“Democrats must embrace government. It’s what we believe in; it’s what unites our party; and, most importantly, it’s the only thing that’s going to get the middle class going again.”
“Even this past election — a debacle for Democrats — was not a repudiation of government,” according to Senator Schumer (D-NY) in a speech to the National Press Club. It was a repudiation of government incompetence.
“As 2014 began, the parties were in stalemate. But, when government failed to deliver on a string of non-economic issues — the roll out of Obamacare exchanges, the mishandling of the surge in border crossers, ineptitude at the VA , the initial handling of the Ebola threat, people lost faith in the government’s ability to work, and then blamed the incumbent governing party, the Democrats, creating a Republican wave.”
Two thoughts: (1) Given that both parties embrace government, this seems like a rather limited means of distinguishing the Democratic brand from the Republican brand. (2) But taking the Senator at his word–the Democratic Party is the party that “must embrace government” –and recalling that the Democratic Party was, in fact, in control of government, one might have hoped that the speech would have juxtaposed the list of failures with a similar list of successes. Perhaps we will have to wait for 2016.
I have not found a full transcript of the speech. But there is a good deal of coverage (NYT , Washington Post, Roll Call, and National Journal). Senator Schumer’s reflections on Obamacare are particularly interesting.