Good morning. I'm Sen. Chuck Schumer.
As the president leaves on a four day trip to Europe to encourage the spread of democracy abroad, our democracy here at home is under attack. There is a whiff of extremism in the air the likes of which we haven't seen in decades. There exists a small group of people who have no tolerance for those whose views are different from theirs and they seek to intimidate everyone else.
These small groups are so certain that they are right and everyone else is wrong that they are trying to undermine the age-old checks and balances that the Founding Fathers placed at the center of the Constitution and the republic.They lash out at the time-honored independence of our judicial branch and they seek to undermine the tried and true tradition of the Senate in which the minority party has rights. And unfortunately this small group has tremendous influence over the Republican party and seems to be dictating its politics and policy.
Americans are a mainstream people, and we are a people of faith. Most of us believe deeply in God, but we also believe deeply in the right of debate and compromise. Anyone who views their faith as a justification to roll over the "inalienable rights" that our Creator endowed us with doesn't understand what America is all about.
Indeed it was to combat this narrow way of thinking that the patriots put down their plows and picked up their muskets to fight for freedom in the American Revolution.
Some of the remarks made by these extreme groups and their allies are dangerous and un-American.
They've compared independent judges to the Ku Klux Klan.
They've said that the threat posed by judges is more serious than the threat posed by bearded terrorists who fly into buildings.
They've invoked Stalin's evil slogan, "no man, no problem" in talking about judges they disagree with.
If these were just abhorrent statements alone, there would be less to worry about, but the people who have said them are influential people in and out of the government.
They seek to muzzle independent judges who they do not agree with. They seek to change 200 year old rules in the Senate in the middle of the game, because they are not always getting their way.
This morning I am making a heartfelt plea to you, Mr. President. When you came to Washington, you said you wanted to change the climate in D.C., which can be fraught with partisan bickering and politics. I don't believe for a minute that you subscribe to the kinds of views I mentioned above.Those stating these abhorrent views count themselves as your political allies. One word from you will bring to a halt these un-American statements. That would be a way to strengthen democracy — here at home.
This has been New York Sen. Chuck Schumer. Thanks for listening, and I would like to wish my mom and every mother a happy and healthy Mother's Day!