Venting About Debbie Wasserman Schultz

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Snapshot 2008-03-24 08-46-08.jpg
House of Representatives buddies Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Starting at 10 am today, a number of progressive blogs are going to encourage their readers to call the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to complain about the unwillingness of DCCC Red-to-Blue Program Debbie Wasserman Scultz’s refusal to assist Democratic contenders challenging her pro-Cuba embargo Republican House of Representative pals Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, and Mario Diaz-Balart.


Here is a clip from the Washington Post‘s “The Sleuth”:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) is getting brutally walloped in the liberal blogosphere for refusing to endorse the Democratic challengers to three potentially vulnerable GOP incumbents in Florida.
Liberal bloggers are irate that Wasserman Schultz, who co-chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Red-to-Blue program, has declined to endorse the Democrats running to unseat Cuban American Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and his brother, Mario Diaz-Balart.
Wasserman Schultz says she doesn’t want to stab GOP members of her own delegation in the back. But liberal bloggers say she’s killing her own while aiding and abetting the enemy.

Just for the record, I’m not in favor of knocking out all Republicans either — so perhaps I have a bit of the Wasserman Schultz sin in my own file. I was for instance supportive of Maryland Eastern Shore anti-Iraq war Republican Wayne Gilchrest who lost his primary battle recently.
But the Diaz-Balart brothers and Ros-Lehtinen are not moderate in any sense of the word, are embracers of Bush’s wars, and have been responsible for sustaining a counter-productive embargo of Cuba by the United States that 183 nations of the world voted against us on this past year in the United Nations.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is helping to defend the political turf of not the best in the Republican Party — but the worst.
If you want to join the effort today, feel free to call these numbers and express your own point of view.
Please be respectful:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (campaign office):
E-mail: AskDebbie@DWSforCongress.com
Phone: 202-741-7154
DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen (campaign office):
E-mail: chris@vanhollen.org
Phone: 301-942-3768
DCCC Headquarters:
Contact form
Phone: 202-863-1500

For more on the hypocrisy of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the “freedom to travel” debate, read this.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

20 comments on “Venting About Debbie Wasserman Schultz

  1. arthurdecco says:

    Carroll, You Go!, Gurl!!!!

    Reply

  2. Carroll says:

    Posted by WigWag Mar 24, 10:30PM – Link
    Read the post, POA, it doesn’t say she should support her republican friends, it merely says there’s nothing wrong with leaving the campaigning against them to others. Now why exactly is that so hard to understand? I do agree, however, that in light of her feelings about this she probably shouldn’t co-chair the Red to Blue program.
    And, by the way, I am waiting patiently for your additional comments about representative democracy that you so started to make so boldly in your ealier post. Or do you concede the point that by supporting the embargo, the congresswoman is doing what representatives do in a representative democracy; that is support the will of their constituents?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well, if you want to talk about representative democracy you better be prepared for a debate on how “representative democracy” has been “perverted” into something it was not meant to be.
    Which would include “their constitutents” agendas and how “their constitutents” have abused their “right to representation” in US government because their agendas are to “use” their citizenship in the US to benefit their own foreign political interest and delusions.
    I don’t know why it is so many of you use this same old “right to representation” arguement.
    But it is going to provide the battle ground some day for a real definition of what interest have the right to be represented and which do not within US politics and government.
    Evidently you are not aware that your argument was anticipated, debunked and warned against a long time ago by our founders.
    Geo Washington -1779
    “….often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
    However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. ”

    Reply

  3. Priscilla says:

    Yesterday an on-line petition calling for Debbie Wasserman-
    Schultz to either support openly the 3 Democratic challengers in S.
    Florida or step down from co-chairing the Red to Blue Committee.
    Here is the site: http://www.onlinepetition.com/red2blue/petition.html
    Ms. Wasserman-Schultz is supposed to advance the will of those
    who elected her to represent them and not place her “friendship”
    with the Diaz-Balart brothers and Ileana Ros-Lehntinen above all.
    The Diaz-Balart boys and Ileana are staunch, rigid Bush backers–
    voted and still are pro war, voted against SCHIF but are carefre
    about the borrowed debt to fund the war, against the minimum
    wage and at times seem more concerned with Cuba and Fidel than
    representing the interests of South Floridians. Benign neglect in an
    election of this magnitude and importance cannot be overlooked.

    Reply

  4. Steve Clemons says:

    Thanks Dirk — I do like the Jane Harman we’ve been seeing lately, but like many was disappointed in her decisions at early key points in the Iraq War and her own involvement in bolstering an opaqueness that enabled unbelievable abuses of executive authority. I’ve met Rep. Harman a number of times and talked to her about how the admin got a pass on intelligence when it shouldn’t have — and that national security Dems, in my view, end up as Pentagon-huggers rather than principled managers of the national security portfolio. She got what I was saying — and has embraced a more balanced view on the Middle East for the most part.
    But the wireless wiretap story does not surprise me. It was how she was positioning herself at that time — and yes, that was a serious disappointment. I wish everyone had been where Bob Graham was.
    — Steve Clemons

    Reply

  5. Dirk says:

    Steve,
    Fair points about Wasserman Schultz; I thoroughly agree.
    Have you seen this story about one of her cohorts Jane Harmon:
    Key Dem Urged NYT Reporter against Running Warrantless Wiretapping Story
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/03/key_dem_urged_nyt_reporter_aga.php
    If I remember correctly, she’s one of your buddies and you even let her post here on your blog. I’d be interested in your comments.

