This quote so perfectly sums up Democratic hypocrisy on the shutdown that when I first heard it being quoted by House Speaker Paul Ryan I wondered if it was real. But as you’ll see in a moment, it is real. Back in 2013, Sen. Chuck Schumer was giving an interview to Jake Tapper about the government shutdown which lasted for 16 days in October of that year. Tapper asked whether Democrats in the Senate had taken too hard a line with Republicans.
“It was not a hard line on the substantive issues,” Schumer replied. He continued, “It was a hard line saying, unless I get my way I’m going to shut the government down, I’m going to risk default for the nation. Now anyone can do that.
“I believe in immigration reform. What if I persuaded my caucus to say I’m going to shut the government down, I’m going to not pay our bills unless I get my way. It’s a politics of idiocy, of confrontation, of paralysis.”
Needless to say, what Schumer envisioned as the Democratic equivalent of the 2013 shutdown is exactly what he has done in the 2018 shutdown. By his own definition, he has embraced the politics of idiocy, confrontation, and paralysis. Schumer goes on to say that Senate Democrats and President Obama said, “We’re not going to give in to this kind of brinksmanship, where basically a gun is put to your head…” Here’s the clip:
Schumer had actually used this line a week earlier on ABC’s This Week, telling George Stephanopoulos that if Democrats were to shut down the government over immigration reform the result would be “governmental chaos.” I guess that’s another outcome Sen Schumer has now embraced.
House Speaker Paul Ryan appears to agree with Schumer’s 2013 approach. Today he gave a speech on the House floor in which he said, “One party in one house of this Congress is deliberately holding our government hostage.” Ryan went on to quote Sen. Schumer’s 2013 comments about the “politics of idiocy” and “governmental chaos.” Is Chuck Schumer capable of shame? If so this should sting a little. Also, you know that if a Republican had said something that so perfectly demonstrated their hypocrisy, it would be running on a loop on CNN, MSNBC, etc. Will this clip appear on TV to point out how strongly Chuck Schumer was against this exact move four years ago?