Senator Chuck Schumer may not be the most left wing of our senators, but he has a keen political mind and will ally with us on some important things.
First, he wants to win:
“When you lose an election the way we did, you don’t flinch, you don’t look away. You look it in the eye and say ‘What did we do wrong?’” said Schumer, who also had a significant role in Democrats’ 2016 calculations. “To me, overwhelmingly, we did not have a strong economic message. What we need is a sharper, bolder, stronger, more progressive economic message.”
Schumer explained that includes staples from the Sanders and Warren wing of the party ― debt-free college, at least some of the free college that was so mocked by the Clinton campaign, a higher minimum wage, a “bolder” stance on trade, a tougher stance on the “rigged” system of lobbyists and special interests, and major investments in infrastructure, among other ideas.
Some are initiatives that Schumer has long embraced, but others — and especially the language used to describe them ― are the sorts of things progressives have heard from Sanders and Warren for years.
HuffPo: Chuck Schumer Is All In On Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Party
Second, he knows a salient issue to organize around: the War on Seniors.
"Between this nomination of an avowed Medicare opponent and the Republicans here threatening to privatize Medicare it's clear that Washington Republicans are plotting a war on seniors next year. Every senior, every American, should hear this loudly and clearly: Democrats will not let them win that fight," Schumer said. "Democrats from blue states, purple states, red states are going to link arm-and-arm to protect Medicare for our seniors and ensure that Republicans don't succeed in putting our seniors healthcare at risk."
[Ryan wants to privatize Medicare]
But that would be far more difficult if Schumer and congressional Democrats are able to mount a sustained campaign against the GOP's "war on seniors," a strategy reminiscent of their "war on women" messaging of past election cycles as well as the party's opposition to President George W. Bush's efforts to privatize Social Security.
"Just as their efforts failed then, they will fail now. We say to our Republicans who want to privatize Medicare, we say: go try it. Make our day," Schumer said.
This is a broad issue that can help rebuild the Democratic Party in the Age of Trump.