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Chuck Schumer, surprisingly, finds something else he wants to ban

Many, many years ago, when I was a young man and the Internet (which wasn’t even called that yet) was little more than a very awkward way for engineering grad students to exchange porn, one of my roommates returned to school after spending his post-freshman summer as an intern in the office of a young New York congressman. My roomie was excited because this second-termer openly described himself around the office — though not publicly, in the age of Reagan — as a “socialist.” That my roommate considered this a positive was no surprise — we attended a small, private college in New England, a region seemingly established as a haven for institutions where smart people can spend a lot of money to be taught how swell it is to boss other people around.

Anyway, the congressman in question was Chuck Schumer.

Can you tell that I'm pleasuring myself with a swatch of chainmail?

Chuck Schumer asks, "Can you tell that I'm pleasuring myself with a swatch of chainmail?"

In the years since, I don’t know if Schumer has retained his one-time affection for whatever brand of socialism he once favored. What I do know, however, is that he has established himself as the preeminent control freak in the Senate, having since moved to the upper house of Congress. From self-defense issues to undeclared wars and torture to, most recently, private virtual currencies and online drug markets, Schumer almost always picks the side that expands state power at the expense of the individual. Even when supposedly championing the little guy, it’s always on the way to handing more authority to some government agency.

That Schumer sometimes seems to pick his targets based on what would most benefit his friends in the financial industry demonstrates that he may have gone the way of most good socialists, and jettisoned the populist trappings in favor of the benefits to be had from wielding power.

Senator Charles Schumer’s recent fulminating over the alternative online currency, Bitcoin, and its use in the Silk Road online drug market, fits right into his unsavory role as a ferocious campaigner against grassroots-level stuff that he doesn’t really understand, beyond the fact that it clearly poses a challenge to government power. If history is any guide, he’ll propose some legislation that only peripherally impacts his intended target, somehow benefits a campaign donor — and probably gets shot down in this Congress, anyway.

Of course, Charles Schumer does represent the current generation in a fine New York tradition of politicians who govern as autocratic ideologues, while also finding a way to line their pockets. Yes, the Empire State has seemlessly conjoined fanatical authoritarianism with self-aggrandizing corruption to an extent that’s hard to imagine elsewhere, but would be exceeded in its sheer repulsiveness only by a business that made its money torturing kittens.

Repulsive elsewhere, that is, but not in New York. Back home, Charles Schumer is apparently just what people want in a Senator.

And people ask me why I left.

Posted in Awful Officials

5 Comments

  • While you’ve nailed Schumer, there are those of us in New York who would cheerfully send him off on a slow boat to China. Time and government, however, have convinced us that voting is just a way to keep the peasants quiet, so Schumer lives on.

    And I don’t think this phenomena is exclusive to NY. I seem to recall previous posts here about a beloved Arizona sheriff that keeps on keeping on.

  • You’re right, of course — Schumer wins with majorities, not unanimity. I know that plenty of New Yorkers are horrified by the S.O.B.

    And yes, Arizona cultivates its own brand of scary politicians. The local variety is cruder than Schumer.

  • And yes, Arizona cultivates its own brand of scary politicians.

    As does each of the other 49 oblasts in this rapidly deteriorating erstwhile republic. Pick your brand of repulsive ideologue: there’s bound to be one of your preferred flavor available to “represent” your own biases wherever you happen to live. By the way, this article fits in quite nicely with this article by Gary Barnett published in today’s LRC.

  • Hi Jerry, glad to see that you have held true to your beliefs since our days at Clark.

  • I’m older and balder, Joe. But I’m still pretty much the same guy.

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