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Chuck Schumer: The Democratic Party Has a Fever, and the Only Prescription Is More Government

• November 25, 2014 4:59 pm

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Liberals tend to scoff whenever conservatives suggest that the reason why Republicans (e.g., Mitt Romney) lose elections is because they’re not conservative enough. And yet, some liberals have assessed their disastrous midterm showing and concluded that in order for Democrats to be successful in 2016, they need to rediscover their liberal roots. This Mother Jones piece, for instance, assures Democrats that if they run as an unabashed liberal, they can still win … in Minnesota.

The 2016 election is a long way off, but the current situation looks pretty grim for Democrats. As unpopular as the Republicans are, most Americans thinks it’s a good thing they took control of the U.S. Senate, and more Americans trust them to make decision that are good for the country.

Aspiring Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) waded into this debate on Tuesday during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. His solution? Democrats need to embrace Big Government. More.

Despite the government's failure to deliver economic relief to the middle class, and the botched rollout of the Obamacare website, and the bungled response to the border crisis and the Ebola scare, and the Veterans Affairs scandal, and everything else that has undermined the American people’s faith in government, Schumber said: "Ultimately, the public knows in its gut that a strong and active government is the only way to reverse the middle-class decline and help revive the American dream."

Oh really? How's that working out?

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Schumer went on to offer another counterintuitive assessment of the Democratic Party's woes, telling the reporters gathered at the National Press Club that the media is to blame for undermining public trust in government. "Republicans will continue to paint government as the enemy and the media will continue to highlight government failures, because they make for better copy than government success," the senator said. "That leaves the job to we Democrats."

He has a point. The mainstream media hasn't stopped covering Jonathan Gruber's controversial remarks about Obamacare.

Speaking of Obamacare, Schumer argued that Democrats made a mistake by trying to pass sweeping health-care reform in 2010. "After passing the stimulus, 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 the American people gave them," he said. "We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem—health care reform." Despite the public's gut feeling that bigger government is better, Schumer said, most voters "weren't clamoring" for Obamacare, a law that remains unpopular.

The key takeaway, perhaps, is that it will be fun to watch Hillary Clinton, a subpar politician by any measure, try to find a coherent message as the Democratic Party's spokesman in 2016.