The truly galling thing about le affair Schumer is the crushing lack of self-awareness on both sides of the aisle.
Israel-firsters* who are now drowning themselves in tears because Shumer was branded a traitor** have forgotten that it isn't unusual for Congresspeople and presidents to insult each other -- especially during a policy debate. That's how the game is played***, and many of the people moaning loudest over Schumer's honor have previously played it themselves.
Elected officials who have insulted Obama include:
- Republican North Carolina state Rep. Larry Pittman
- Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas
- Rep Joe Wilson of South Carolina
- Rep Joe Walsh of Illinois
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
- Arizona governor Jan Brewer
- Jennifer Olsen, chairwoman of the Yellowstone County Republicans
Obama's Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies http://t.co/srKGX5Va— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) October 24, 2012
Meanwhile Shumer's critics seem to have forgotten the key aspect of representative government. A senator like Schumer gets to vote his conscious and doesn't owe anyone explanations. Maybe he is putting Israeli interests ahead of our own. So what? He's allowed to do that. So long as no laws are broken, it isn't a betrayal of either his oath or his office to worry more about Israelis than New Yorkers. A Senator swears only to uphold and defend the constitution. He does not swear to put his constituents first or to allow their wishes and desires to influence his votes.
Schumer has absolutely no formal or legal or contractual -- or for that matter constitutional -- obligation to vote the interests of NYers or to provide them with any explanations.
*by which I mean bloggers and interest groups who, quite literally, put Israel first. Many of these gentlemen and ladies still think its funny to refer to the president as "Hussein Obama" or "that traitor from Kenya" even as they are upbraiding him for supposedly questioning the loyalty of Chuck Schumer.
** Obama didn't actually call Schumer a traitor - or anything close. Unfortunately, long experience has taught me that its always impossible to correct a RW lie after the smear-campaign train has left the station.
*** I bet Senator Charles Sumner dearly wishes Senator Preston Brook had merely called him a traitor back in 1856 instead of also causing him traumatic brain injury by beating him on the head with a heavy cane.
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