Tales of a Democratic Fabulist // Raj Kannappan // 12.06.2011

Immediately following the start of her tenure as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FLA) chose the path of deception over collected leadership. She revealed to the public the insidiousness with which she intended to further loot the long-gone confidence of citizens in their government when she claimed on national television that Republicans “want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws—and very transparently—block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican candidates.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

By uttering those words, Wasserman Schultz began her seemingly effortless yet painfully distressing climb to the crown of her political theatre. Her equating of state legislatures’ requiring voters to show identification with legislation that mandated segregated schools and drinking fountains raised immediate and forceful opposition, even from key Democratic players, impelling a retraction from Wasserman Schultz. In her defense, unsurprisingly, arose Democratic strategist and top Obama adviser David Axelrod, who claimed that the President and his team were pleased with Wasserman Schultz’s performance and had no second thoughts about her leadership. Such weakness from the President’s team which once preached a post-partisan command of the country—divine morality exalted—represents but the arrant failings of a Democratic leadership which knows not when to cast the throes of bickering for level-headed governance nor what demeanor to apply when faced with the specter of a debilitating political impasse.

The now-branded prevarications of Wasserman Schultz are worth remembering as a source of wayward imagination left unrestrained amidst the storm clouds of very real issues waiting to rain down on the country—not to mention the impending negativity that Obama and the DNC will employ in his 2012 campaign to compensate for his administration’s proven inability to perform over the last three years.

Wasserman Schultz’s marauding was merely one of numerous gaffes and blatantly deceitful acts of theatre, which then begs the question, what was President Obama thinking when he chose as the DNC’s leader someone who seems bent on merely embroidering claims to their extremes and inculpating those who oppose her as eager to throw America under the bus? Surely, the President could have tapped a more honest public servant for the position.

Of course, Obama’s tapping someone else for the post would have implied that he actually cared about selecting someone who would put America before his Party and personal ambitions—as he often calls on Republicans to do.

Wasserman Schultz’s paroxysms of rage, however, have allowed for her success in one aspect: hurling at Republicans every which unfounded and self-implicating accusation of immorality and political opportunism she manages to seize. She has accused Republicans of wanting to reinstate segregation and of waging “a war on women.” Even rebuking Republicans for not supporting the American auto industry while she herself makes her daily rounds in a Japanese-made Infinity FX35, Wasserman Schultz seems lost for credibility. More puzzlingly, she has chastised the GOP for wanting to make illegal immigration a crime. What a realization? Illegal immigration is, in fact, illegal.

Most egregiously feckless are her inaccurate criticisms of Republicans’ attempts to initiate Medicare reform. Her Mediscare tactics have merely contributed to the erosion of a genuine debate on an outdated social insurance program which, without a sustained intervention, will continue to undermine the financial well-being of the country. Her primary goal appears to be the constant vilification of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), seemingly one of the few public officials—from either Party—who has shown a dogged conviction to implement true entitlement reform.

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” during the summer, the Congresswoman argued that Republicans “would take the people who are younger than 55 today and tell them, ‘You know what? You’re on your own. … We’re going to throw you to the wolves and allow insurance companies to deny you coverage and drop you for pre-existing conditions.’” By conjuring up naked misrepresentations like this one, not only has Wasserman Schultz lost any credibility that she had with Americans outside the far left, but she has also failed to impact policy debates in a meaningful way.

One could argue that the most important responsibilities of the head of the DNC are fundraising and coordination of an election strategy. That would hold true in general. However, Wasserman Schultz has decided that she wants to extend her reach into the policy arena. So the least she can do while appearing on her beloved Sunday talk shows is supplement her pontifications on the failings of Republicans with a modicum of veracity.

The only redeeming quality Wasserman Schultz appears to possess is her creativity—or rather, her ear-piercing penchant for manufacturing tales of Republican brinksmanship. Only if this creativity could spill over to her discussion of policy proposals, the Democratic Party and President Obama would stand on stronger ground today.

Worse still, the Congresswoman has even sold out some of her Party’s own supporters. Following Republican Bob Turner’s unforeseen victory against Democrat David Weprin in New York’s 9th Congressional District—a 3-1 Democratic stronghold—two months ago, the Congresswoman justified the loss by arguing that the district was “a difficult district for Democrats.” Surely, she knew that the district had not had a Republican representative since 1923, and that Jews, who make up approximately one third of the electorate in the district, vote overwhelmingly Democrat in virtually every election. Apparently, for Wasserman Schultz, Party loyalty only runs one way.

However, the specter of an election massacre looms large for the chairwoman of the DNC, and if she has not begun to writhe from sleepless nights already, she would do well to ready herself for the impending fallout in November. For the 2012 elections, most polls have the Senate in a tossup as to who holds the majority and the House as still solidly remaining in Republican hands. It remains to be seen who will occupy the White House. Amidst a string of retirements—political pragmatism writ large—by prominent Democrats, topped by that of the pugnacious Barney Frank (D-MA), and a powerful dissatisfaction with the President, Republicans can conceivably seize the House and the Senate, as well as the White House.

Given Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s record of political malpractice as the head of the DNC, it is truly amazing that not a single official from the Obama administration has criticized her publicly. However, come January 2013, it is unlikely she will remain in her post—regardless of which Party comes out on top. She has simply embarrassed even the Democratic Party one too many times. Should the Republicans sweep the elections, Rep. Wasserman Schultz will surely be thrown under the bus unceremoniously—much like she did Democratic voters in NY-9.

Call Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s D.C. Office at (202) 225-7931 and let her know that America is tired of her anti-American antics.

Raj Kannappan // Cornell University // @RajKannappan

Advertisements

Comments

  1. Great piece! You write very well.

  2. Raj Kannappan says:

    Thanks!

  3. Very well written! Thank you for an intelligent, informative piece that uses facts, not emotional driven rhetoric (much like our radically liberal counterparts).

  4. Raj Kannappan says:

    Thanks Emily!

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: