Chuck’s Arab Problem

It took this one a little while to pop, but Chuck Schumer is now taking heat for something he told the Observer a couple of weeks ago:

“Let’s say skinheads had bought a company to take over our port,” he said when asked if there was a racist edge to criticism of the Dubai ports deal. “I think the outcry would have been the same.”

His defense, though, seems to have raised its own outcry.

The Forward’s Eve Kessler now reports that “[t]he remark enraged officials of the Arab American Institute, a national civic groups, which is demanding that Schumer apologize or be ousted as head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.”

AAI executive director Nidal Ibrahim: “The point we’re making is that this has the potential to tarnish Democrats across the country, including in key races where Arab Americans have significant numbers, such as Michigan and New Jersey.”

Of course, as far as New York politics goes, no politician ever seems to have suffered for being too far right on Arabs.