Post Midterm Democrat Civil War Part 3: Schumer vs. Obamacare

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Dec 01, 2014 7:40 AM
Post Midterm Democrat Civil War Part 3: Schumer vs. Obamacare

As previously noted on the Tipsheet in the past month, Democrats have been at each others throats after suffering devastating losses at every level of government during the 2014-midterm elections in November. Less than 24-hours after the polls closed on Election Night, when Republicans retook the Senate and the biggest majority of state legislatures in American history, outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid sent his chief-of-staff to the Washington Post to slam President Obama for the losses. Just days later, Howard Dean called  Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber "elitist" and "out-of-touch" with the American people. Last week New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer admitted that the focus on healthcare reform during President Obama's first two years in office was a mistake and not what the American people wanted. 

"Democrats should have continued to propose middle class-oriented programs, and built on the partial success of the stimulus. But unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity that the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem: Healthcare reform…it wasn't the change we were hired to make," Schumer said during a speech at the National Press Club.

Now, Schumer is facing push back from Democrats on the Hill and in the White House trying desperately to keep Obamacare alive just one month before Republicans take their majority in the Senate. 

Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-New York) comments on Wednesday about Democrats’ misguided focus on health care in President Barack Obama’s first term prompted backlash from top Democrats and left-leaning groups, who accused him of being politically craven.

It was a characterization with which top Democrats took issue, all the way up to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), who was instrumental in getting the Affordable Care Act passed into law as the speaker of the House. Through a spokesman, Pelosi said there are “14 million reasons that’s wrong” — referring to 14 million Americans that have gained insurance coverage through various provisions of the law.

“We came here to do a job, not keep a job,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Tommy Vietor, a former spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, said Schumer’s basic message was that Obama should have “cared more about helping Democrats than sick people.”

Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter, criticized Schumer for “confirming the public’s most cynical beliefs about the political process.” And Jon Lovett, another former speechwriter, went on an extended rant on Twitter that ended with him saying a test for prospective Democrats is whether they “listen to” or merely “tolerate” Schumer as a prominent voice within the party.

The liberal civil war continues... It should be noted that although Schumer is openly criticizing Obamacare, he's still a big supporter of the legislation and wants it to remain intact.