Who Concerns Senator Schumer More: Poor New Yorkers or Cruise Ship Passengers?

While drinking my coffee this morning in an effort to get my St. Patrick's Recovery Day going, the local news went off and the national news came on. A few minutes later, an outraged Senator Chuck Schumer appeared, all aflutter in a fit of righteous indignation. 

Cruise ship passengers, he declared, should never be "forced to live in Third World conditions." Something must be done! Whereupon he promised to get right down to the all-important task of regulating the cruise ship industry to insure that their relatively well-heeled customers never have to endure, for a few hours or even a few (gasp!) days, the conditions that many New Yorkers either normally live in or have been forced to live in for months due to the government's pathetic performance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. 

I did a little research on the latter, and it seems the media have grown bored with the topic of the state of Hurricane Sandy victims. The most recent article I could find was this March 6 piece from HuffPo:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/06/hurricane-sandy-poor_n_2815782....

Apparently, there are still thousands of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans who still don't know where they will be living later on this year, and I don't know how many are still in temporary shelters, trailers, or tents. 

But that's old news. Who can forget the grossly obese woman complaining about standing in line for hours for a hamburger while her cruise ship was being towed to Alabama? Or the horror stories from passengers deprived of electricity and indoor plumbing for several DAYS! And then we were treated to another story last week where these inncocent passengers had to go without working toilets or electricity for HOURS! Horrors! 

Why, there might have been campaign contributors on those ships. After all, if you have enough money to go on a cruise, you probably have enough money to donate to some Senator's re-election campaign. And Senator Schumer is going to go out of his way to make sure you notice his clarion call to insure that you never have to experience what millions of your fellow Americans go through on a regular basis. Especially when you've spent your no doubt hard-earned(actually, I do have doubts about that) money on a dream vacation. 

The message I see loud and clear is this: Poor people made homeless by a nasty hurricane that was likely helped along by climate change may just have to suck it up. Middle class and wealthier people who can afford to go on cruises must never even be inconvenienced. 

It pisses me off, it does. 

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Oh, it doesn't surprise me, not at all. It DOES piss me off.

Ohio Barbarian's picture

Third World conditions, indeed. I live a few blocks from East Cleveland. There's plenty of people living in Third World conditions every day within a couple of miles of my house. 

And Schumer doesn't give a damn about them. Neither do most of them inside the Beltway. 

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I have no doubt that

type1error's picture

Chuck Schumer cares more about the cruise ship passengers.

He also cares more about himself. And being on TV. The man loves attention. What's the saying....."The most dangerous place in DC is between Chuck Schumer and camera."

It's a shame that the media aren't paying more attention to the plight of the poor. Maybe some of the politicians would follow.

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Excellent point, which had to be said, obvious though it seems

geomoo's picture

It would be a mistake to credit Schumer with actually caring about any of the calculated things coming out of his mouth.  And I don't need to denigrate the unfortunate experiences of the people on the cruise ship to appreciate the blindness in focusing on their temporary difficulties to the exclusion the on-going plight of others.

The mention of "the media growing bored with the topic" deserves some consideration, too.  Years ago I was on vacation in England, sharing an inn with a family from South Africa.  We became friendly and talked at length.  Apartheid had just ended.  I could feel in a subtle way that in their minds I carried a degree of power simply by virtue of being an American.  After all, America had just managed to force a deep societal change in their relatively small country.  When we talked about apartheid, they took an appealing tone, a baffled tone.  Their country was having a terrible time, and they could not understand why all those well-meaning opponents of apartheid were not continuing to provide assistance.  I felt unable to convey to them how little Americans gave a shit about their country and how utterly and completely Americans had moved on to the next do-gooder project, congratulating themselves for "Mission Accomplished!"

Welcome to the world of television reality.  Good post.

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