It looks as if Senator Charles Schumer, likely the next Democratic leader of the Senate, is going to sell his president out:
Chuck Schumer is getting an earful from opponents of the Iran nuclear deal.
More than 10,000 phone calls have flooded his office line the past two weeks, organized by a group looking to kill the deal. Another group has dropped seven figures on TV in New York City to pressure Schumer and other lawmakers to vote against the plan. The powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee has put its muscle behind an effort to lobby the New Yorker against it.
And Dov Hikind, a state assemblyman from Brooklyn, was arrested for disorderly conduct while protesting the deal outside Schumer’s office.
People who have spoken with the senior New York senator believe the pressure campaign is having an effect: They say there is a growing sense inside and outside the Capitol that Schumer will vote against the deal when the Senate considers it in September....
Schumer is one of about 15 Democratic senators who will decide the fate of President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal in Congress. The president can afford to lose no more than a dozen Democrats on the Senate floor, and as the next Democratic leader, Schumer may be the most critical of them all.
This is from Politico, and the way the story is spun is that Schumer will vote no, but not lobby other senators to oppose the deal, so it's not as if he's really, really opposed. (A couple of senators are quoted as saying his vote won't affect theirs, to give him cover.)
There's no reason for him to knuckle under on this. I'm a New Yorker -- yes, I know there are a number of voters who loyally vote Democratic but worry greatly about this deal. (The state assemblyman who got arrested outside Schumer's office is a Democrat.)
But even if a yes vote were to cost him support, Schumer wouldn't lose his next race, as The Wall Street Journal recently noted:
A prolific fundraiser with nearly $19.8 million in his campaign war chest, Mr. Schumer has won his previous re-election bids with overwhelming margins....
“He ain’t going to lose the Senate race in New York when he’s up next,” [Baruch College political science professor Doug] Muzzio said. “He’s too New York. He’s too established.”
Right. He won his last race 67%-33% -- and that was in 2010, when Democrats had an abysmal midterm election. He's up next in 2016, a presidential election year, when Democratic turnout will be high (especially if, as expected, the ticket is topped by Hillary Clinton, who's still very popular here). The last time Schumer ran in a presidential election year was in 2004 -- and he won 71%-25%.
So he's not going to lose in 2016. He should do the right thing. But he'll do the cowardly thing.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog