February 14, 2017

Sanders & Schumer At Each Others’ Throats As Democratic Civil War Reaches New Heights

There are no Democrats as vulnerable to the developing Democratic civil war than Senate Democrats. Senators like Joe Manchin (D-WV) are already hearing about liberal groups planning primary challenges against them. Now as The Hill reported this morning, Democratic Senators are feeling the heat from one of their own, Bernie Sanders.

Sanders’ recent actions have caused tensions to rise so high within the caucus that Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had to hold a meeting between the effected Senators about it:

“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.”

Recently, Sanders told USA Today that the Democrats who voted against his amendment “lacked guts.” Now other Democrats are firing back at Sanders, calling his recent actions out of bounds:

“‘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.”

Even though Sanders had angered many Democratic Senators with his comments, he refused to apologize to them:

“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.” 

The Democratic civil war is clearly tearing the Senate Democratic caucus apart, and just months into the job, it’s clear that Chuck Schumer can’t handle the burden.