Just as Steve Israel will go, so too will go Chuck Schumer, who was widely expected to be the Democrats' choice as Harry Reid's replacement -- a choice this Democrat now openly opposes after his stated opposition to the Iran deal.
Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed. This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.
You can click through to read his reasons for opposing it. At least, his stated reasons.
The truth is, he may have "carefully considered" the deal through the lens of AIPAC, but he didn't think about what it means to the ordinary Americans who will end up fighting another meaningless war with truly frightening consequences in that region.
Schumer is in the top 10 when it comes to Senators receiving support from AIPAC. But interestingly, his counterpart from New York -- Kirsten Gillibrand -- has actually received more than he has, and has decided to support the deal. One can only assume that Schumer waited until he had the space or knew the veto wouldn't be overridden before declaring his intention to oppose the deal.
It doesn't really matter whether it was donations or paranoia that drove his decision. What does matter is simple enough: He has chosen to actively oppose the leader of his party and support Israel rather than the foreign policy of the country in which he serves as an elected official.
That disqualifies him from all consideration for leadership. Dan Pfeiffer, former aide to President Obama, said it well.
That's the bottom line here. Chuck Schumer made his decision; now I make mine. I will be making as much noise as I possibly can and will actively oppose any attempt he makes to become Harry Reid's replacement. If he cannot be bothered to consider the safety of our country and our military, and cannot be bothered to support our President, that's his choice.
Mine is to use whatever voice I have to actively oppose any hopes he has for ascendance to a higher position of leadership, and argue that he should step down from the position he has now. We don't need another Joe Lieberman leading Democrats.
MoveOn responded right away, and I stand with them on this.
While not unexpected, it is outrageous and unacceptable that the Democrat who wants to be the party’s leader in the Senate is siding with the Republican partisans and neoconservative ideologues who are trying to scrap this agreement and put us on the path to war.
Risking American lives in wars of choice isn’t leadership, it’s small and backward.
Our country doesn’t need another Joe Lieberman in the Senate, and it certainly doesn’t need him as Democratic leader. The vast majority of Democratic voters — the people who elected President Obama in part because of our shared belief that war must always be a last resort — will not stand for it. Frankly, we thought Senator Schumer and other Democrats in Washington had learned their lesson after being misled into supporting a misguided war of choice in Iraq.
No real Democratic leader does this. If this is what counts as “leadership” among Democrats in the Senate, Senate Democrats should be prepared to find a new leader or few followers. This is not what the volunteers, activists, small-dollar donors, and voters who actually win elections spend their time and money to support.
They promise, and I support, a Democratic donor strike. No contributions as long as Chuck Schumer leads anything. Give to Blue America instead. Or MoveOn, or Credo. Support candidates who stand up with boldness for peace.
Not this time, Senator Schumer. There will be a cost to your action, or lack of action.