So, Chuck Schumer wrote a NYT op-ed that’s drawing a lot of fire: “A Better Deal for American Workers.” Here are a few excerpts:
Americans are clamoring for bold changes to our politics and our economy. They feel, rightfully, that both systems are rigged against them, and they made that clear in last year’s election. American families deserve a better deal so that this country works for everyone again, not just the elites and special interests. Today, Democrats will start presenting that better deal to the American people…
And for far too long, government has gone along, tilting the economic playing field in favor of the wealthy and powerful while putting new burdens on the backs of hard-working Americans.
Democrats have too often hesitated from taking on those misguided policies directly and unflinchingly — so much so that many Americans don’t know what we stand for. Not after today. Democrats will show the country that we’re the party on the side of working people — and that we stand for three simple things.
First, we’re going to increase people’s pay. Second, we’re going to reduce their everyday expenses. And third, we’re going to provide workers with the tools they need for the 21st-century economy.
Americans from every corner of this country know that the economy isn’t working for them the way that it should, and they wonder if it ever will again. One party says the answer is that special interests should continue to write the rules and that government ought to make things easier for an already-favored few.
Democrats will offer a better deal.
The reactions I’ve seen fall into two groups: Pissed off Democrats who say Schumer validates Trump talking points and unfairly maligns his own party and, implicitly, Hillary Clinton, by claiming that the Dems didn’t put forth a progressive platform in 2016. I think there’s some truth to that. But there’s also some truth to the notion that certain Democrats seem captured by special interests themselves; until recently, I would have put Schumer into that category.
Left of center Democrats and non-affiliateds are adding to the jeers, criticizing Schumer for proposing yet another business tax cut-funded jobs training band-aid instead of more directly addressing wealth inequality by calling for massive tax hikes on the rich. I think there’s some truth in that too.
I’m trying not to read too much into this op-ed. It’s not necessarily a harbinger of Democratic Party strategy going forward. But I will note that it fails to mention Trump, and only mentions Republicans once. I think that’s a mistake. What say you?