By Larry Gordon
Last week on our front page, activists Norman Rosenbaum and Isaac Abraham picked apart our senior senator, Charles Schumer. The issue addressed was his non-involvement in the effort over the last year or more to seek justice for Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, who was released from prison on the last day of Chanukah.
The problem on the political landscape is not just one man’s misguided position on one case or one issue regardless of its relative or subjective importance to one segment of the population or another. Rubashkin’s sentence has been officially commuted by President Trump, and after eight years of imprisonment, he is now back with his family. We all witnessed the wild frenzy surrounding his release, but, as it is with most things, that has now dissipated and things have calmed down and resumed their routine. And that is a good thing.
While it is troublesome to many that Mr. Schumer did not see fit to assume a prominent role in the Rubashkin case, what is even more upsetting and annoying is the fashion in which the Democratic Minority Leader consistently talks about the president of the United States.
Time and again on C-SPAN or in the press, Schumer displays an almost grade-school-like condescending and disrespectful tone as he obviously believes that it is in style to disparage the president. But who is the senator really talking to? The heartland of this country supports the president and they do so definitively.
Is Chuck talking to his fellow Democrats in DC? The elites in New York and California who believe that Donald Trump is the worst thing to have happened to this country while the truth is that it was Barack Obama who hampered growth and development in this country more than any other president in history?
The Democratic Party today is so adrift in an undetermined direction that their best hope right now is Oprah Winfrey in 2020. Winfrey became the frontrunner overnight simply because of some patronizing remarks at the Golden Globe Awards broadcast this past Sunday night. That’s what catapults a Democratic candidate into a lead position? Is that serious?
That brings us to Governor Andrew Cuomo who, in all likelihood, has his eyes on the 2020 presidential race as well. Cuomo would have liked a 2016 run against any of the Republicans had Hillary Clinton gotten out of the way. The governor probably believes that, unlike Mrs. Clinton, he could have bested Mr. Trump.
So while the governor is doing well here in New York, his candidacy is by no way problem free. New York is a big state and the governor needs New York City in order to win if by chance the Republicans find a formidable candidate that can raise money and develop some name recognition.
The issue in the city is that Mr. Cuomo is at constant odds with Mayor Bill de Blasio who has his own designs on higher office. The mayor, who only reluctantly supported Hillary Clinton, will be hard-pressed to support Cuomo. Do not put it past de Blasio to support some fringe leftist Democrat running against the incumbent.
That combined with the more conservative orientation of New Yorkers living upstate could present a challenge to the governor. Mr. Cuomo needs to win in November if he truly has designs on the White House in 2020.
From our perspective here in the New York Orthodox Jewish communities, the question is where Mr. Cuomo will position himself when it comes to the subject of President Trump. The new tax legislation notwithstanding and the mixed reviews it has had with New Yorkers, we also have to consider Trump’s courageous move on Jerusalem, his unmitigated and uncompromising support of Israel, and his commutation of Mr. Rubashkin’s sentence.
It’s an old story that every elected official in New York must have a foreign policy and, more specifically, a stance on U.S.–Israel relations. That is true if you are governor, mayor, Nassau County executive, or a Town of Hempstead councilman.
In the case of Governor Cuomo, his heart and his policies have been in the right place when it came to enacting anti-BDS legislation in New York State. But still unanswered is where he stands on the two-state solution and the president’s position on Jerusalem. The quirky and even contradictory thing here is that according to Trump critics and those in the Palestinian camp, if you recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital then you are opposed to two states.
We know that because Chuck Schumer represents New York, he supported the president’s position on Jerusalem, though he maintains that Mr. Trump is not up to the job. There is a fine, nuanced line here that can actually shift on a daily basis depending on the issues of the day. The details of these policy announcements are complex. The publicly pronounced positions on many of these matters are intentionally simplified so that the large potential voter base can digest and identify with these matters.
Right now, it looks like the Democratic Party on a national basis is on the ropes and in trouble. Why else would they go so wild over the fantastic possibility that Oprah would be their candidate for the presidency in 2020?
And one more thing on this issue. They are saying that Donald Trump is unfit and unstable for office? What about Barack Obama? Now that his eight years are in the rearview mirror, what was that? Was that crazy or what?
Obama looked the other way as Syrian citizens were gassed to death by dictator Bashar Assad. He signed the deal with Iran that allows them a legal path to becoming a nuclear power in a bit more than a decade. He supplied the billionaire mullahs in Iran with over $150 billion that they have since used to finance terror movements and terrorism around the world. This is mental stability?
On Israel, Mr. Obama attempted to undermine Prime Minister Netanyahu at every turn. In a world where Israel is diplomatically isolated most of the time, Obama said that daylight between the U.S. and Israel was a good, healthy, and positive thing.
The suggestion that Trump is mentally unstable is an old Democratic Party tactic that they have tried with other presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. To the Schumers and Pelosis of the political world, if you do not share their leftist liberal philosophies then it is simple—there must be something wrong with you.
It did not work in the past and it is not working with Donald Trump today. Why the Democrats insist on continuously resorting to a previously failed strategy is a mystery of its own.
Right now it looks like Andrew Cuomo might be stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. The Clinton–Obama political formulation is a recipe for electoral disaster. If he tries to even slightly stretch himself in the Trump direction, he will have to reckon with de Blasio and his minions on the extreme left.
What does all this add up to? One very interesting year ahead in New York and national politics that includes some difficult and gut-wrenching decisions. Russian-collusion investigations aside, it seems that the momentum has changed and is now headed in the Trump direction.
Comments for Larry Gordon are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.