Chuck Schumer Callously Dances While World Burns From Non-Dancing Related Causes
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who represents the state of New York, cut a rug this weekend at the “We Love NYC" concert in Central Park. Schumer immediately received harsh criticism from the right and left because everything's terrible in the world and no one's permitted a moment's happiness until that's all fixed.
Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, tweeted his disappointment with Schumer.
Relax, America. Sure, you want voting rights. But the Senate majority leader wants to dance with a TV celebrity on… https://t.co/IAzmLhl6yx— Walter Shaub (@Walter Shaub) 1629637270.0
He remarked somewhat operatically:
Relax, America. Sure, you want voting rights. But the Senate majority leader wants to dance with a TV celebrity on vacation. The republic is burning as Jim Crowers ply their evil craft in states all over this land, but, hey, at least @SenSchumer and @StephenAtHome got to party.
Shaub is smarter than I am, so presumably these two points are related: The GOP is waging a full-scale authoritarian assault on democracy, and the Senate Majority leader is responding like Prince in the song "1999." It does seem defeatist, if funky, but at the same time, Schumer sitting at home alone in his room wouldn't suddenly convince Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to wake up and stop giving Mitch McConnell a permanent veto on President Joe Biden's agenda.
This is slightly different from all the fuss over Barack Obama's 60th birthday party, because Schumer is still an elected official. However, it's not clear that he's abdicated his professional duties. Maybe it's my own personal bias against parties and dancing and parties that involve dancing, but the only way I'd attend a "We Love NYC" concert is if I was a New York senator. It's just polite, which is why I'm a firm “maybe" on my son's future wedding.
Do we really think Schumer isn't focused on Afghanistan and voting rights just because he's dancing? He did pass a major infrastructure deal three weeks ago, but now he's getting the “What Have You Done For Me Lately?" treatment. Schumer hasn't fixed climate change, either, so maybe he's also on the hook for Hurricane Henri washing out the “We Love NYC" festivities.
Never Trumper conservative pundit Tom Nichols declared Schumer “an even greater symbol of utter unseriousness" than South Dakota GOP Governor Kristi Noem, who let COVID-19 run rampant in her state.
We're facing a rising threat of extremism at home and a foreign policy bungle overseas. And a man whose job (and ag… https://t.co/fqoISxtDCu— Tom Nichols (@Tom Nichols) 1629606775.0
Nichols tweeted in high dudgeon:
We're facing a rising threat of extremism at home and a foreign policy bungle overseas. And a man whose job (and age, for heaven's sake) should demand more propriety in any case is dancing around in Central Park.
Crazy people are walking around with blood in their eyes, and all Schumer wants to do is dance!
Schumer is 70, but Nichols seems to think it's not proper for him to dance in public. The old folks at weddings are usually the ones who get down the most during the "Electric Slide." Maybe Nichols is like the dad from Footloose and just disapproves of dancing in general.
Last year, conservative Matt Walsh criticized medical professionals who expressed joy during some of the worst moments of the pandemic.
We were told we had to willingly plunge ourselves into a Great Depression because hospitals are being overwhelmed.… https://t.co/Uw98pdLPii— Matt Walsh (@Matt Walsh) 1586718124.0
In response to a TikTok video of hospital staff dancing, Walsh whined:
We were told we had to willingly plunge ourselves into a Great Depression because hospitals are being overwhelmed. Meanwhile, Tik Tok is full of videos of hospital staff performing choreographed dance routines. What a joke. This whole thing. Infuriating.
Walsh isn't just a moron, but he's also apparently never seen “M*A*S*H." The whole point of the series was that the doctors and nurses distract themselves from the horrors of the war with frat house hijinks.
Shaub isn't a conservative scold or a troll, and I can appreciate his frustration. Still, it seems as if folks are demanding Schumer “do something" when he has been doing something, just not to the level of success we might like. Shaub also implied that only white liberals are willing to give Schumer a pass, presumably because they don't care as much about minority voting rights. That seems a stretch, as Black Twitter wasn't that up in arms over Schumer's dance moves. I'll check again at the next meeting.
I'd rather Democrats not get their asses kicked, but dancing is not why Republicans are whooping us. According to CNN pollster Harry Enten, the political climate in general is moving toward Republicans, who don't bother even trying to hide their corruption these days. It's established precedent that voters will punish Democrats for not repairing the mess Republicans made quickly enough.
Schumer can behave like Grumpy Cat for the next year, but that won't change this maddening reality.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."