And F#ck You, Too, Sir

[Content Note: Colloquialism using violent imagery.]

It's no secret that the Democratic establishment has unbridled contempt for progressive bloggers and activists. The hostility for leftwing policy, especially economic policy, and the neglect of social justice policy, has been documented for years under the broad header of what's colloquially known as "hippie-punching." But it's rare we get such a perfect, unvarnished glimpse at just how deep that contempt really goes.

So, thank you, Senator Chuck Schumer, for your naked honesty during an interview with Isaac Chotiner for The New Republic.
IC: You and Mayor Bloomberg, in 2007, said that reregulating Wall Street would cause people to flee overseas to London. That is very different than [the position of Senator Elizabeth] Warren.

CS: It has got to be, to me, a careful balance, OK? Wall Street excesses helped lead to the Great Recession. And to sit there and do nothing, or do what the Republicans want—repeal Dodd-Frank—makes no sense. But on the other hand, I think that you just don't attack Wall Street because they're successful or rich.

I just unsuccessfully, with Bloomberg, supported raising the building height in midtown Manhattan, so we could build more office buildings. Office buildings are our factories—imagine the people of Michigan saying, "We don't want to build a new auto factory, because the Ford family will get richer, or the person who builds the factory will make money." You've got to look at the effect on average folks. The vast majority of the people employed by Wall Street are the secretary who goes in to work on the Long Island Rail Road, who makes fifty, sixty, seventy thousand dollars a year. I'm not saying Elizabeth does this, but there are some on the far left who just have a visceral hatred of Wall Street. It's counterproductive.

IC: You don't think Elizabeth Warren makes a villain out of Wall Street?

CS: I am just going to leave it at what I said.

IC: Forget Warren then. Is this a problem for your party?

CS: You don't want to go after them for the sake of going after them. The left-wing blogs want you to be completely and always anti–Wall Street. It's not the right way to be.

IC: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case?

CS: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.
This is why progressives can't have nice things in this country.

It is just factually wrong that "the left-wing blogs want you to be completely and always anti-Wall Street." Insert requisite caveat that there probably exist blogs on the vastness that is the entire internet authored by people who do want politicians to be comprehensively anti-Wall Street, but there is not a single left-wing blogger I read writing regularly on this subject who is reflexively, uncritically anti-Wall Street. I will, however, only speak for myself here.

I don't expect Democrats to be "completely and always anti-Wall Street." I expect Democrats to be pro-regulation of Wall Street.

I expect Democrats to be pro-accountability for Wall Street, when there is exploitative and/or criminal activity on Wall Street.

I expect Democrats to support reasonable taxation of Wall Street, and the people who work there and draw enormously inflated salaries.

I expect Democrats to give a fuck about wealth inequality, and I expect them to talk about the obscenity of multimillion-dollar golden parachutes for executive failures, and I expect them to laugh in the face of minimum wage proposals that are a fucking joke.

I expect Democrats to care that privileged, white-collar criminals go unpunished for their economy-destroying malfeasance, while un-privileged kids are sentenced to interminable prison terms for walking around with some pot for personal use in their pockets.

I expect Democrats to own up to the fact that they support Wall Street largely because their electoral fortunes depend on not pissing off the titans of finance who habitate there, instead of pretending that they aren't compromised.

And I expect that Democrats who consider themselves reasonably intelligent people to make the good faith distinction between someone who has principled disagreement around the latitude extended to Wall Street and someone who unaccountably insists that Democrats must be "completely and always anti-Wall Street." That is some mendacious framing, used to deflect criticism and discredit critics. It is bad faith. And it is pathetic.

I expect more.

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