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WSJ on Sen. Schumer

If you follow the emerging debate over America's financial competitiveness (see Ted's post of Friday, for example) you will notice that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been making some surprisingly helpful and constructive contributions, joining forces with Mayor Bloomberg to call attention to the need to improve Wall Street's litigation and regulatory climate. The editorialists at the Wall Street Journal yesterday (sub-only) used this development as the occasion to give Schumer some fairly hard and unsympathetic ribbing, writing, "even we didn't expect to see a leading Senate Democrat declare that tort law abuse is making America less economically competitive. Has Chuck Schumer told his colleagues about his epiphany?" with quite a bit more along the same lines.

I wonder whether the Journal is really on the right track here. I think a generally sound maxim would be, "Avoid taking potshots at public figures who are moving in the right direction." Sen. Schumer's rethinking of these issues is assuredly bringing him grief from some old friends. Does the WSJ really want to begrudge him any credit at all for the move? And if so, doesn't that convey the impression that for Schumer to explore common ground with the Journal's own co-thinkers is bound to be a losing game politically? Wouldn't it make more sense to criticize a figure like Hillary Clinton, who pointedly refuses to make any gestures toward the center on this issue of great moment for her home-state constituents?



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.