National Review editor urges Trump to think twice about Schumer

Rich Lowry explains at National Review Online why President Trump should avoid becoming too chummy with U.S. Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer.

If a partnership with Chuck Schumer is indeed Trump’s plan for a new phase in his presidency, he should think again.

It makes sense that Trump is tempted. His frustration with the congressional leadership is, from his perspective, understandable. These are the pros who told him when he showed up in Washington that they had a plan and that he needn’t worry. So far there’s nothing to show for it. …

… Personal affinity surely plays a role. Trump speaks the language of Chuck Schumer, his fellow outer-borough New Yorker, more than of Paul Ryan, the earnest policy wonk, or Mitch McConnell, the masterly tactician.

Finally, Trump might believe that he can boost his sagging poll numbers by reminding people he’s a non-ideological deal-maker and by getting things — anything — done.

A Schumer alliance is, nonetheless, a siren-song. The debt deal wasn’t really a deal. It was a case where Trump could see some advantages — securing Hurricane Harvey funding, gaining some breathing space for tax reform — by simply giving in to Schumer and Pelosi. How often is that going to happen? …

… [T]here are limits to what Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, who have considerable legislative power, would be willing to bring to the floor; they aren’t going to shift to the left just because President Trump does.

And Schumer has his own priorities. He isn’t going to bless a “tax cut for the rich.” He’s not going to repeal Obamacare. He’s not going to fund the wall.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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