”

Schumer added, “During the Iraq war, many of us came to be very much opposed to the Iraq war, but we still wanted America to win… You look at the analogy today, you get the feeling that there are some that want the economy to actually fail to prove their point. That’s a very bad thing.”

This did not, by the way, spark outrage from the hosts. Here was a leading senator suggesting there are some lawmakers who hate the president more than they love their country, and it seemed rather … routine. This is no longer a radical idea that causes immediate, reflexive pushback; it seems to be an idea that the mainstream considers, for lack of a better word, normal.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • Josef K on September 08, 2011 1:56 PM:

    "That’s a very bad thing.”

    That's the best the senior Senator from New York can do? He makes this sound like its no worse than jaywalking.

    Small wonder everyone hates Washington these days. Virtually every officeholder seems blind to how stressed the country and electorate is.

  • LL on September 08, 2011 2:00 PM:

    Well, you know, if the GOP ruins our economy and destroys the lives of untold millions of citizens because they want to be in charge, and they get away with it, that is, they win the White House and Congress, our corporate-owned MSM toadies will fawn all over them, because they WON. They got away with it. It's the same thing as honoring the bully who hurts people and gets away with it, because, secretly, we wish we could do the same.

    As a species we are too often a really wretched piece of work.

    We are increasingly a totally amoral people. This cannot be a good thing.

  • c u n d gulag on September 08, 2011 2:01 PM:

    Chuckles is my Senator, and he's an ass.

    But, more often than not, despite his Whoreporatist leanings, he's usually on the right side of the issue.

    This should be said by every, EVERY, Democrat, and made a big deal of.
    Shit, how often was everyone who didn't agree with Little Boots Bush called teasonous, or a traitor? AND WE WERE RIGHT!

    These people truly ARE treasonous and traiterous!

    Party over country!

  • Anonymous on September 08, 2011 2:04 PM:

    This includes rehashed old quotes, sorry.

    Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) clearly stated that his first priority would be the defeat of President Obama in 2012. Not jobs ... not the economny ... not our veterans ... not counter-terrorism ... not the stablity of the country.

    And the childishly obstructionist actions in the GOP-dominated House adhere to the framework proposed by Grover Norquist. ‘We will make it so that a Democrat cannot govern as a Democrat.‘ See “How Grover Norquist hypnotized the GOP“ (Washington Post, June 30, 2011)

    Senator Schumer and others have been candidly asserting the sabotage theory for quite some time. Why would anyone be inclined to think otherwise?

  • Josef K on September 08, 2011 2:09 PM:

    Okay, perhaps I'm being unfair to Senator Schumer. These are, after all, his colleagues and the Senate has historically functioned with an air of genial clubbiness (for lack of a better term). I suspect its as hard for him as the rest of us to accept the Republicans have gone completely over the edge.

    If that is the case, then my original criticism remains valid. This isn't "a very bad thing"; this is outright sedition and should be called as such. Why the Democrats refuse to do so - the media's own reluctance to air the truth aside - frustrates and infuriates me no end. Schumer's mild critique doesn't help matters.

  • stormskies on September 08, 2011 2:10 PM:

    What L.L said .........

    and then adding the fact that so many in the corporate media are with intent aiding and abetting this very sedition of our country ... and one of the ways they do it is through the 'narratives' and the 'story line's' that they invent in order to make Americans 'believe' in something that just isn't true ... doing such a thing in order to have the underlying agenda of the corporations/ repiglicans to happen ......

    a simple example is the fact that no matter what Obama has tried to do to help the economy it has been blocked at every turn by these repiglicans .. with intent .. so they can get back into power by blaming Obama for the economic shambles they have created .. expecting the American people to now vote for them again even though they are responsible for this economic crisis ..

    And then much of the corporate media creates the narratives and story lines that make them complicit in this very tactic ......

  • hells littlest angel on September 08, 2011 2:10 PM:

    ...it seems to be an idea that the mainstream considers, for lack of a better word, normal."

    No. It's an accusation that the mainstream has come to recognize as true. And that's a very good thing.

  • navamske on September 08, 2011 2:16 PM:

    "I think that's true." Nice qualifier. C'mon, Schumer, grow a pair and say, "Of course it's true," as if the questioner had asked, "Is water wet?"

    vaikutus stionLe to you, too.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on September 08, 2011 2:20 PM:

    Folks, this is a good development, not a bad one. Raise Schumer's voice a bit and add a touch of disgust and it's golden. Now every Dem needs to do that. Hell, Dems will have created their own talking point and it'll even be true. (Republicans don't bother with the true part.)

  • Schtick on September 08, 2011 2:28 PM:

    Who, besides Schumer is saying anything? The silence is deafening.


  • jlt on September 08, 2011 2:30 PM:

    Schummer was lite but at least he said it ..instead of avoiding the topic and acting like it is BOTH PARTIES..and he loves his intractable congress group on the otherside of the aisle.

    We need more of them to call out the nutters! Heavens knows the media heads will not!

  • Tuffy on September 08, 2011 2:54 PM:

    Of course it's normal, Republicans openly admit this (cf McConnell's famous line).

    They certainly weren't punished for this stance in 2010. I think by driving Congress approval to single digits, Republicans have achieved a kind of Fight-Club-esque freedom. When you've lost everything, you're free to do anything.

