Lest this get lost amid all the national implications, GOP-on-GOP conflict, lame-duck-presidency chatter, the bottom line on the collapse of the Dubai port deal is that Chuck Schumer is the force that stampeded the Republican Congress and blew up this transaction.
This was a classic Chuck Sunday press conference — Arabs! Ports! Bombs! — gone, so to speak, nuclear. It was Jewish-New-York skepticism about Arab governments, plus Lou-Dobbs nativism, plus a deep wonkiness about port security Chuck has been deepening for years.
On whether it was demagogic in the contemporary sense or in the neutral Greek sense I’ll defer to others. It was a distinctly New York populism. And in terms of the narrative of this story — though New York’s senior Senator a href=”http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/03/09/ports.timeline/index.html”>sometimes gets slighted — this was Chuck vs. Bush, and Chuck won.