propublica / Flickr chuck schumer...
propublica / Flickr

Excuse me Senator Schumer, I have a question. You don’t know me, I’m just a lifelong Democrat, through thick and thin, and I don’t have the gelt to fill your campaign coffers, but I’d still like an answer.

Here’s the question. Why the fuck did you waste all of our time and hope?!? You could have settled for a scurrying ant farm Senate show on the floor and a worthless promise from that repulsive pond paddler McConnell on Friday and caved, without making yourself and the rest of the Democratic party look like spineless toadies in the first place.

And what did you get for this worthless charade? well, lessee. Oh, yeah! A worthless promise that if the Senate doesn’t solve DACA by February 8th, McConnell will drop everything to work on DACA. Two things to point out. McConnell’s word and a buck will get you a stacker from Taco Bell, but I promise you, it’ll taste better with just the dollar. And second, what happens if he just blows through the February 8th deadline, and then just stands there at the podium and tosses you the one finger salute when you scream?

You gave away the rancho senor. We have a rule in stand up, you lead with your second best joke, get the crowd motivated and into it, the middle is funny, and then you close with your “A” joke to give them a satisfying finish. You led with your closer. You can’t shut the government down again on February 8th, McConnell knows it, and he crowed about it from the podium. If you shut the government again on February 8th again, it’s McConnell who has you by the old short-and-curlies this time. He can look like a hardass by pointing out that you tried this the last time and it didn’t work, and wait you out. And what can you claim? That the Republicans are bad faith actors and negotiators? BFD, everybody already knew that!  You just violated the first rule of bank robbers everywhere, you let the hostage go to a bathroom with a window.

The solution was right there in front of your nose all of the time. McConnell and Trump swore they would not negotiate DACA until the government opened up again. OK, fine. Here’s the only amendment that needed to be in the continuing resolution, “In signing this continuing resolution, the President immediately rescinds the Executive Order terminating the DACA program, which will remain in full force until such time as a permanent solution is passed by the congress and passed and signed into law.” No negotiation there, take it or leave it.

Problem solved. In rescinding the EO, it would have protected DACA recipients whose protection has lapsed since September, and it would have removed the uncertainty of their future in this country. And it would have taken away any GOP excuse for continuing to stonewall on a fix. If the DACA program is going to continue unhindered, with a congressional stamp of approval, you might just as well codify it and be done with it.

You lost Senator Schumer. You lost your leverage, you lost the Hispanic base, and you lost respect. In other words, you lost your ass. And you may have lost something else too. If the Democrats manage to rise from these ashes to win back the Senate in November, you may well have lost your position as Senate Majority leader. With 2020 on the horizon, I can already foresee serious leadership challenges from potential nominees like Booker, Harris, and Warren to increase their visibility by grabbing that spot. But here’s a way to feel better. Go into you office, turn on the tv, and wait for Sarah Cluckabee Slanders to step behind the podium and pants you to the American public. 

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