Monday, January 27, 2014

Schumer: Tea Party Donors Exploit Followers

Speaking to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was right on target when he said that Democrats should counter the negative views of government propagated by the Tea Party–and that the wealthy donors to the Tea Party cynically exploit its middle-class adherents:

Senator Charles E. Schumer on Thursday called on Democrats to try to reduce the Tea Party’s political influence by driving a wedge between the movement’s elite leaders and its middle-income followers who depend on popular government programs like Medicare.

...Mr. Schumer, who led successful efforts to expand the Democratic ranks in the Senate in 2006 and 2008, said the party needed to embrace and push the message that government is a positive force in most American lives. He said the party, headed into the 2014 midterm elections, should emphasize bread-and-butter issues like an increase in the minimum wage, government assistance with soaring college tuition costs, infrastructure improvements, equal pay for women and better enforcement of trade laws to help American workers.

Mr. Schumer accused deep-pocketed backers of the Tea Party movement of cynically manipulating its adherents. “These people are wealthy, hard right, selfish, narrow; people who don’t want to pay taxes and don’t want government interfering with their companies no matter what damage their companies may do to their workers, to the environment or to anybody else,” he said.

“They framed the debate,” Mr. Schumer said. “Government was the problem, and shrinking it was the solution.”

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