Chuck Schumer

Senator Charles Schumer is one of the more successful saboteurs of progressive policy in the Democratic Party. His tactic is tried and true – pretend to agree with a progressive reform, get on the inside of the group of supporters, undermine and destroy it, then walk to a battery of cameras to lament the failure and collect contributions from the industries who benefited from the death of the bill.

Schumer has perfected this when it comes to progressive financial reform which is why no one in the Senate or elsewhere trusts him on it. His strongest supporters and biggest contributors are from Wall Street which is, after all, a legitimate segment of his constituency as an elected representative from New York.

So now that America’s record inequality is up for debate – inequality due largely to the dominance of Wall Street over the real economy – Schumer is concern trolling the issue to death. Surprise.

In an interview with Buzzfeed Senator Schumer says he supports fixing inequality in theory but doesn’t think anyone should mention inequality.

“I wouldn’t call it ‘income inequality’ so much, although that is certainly true,” Schumer said Friday in an interview with BuzzFeed. “Because most Americans don’t care how other people are doing, if they’re doing okay. But when middle class incomes are declining, that’s a very bad thing. And the country’s really never experienced it.”

Right Chuck, let’s not talk about class let’s just jargon off about technicalities. One dare not mention class, people might realize we have classes and then – gulp – might understand Ronald Reagan was wrong about the economy and wealth doesn’t trickle-down.

What will do then Chuck? What-will-we-do-then?

But even as the Democratic Party, led by the White House, prepares for an election cycle dominated by talk of growing divide between rich and poor, there are signs that the party is wary of engaging in the kind of rhetorical battle Republicans brand “class warfare.”

Schumer said the best way to “encapsulate” the wage rhetoric is with a push to raise the minimum wage.

Schumer would rather speak Republican on class issues. America has no class, we just have a slew of singular topics like raising the minimum wage, poverty, unemployment, and immigration that exist completely independent of each other and a wider context or narrative. What a coincidence.

Because that’s how you win political battles – buying into your opponent’s frame and reinforcing it while asking for things that make no sense from the perspective you just validated. If we don’t have class, if inequality isn’t a problem and people can get ahead if they just work harder – who cares about unemployment insurance, a minimum wage, poverty, or helping immigrants that are being treated like property? Let the market sort it out.

Thanks but no thanks Senator Schumer. No one wants your view on talking about inequality and class. If we want your view, we’ll just go to the source – Goldman Sachs’ PR department.

Photo by Department of Defense under public domain.