“Unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem: health-care reform.” — U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer
Read more here from the WSJ on why Chuck Schumer—a leading Democratic ideologist—is now admitting that instead of jamming the O’Care fiasco down voters throats, Democrats should have been listening to voters who “were crying out for the end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs.”
Speaking at the National Press Club, the influential Senate leader identified the decline of middle-class incomes as the defining challenge of the age. Democrats can only win elections, Mr. Schumer said, as “the pro-government party”—and ObamaCare is undermining that larger political project.
The Senator called the law a distraction from the “middle-class-oriented programs” his party should have pursued after 2008: “Unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem: health-care reform.”
Mr. Schumer said he still supported the entitlement’s goals, but “it wasn’t the change we were hired to make. Americans were crying out for the end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs.” We’re glad he’s finally taking our advice from 2009-2010.
This mea culpa is especially notable because it suggests the wall of implacable liberal opposition to reopening the health-care debate is starting to crack. Democrats have heretofore refused to acknowledge any failing in the law beyond the website rollout fiasco. Endangered Democratic incumbents tried to hold that line this year, and five of them will soon be unemployed.
Mr. Schumer’s response is to tell his colleagues to compose “a symphony” that includes liberal themes other than ObamaCare. Maybe this means that even the law’s media horn section will start to play different notes.
Ever the politico, Mr. Schumer put the problem to Democrats in terms crass enough for them to understand—“only a third of the uninsured are even registered to vote,” he said, and only “about 5% of the electorate” benefits from the entitlement. “To aim a huge change in mandate at such a small percentage of the electorate made no political sense.”