    Since Congress cannot possibly become any more hated, nothing they do can make their brand any worse. So they are free to slash-and-burn at the expense of the economy, the country, whatever they want. There's a zen-like quality to the nihilism.

  • Cal Gal on September 08, 2011 3:44 PM:

    Well, it helps make it routine when the Republican Leader in the Senate has said the very same thing over and over since Obama was elected.

  • DenverRight on September 08, 2011 4:02 PM:

    Wow, and Schumer said it on MSNBC! Could this be preaching to the choir? Because it is far more likely that if Schumer had said "...today, you get the feeling that there are some that want the economy to actually fail to prove their point," on a real news network, he might have actually been challenged to name names. That way, you know, the anonymous nation-killers could defend themselves. This sorry story would be like me declaring that I was CONVINCED that there were pedophiles working at Washington Monthly, but I didn't provide names...just let the charge simmer for awhile...

    Real low-class, Chuck!

  • DisgustedWithItAll on September 08, 2011 4:15 PM:

    I'll bet DenverRight can explain those principled stands Republicans are taking that make them disavow previous stands. Go ahead, educate us.

  • getplaning on September 08, 2011 4:56 PM:

    "You look at the analogy today, you get the feeling that there are some that want the economy to actually fail to prove their point. That’s a very bad thing.”

    The fact is, the economy IS failing, precisely because WAshington has surrendered to the hostage takers who are forcing their contractionist policies on the nation.

  • DenverRight on September 08, 2011 6:54 PM:

    Defend principled stands? Sure, it's easy.
    1. We need to halt the smog-reducing regulations that the EPA proposed "in part to reduce regulatory burdens and uncertainty at a time of rampant questions about the strength of the U.S. economy." 2.We need to finally pass the Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, because our own studies predict that these three deals would increase the U.S. trade deficit. ...er...


    When the Washington Monthly or Chucky Schumer can produce A LIST of Republicans that have been quoted wanting to "see the economy actually fail" or the country FAIL, then I would be happy to defend those imaginary pookas.

    Meanwhile, defend the anointed one. I voted for Him, but words fail me right about now.

  • Doug on September 08, 2011 9:27 PM:

    DenverRight @ 4:02 PM, start googling "McConnell" and go from there, most of the statements by Republicans have reported, just not given much air-time. Wonder why?
    Sorry, your ramblings at 6:54 PM do NOT qualify as an answer to DisgustedWithItAll's request @ 4:15 PM for the names of those Republicans taking a "principled" stand.
    "I voted for Him(sic), but words fail me right about now."
    IF you voted for Mr. Obama and IF you're upset about his policy changes, then WHY are you using troll-favored adjectives; ie, "anointed" and "Him"? Emotions are SO hard to control, aren't they?
    So is stupidity...

  • DenverRight on September 09, 2011 12:56 PM:

    Doug@9.27: Well, the moderator for this echo chamber apparently decided to delete my response last night, but let's try again. Perhaps honest debate can flourish.

    First, appellations of trollery and stupidity do not answer challenges, they only admit defeat. Won't go there.

    Chucky would not name the Republicans that "want this economy to FAIL." But the brave Anonymous volunteered Mitch McConnell. Doug asked ME to do the legwork of searching for the quotes of that target (McConnell), which is a lazy way of stating that you could not find any. I am still waiting for Chucky Schumer or the WM to LIST any Republican politicians that "want the economy to FAIL," let alone provide quotes of them saying it.

    Mitch McConnell - clearly wants to replace Obama in next year's election, and even stated it as his number one priority (admittedly foolish to state, let alone think). But that is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT from "WANTING THE ECONOMY TO FAIL." Any quotes? Any at all?

    I stand by my challenge. And in the meantime, DWIA asked for principled stands. Please defend the "principles" of President Obama I mentioned, both from just this week. If "principled stands that...make them disavow previous stands" is to be taken seriously...

    I voted for President Obama, but to to say that I am diappointed in Him is an understatement.

    This echo chamber that you lovingly call the Washington Monthly could cite a fact or two, or a quote or two, the clearest way to win a debate. Or it could remain the echo chamber, filled with emptiness.

  • eyeswideopen45 on September 14, 2011 7:57 AM:

    as far as I'm concerned they got us in this hole they can dig themselves out quit using the citizens cause of your rash spending.. we have people in this country starving, homeless.. when are you going to take care of yours quit spending to help every other damned country what about us here in the great ol' USA?? We are nothing we don't have a say in what you people decside for the people my a-- you need to line your pockets..see who can get richer or who can take more vacations? the govement over spent why do the people have to pay for your fck ups?? Congressman Shummer,
    why your at it quit airing your dirty laundry about what they are doing over in Afganistan and over hear with security of this country shut your damned mouths some things are better left unsaid; don't you think that terriorist watch TV. your ignorant, for this reason i was watching TV. "we are slowing back on scurity in manhattan" so what's that telling terrorist?? OOh shit, hit us on a day when we are'nt paying attention, when we least expect it? Duh!!! what are you all thinking up there?? your eyes are'nt wide open, they are wide Closed.. Boy, I have alot to say i sure can't write it all out. think i'll write a book about OUR Goverment, I refuse to vote for any of you.. i'm glad i never voted for O' bama very disappointed in his actions.. he has done nothing for the people all talk no action stupid is as stupid does.. somebody needs to speak up, tell you just like it is you have run the people over long enough.. it all just sickens me. Man up Shummer!!!