Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
In Monday morning’s New York Times, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer laid out the broad strokes of what he said will be the Democratic Party’s policy priorities heading into the 2018 elections.
The plan, which Democrats are calling “A Better Deal,” contains some sensible, popular left-wing economic proposals—like raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour—that Sen. Bernie Sanders fought for during his 2016 primary campaign. It’s mostly pretty good.
So of course, some fervent Hillary Clinton supporters are freaking out.
But first, a look at the Democrats’ plan, which is composed of three simple ideas: lowering the price of prescription drugs, a $1 trillion infrastructure plan aimed at job creation, and raising the minimum wage to $15. A push for child care and family leave measures is also previewed in Schumer’s Times op-ed.
After a Sunday spent blaming the Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, for failing to articulate strong, populist policies during the last election—and rejecting the idea that Russia is somehow to blame for the crushing loss to Donald Trump—Schumer wrote in the Times op-ed today:
Democrats have too often hesitated from taking on those misguided policies directly and unflinchingly — so much so that many Americans don’t know what we stand for. Not after today. Democrats will show the country that we’re the party on the side of working people.
He also wrote that because Democrats are in the minority in both houses of Congress, this stuff probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
“We are in the minority in both houses of Congress; we cannot promise anyone that this Congress will begin passing our priorities tomorrow,” Schumer wrote.
But while nodding to “working people” (because God forbid he call working people a class) and spurning “vulture capitalists,” Schumer also says the plan is not about “moving our party in one direction or another along the political spectrum.” Read: just in case you thought this plan was an indication that the party is moving toward the left, that is definitely NOT part of the plan.
Also inexplicably absent from the plan: any mention of supporting single-payer healthcare, a policy that a plurality of Americans already support.
Nevertheless, Clinton’s legions of online supporters worked themselves into a froth about the plan. A representative sampling:
It’s an unfortunately typical response any time the party even pantomimes making any concessions to the left wing of the party, for which Sanders has become the proxy.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s worth remembering that Schumer is a craven survivalist, who infamously discounted the support of blue collar workers ahead of Election Day, is inextricably tied to Wall Street, and voted to support both the Iraq War and the Patriot Act.
Hold your applause.
- White House advisor Jared Kushner is expected to say “I did not collude...with any foreign government” according to prepared remarks released ahead of him testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday.
Correction: An earlier version of this post described Sanders’ primary “win” because of an editing error. The post has been updated to correct the record.