Chuck Schumer Tries to Silence Bernie Sanders on Behalf of Big Pharma’s Corey Booker
The downside of Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer’s decision to include Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party’s leadership body is now clear. The Hill reports:
“Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is trying to keep the peace in the Senate Democratic Caucus, as Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) aggressive effort to push the party left is giving some colleagues heartburn.
“The Senate minority leader convened a meeting last month between Sanders, a liberal stalwart, and a group of Democrats Sanders criticized for voting against an amendment he co-wrote to lower the cost of prescription drugs by allowing their importation from Canada.
“One lawmaker described the atmosphere in the room as ‘“’frustrated.‘”’
“Sanders’s colleagues complained about an interview he gave to USA Today, a newspaper with the nation’s third-highest circulation, in which he said some Democrats lacked ‘guts’ because they were unwilling to stand up to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, one of the most influential associations in the nation’s capital.
“He said it was ‘disappointing’ that 13 Senate Democrats didn’t ‘stand up to powerful special interests like the pharmaceutical industry.’ His public comments were especially offensive because Schumer tapped Sanders to serve on his leadership team in November, appointing him to serve as chairman of outreach.
“Reaching out to rile up activists against fellow Democratic senators, however, is not what the leader had in mind.
“‘You cannot do that if you’re in the leadership,’ said one senator who did not approve of Sanders’s tactics and requested anonymity to speak frankly.
“Democrats who voted against the amendment said it would not have imposed adequate safety standards for imported drugs. The group of 13 Democrats included Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Mark Warner (Va.).
“Sanders told colleagues at the meeting that he did not intend to inflict any political damage but declined to apologize for his policy positions, according to a source familiar with the meeting.
“New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (D), who hails from a state that includes many drug companies, suffered the biggest backlash. That immediately prompted speculation that Sanders and the amendment’s lead co-sponsor, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), might have been motivated by future presidential political considerations.”
So according to establishment Democrats, Sanders’ criticism of Democratic senators who voted to keep prescription drug prices sky high and rip off seniors and the sick is really just a trick for … Amy Klobuchar’s 2020 presidential campaign!
Schumer and co. are in for a rude awakening if they think people are stupid enough to 1) buy this crap or 2) let them silence Sanders without a fight.
The political revolution is non/bi-partisan and flooding Democratic town halls is just as important as flooding Republican town halls. Senators who are theoretically on our side like Elizabeth Warren need to feel the burn when they vote to confirm clowns like Ben Carson to hold jobs they simply aren’t qualified for.
We must watch over our allies as over our enemies as the old saying goes.
The Hill report ends by noting that Booker is working with Sanders on new legislation allowing the re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada. So if anyone is maneuvering for a 2020 presidential run, it’s Booker who got hit with intense blowback for his indefensible vote and is now trying to #StealTheBern for the purpose of advancing his own career.
Let Senators Schumer and Booker know that we are watching them closely.
Preferably in person at town halls or at their offices.
With hundreds or thousands of like-minded people.
Our message? Do your job!