My congressman, Peter King, a Republican from Long Island, announced this past week that he will not be seeking re-election after 14 terms in the U.S. Congress. My senator, Democrat Chuck Schumer, issued a statement praising King’s work for his service to the nation.
Almost immediately thereafter, the leftist goon squads pounced on Schumer, demanding that he pay penance for his blasphemy.
Here’s what he tweeted:
“Peter King stood head & shoulders above everyone else. He’s been principled & never let others push him away from his principles,” and adding, “I will miss him in Congress & value his friendship.”
Heaven forbid! Get me my smelling salts.
Helaine Olen, an opinion writer for the Washington Post, stated: “If you want an example of how too many in the Democratic Party are still incapable of reckoning with the radical shift of the Republican Party in a meaningful and realistic way, you will find it in Schumer’s tweet...This is no time for politics as usual with its collegial bromides.”
Democratic strategist Max Burns penned for Buzz Feed: “King’s legacy of division makes it all the more inexplicable that Sen. Chuck Schumer — a fellow New Yorker who's well versed in King’s abuses — would spend Monday morning praising King....” He concluded by demanding, “Schumer can start by apologizing to those communities revictimized by his thoughtless praise of King’s poisonous legacy.”
Even foreign lefties got in on the act. Medhi Hasan, a British writer for the publication The Intercept, bemoaned, “This Schumer tweet is yet another reminder that the top Dem in the Senate doesn't give a damn about Islamophobia and is unfit to hold the title of Minority Leader."
And then there’s the left’s favorite anti-Semitic congresswoman, Ilhan Omar (Minn.), who tweeted: “Peter King is an Islamophobe who held McCarthyite hearings targeting American Muslims, said 'there are too many mosques in this country' and blamed Eric Garner for his own death at the hands of police. Good riddance."
On the other hand, if it were Schumer retiring, while King was heaping praise upon him, there likely would be de minimis pushback from the right. Case in point is the magnanimous way in which Republicans praised their Democratic colleague, Elijah Cummings, after his untimely death just a few weeks ago. Cummings’ liberal policies were anathema to Rep. Mark Meadows (NC), who nevertheless tweeted: “There was no stronger advocate and no better friend than Elijah Cummings,”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised Cummings as “a living legend in his native Baltimore” and said he “counted close friends and admirers from all across the political spectrum.”
President Trump even ordered flags flown at half-staff for Cummings, despite bitter battles between the two. Could you imagine the blow back a Democratic president would have to endure if flags were lowered were it King who had passed?
Many on the left will counter that there’s a distinction; that being that Cummings was a good man with praise worthy policies, while King allegedly exemplified hate and division (which is utter nonsense).
That’s the type of self-absorbed, subjective political thinking that has so divided our nation over the past decade or so. Such twaddle harkens me back to the profound words of the late Charles Krauthammer, who once observed, “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.”
These leftist purists query: How can you work with someone who is evil? Remember how Joe Biden was nearly run off the debate stage by his primary opponents for having the audacity to have worked with segregationist senators to get needed legislation passed?
I imagine these lefties bashing Schumer have forgotten how Democrats loved Pete King when he was one of just four Republicans who voted against each of the Clinton impeachment charges. Or when he forged a coalition with Clinton to help bring the bloody violence in Northern Ireland to a long pursued end.
Schumer had good reason to admire King’s willingness to put partisanship aside in order to partner with Schumer and other Democrats in vigorously fighting for the victims of 9-11 or those ravaged by SuperStorm Sandy.
Commenting after Cummings’ death, fiercely conservative Trey Gowdy, a former South Carolina congressman, claimed, “We never had a cross word outside of a committee,” Gowdy praised Cummings for possessing “a unique ability to separate the personal from the work.”
That type of separation between policy differences and personal relationships is what, in the old days, helped fashion landmark legislation from civil rights reform to Medicaid. The unwillingness of the extremist goon squads to allow its office holders to work with their colleagues on the other side of the aisle is what has contributed more than anything else to the gridlock that has consumed our nation.
Schumer is a big boy. He’ll survive this episode. But if this trend continues, I’m not so sure our nation won’t endure lasting damage.
Steve Levy, former New York state assemblyman, Suffolk County executive, and candidate for governor, is now a distinguished political pundit. Levy's commentary has been published in such media outlets as Washington Times, Washington Examiner, New York Post, Albany Times, Long Island Business News, and City & State Magazine. He hosted “The Steve Levy Radio Show" on Long Island News Radio, and is a frequent guest on high profile television and radio outlets. Few on the political scene possess Levy’s diverse background. He’s been both a legislator and executive, and served on both the state and local levels — as both a Democrat and Republican. Levy published Bias in the Media, an analysis of his own experience, after switching parties, with the media's leftward slant. Levy is currently Executive Director of the Center for Cost Effective Government, a fiscally conservative think tank. He is also President of Common Sense Strategies, a political consulting firm. To learn more about his past work and upcoming appearances, visit www.stevelevy.info. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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