Two of the least visible politicians of 2017 were Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump successfully labeled Jeb Bush as “low energy”, saying it was hard for Bush to get anything done due to his low key style. Based on the 2017 low energy of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, their missing in action leadership, and they’re sometimes being out of touch with political realities on the ground, in 2018 Democrats must seriously consider is it time for Schumer and Pelosi to go?
In May the Republican-controlled House passed its repeal of Obamacare. Democrat Minority Leader Pelosi, who watched for 6 years as Republicans passed over 50 bills to repeal Obamacare without a Republican President to sign them into law, knew better than anyone that once Republicans had a Republican President the vote to repeal Obamacare would be one of their first. Her response to this inevitability was classic low energy. On the day of the repeal vote, she goes to the floor of the House and makes a speech proclaiming to Republicans “You will glow in the dark on this one”. And as Market Watch reported “Pelosi a fountain of metaphors after Republican health bill clears House”, emphasis on after because she showed no energy and did nothing in protest before the day of the vote.
When the repeal bill reached the Senate, Democrat Minority Leader Schumer showed the same classic low energy, he employed the old school, used to be high energy technique of going on the Rachel Maddow TV Show, and issuing a “red alert” for people to call in to Senators asking them not to pass the legislation.
It was the high energy of Sen. Claire McCaskill publically challenging Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch for details about the repeal bill, the high energy of Sen. Corey Booker, who led a sit-in on the Capitol steps raising awareness of the repeal attempt to the public, and the high energy of the brigade of wheelchair protesters showing up day after day ultimately forcing 3 Republicans to join Democrats. It was all of this high energy that defeated the repeal of Obamacare not the low energy of Schumer/Pelosi.
Not even classic Schumer/Pelosi low energy was on display during the passage of tax reform in both the House and Senate. Everyone knew tax cuts would happen but expected Democrats to fight for some degree of fairness in the way and who they would be granted to. Democrats put up no fight at all! Nancy Pelosi was the incredible shrinking woman while the House passed tax reform, so tiny she couldn’t be seen or heard. Chuck Schumer was such an invisible man when tax reform hit the Senate, that President Trump bragged how he told Senators to sneak repeal of the Obamacare mandate into the Senate tax reform bill. He reasoned they could get away with it because Schumer was the invisible man and Pelosi the incredible shrinking woman on tax reform, nowhere to be found therefore not visible to inform the public about Senators secretly including a repeal of the mandate that requires everyone to buy health insurance.
While invisible man Schumer was meeting with Al Franken and his wife, to discuss the all-consuming issue of whether Franken should resign from the Senate over allegedly touching women’s butts, the Senate privately added repeal of the Obamacare mandate that required everyone to buy health insurance. The House who didn’t dare include repeal in its original tax reform bill gleefully followed the Senate’s lead, adding it to their final version knowing that incredible shrinking Pelosi was too low energy to protest.
This freed up 300 billion dollars to pay for the tax cuts and literally doomed thousands of people to future deaths. Republicans pulled off this hidden backroom maneuver while low energy Schumer and Pelosi, who both were aware of the deceitful action, did nothing! And said practically nothing! To this day a large portion of the public does not realize the Obamacare mandate was repealed as part of tax reform.
The one spark of energy the two have shown speaks to how out of touch they possibly are, more than to what amount of energy exist within them.
The one leverage point Democrats have is funding the government, due to the anti-government zealots among Republicans, Democrat’s votes are a must to fund the government. Two weeks ago Democrats agreed to a bill that temporarily funds the government through January preventing a government shutdown. But before they agreed to the stop-gap funding they floated the idea that they might not agree unless Republicans agreed to reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program DACA.
This floated idea raises the flashing red light question, is it time for Schumer and Pelosi to go? Currently, the funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program CHIP has run out, with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hatch claiming there’s no money to pay for it in the future. The notion that low energy duo Schumer/Pelosi would shut down the government over children brought to America by illegal immigrants, but not threaten to shut down the government over American born children who are losing healthcare is proof-positive that not only are Schumer and Pelosi low energy but are out of touch with political realities!
Schumer/Pelosi don’t seem to realize they also represent white Democrats that voted for Barak Obama twice, but in 2016 while not publically admitting it, voted for Donald Trump precisely because of that type of out of touch logic. They are the ones that hear “make America great again” and “put America first” as course corrections for Democrats obsessed with non-white identity politics. They believe in immigration reform, they believe DACA should be reinstated but not to the extent of shutting down the government over it. If there is an acceptable reason to these Democrats for shutting down the government it would be over American born children’s healthcare, and not over citizenship for children brought here illegally.
No doubt about it Schumer/Pelosi both are American political icons with an illustrious past of distinguished service to America and to their fellow Democrats. But in 2017 their leadership or lack of it, their political strategic maneuvers or lack of it, and their political messaging or lack of it were all low energy.
At 67/77 respectfully maybe it’s impolite to speak of their energy, no disrespect to their age intended, but American democracy demands informative, adaptable, consistent, vigorous, multi-tasking and logical opposition to the current ruling power regardless of its race, ethnicity, religion or political ideology. Other than the obsession with Russia/Trump election collusion Democrats under Schumer/Pelosi’s leadership in 2017 has provided neither. Raising the question, in 2018 is it time for Schumer and Pelosi to go???