    Reply

  6. Mr.Murder says:

    You’d have to look at demographics and density. Often within parallel districts the swing vote can move to/from districts.
    As for the politicians,
    as the saying goes, keep your enemies nearer.

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, you are proposing that her “constituents” do not want her to campaign against her Republican friends, Wigwag? Basically, you’re saying well, she represents them on one issue, but not on another. So its a wash?
    But hey, don’t sweat it. She ain’t the only elitist politico flipping us all the bird.
    Besides, she keeps this up, and she just might earn a spot on the Democratic Hall of Shame right up next to these pathetic posturing jackasses Pelosi, Harman, and Reid. And if she gets REALLY good at it, she might even ascend to Lieberman’s unrivaled scumball status.

    Reply

  8. WigWag says:

    Read the post, POA, it doesn’t say she should support her republican friends, it merely says there’s nothing wrong with leaving the campaigning against them to others. Now why exactly is that so hard to understand? I do agree, however, that in light of her feelings about this she probably shouldn’t co-chair the Red to Blue program.
    And, by the way, I am waiting patiently for your additional comments about representative democracy that you so started to make so boldly in your ealier post. Or do you concede the point that by supporting the embargo, the congresswoman is doing what representatives do in a representative democracy; that is support the will of their constituents?

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “PissedoffAmerican, what you should be pissed off about is your lack of understanding about what representative government really is.”
    ROFLMAO!!!!! You mean like when you forward the asinine notion that she should support her Republican friends, whether she thinks they are “right” or not? While she is supposed to be advancing a Democratic agenda?
    Wrong.
    I think you’re waggin’ on this, when you should be wiggin’.

    Reply

  10. p.lukasiak says:

    “You criticize the Congresswoman for not campaigning agaist Illeana Ross-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers. Well, they’re her friends and what’s wrong with that.”
    there is nothing wrong with that… if you aren’t the co-cahir of the House Democratic Committee whose task it is to increase the Democratic majority in the House by unseating GOP incumbents.

    Reply

  11. Kathleen says:

    Speaking of “legal travel” there’s that pesky fine print in the MCA that says even an American with a valid passport can be denied re-entry to our country if we fit Busholini’s definition of “enemy combatant” read “critic”. Plus, POA is correct about the 72 hours notice and need to get ‘permission”. So much for Republiscums being for less government. that notion went out with Republiscums being fiscally responsible. Flussssssh!

    Reply

  12. WigWag says:

    Steve, thank you for your thoughtful response to my comment. The Washington Note is indispensable. I read it first thing in the morning and it makes me more informed about whatever else I read in the newspapers that day.
    PissedoffAmerican, what you should be pissed off about is your lack of understanding about what representative government really is. Representive government is not about a legislator voting the way you want them to vote; it’s about voting the way their constituents want them to vote. Or at least it’s about bringing their best judgement to the table.
    This is precisely what Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz is doing. Trust me, I get it; you don’t like the way she votes on this issue. I don’t like her vote on this issue either; but many, if not most, of her constituents do.
    Steve may or may not be right that most Cuban Americans oppose the embargo. The polls are all over the map but clearly this is a matter of controversy in the Cuban American community. Anyone who lives in South Florida can tell you that the Cuban Americans who feel most passionately about the issue, and are the most vocal, are those who support the embargo.
    Clearly, by supporting the embargo, the Congresswoman is adopting a popular position that is arguably supported by the majority of her constituents. No one who understands “representative government” can object to that.
    By the way, that’s the same reason that otherwise progressive representatives with large numbers of Cuban American constitutents, like several New Jersey congressmen, also support the embargo. Apparentley, PissedofAmerican, it’s not representative government that you like, it’s representative government that you dislike.
    Dan Kervick is right. In light of the Congresswoman’s reluctance to campaign against her friends (which I still think is to be applauded) she might not be the right co chair for the Red to Blue program.

    Reply

  13. JohnH says:

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz is just part of the rot at the head of the Democratic Party. “According to Democratic candidates who ran for House of Representative seats in 2006, Rahm Emanuel, then head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, took sides during the Democratic primary elections, favoring conservative candidates, including former Republicans, and sidelining candidates who were running in favor of withdrawal from Iraq.”
    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/090607J.shtml
    So Wasserman Schultz favors Republicans while Rahm Emanuel recruits Republicans to run as Democrats. This behavior only reinforces the impression among many of us that Democrats and Republicans are just two heads of the same party. And it explains why Democrats have taken no real initiative on Iraq, warrantless wiretapping, impeachment, politicization of Justice, etc. etc.

    Reply

  14. Carroll says:

    GOOD,GOOD,GOOD!
    I am phoning and emailing right now.

    Reply

  15. Steve Clemons says:

    Dan Kervick — as usual, great insight and point. I am focused on the US-Cuba issue but happy to roll along with the broader issue that the DCCC-focuse liberal blogosphere is attacking her for.
    But to be clear if we had moderate Republicans in South Miami in which one could have a reasoned debate about foreign policy, I’d be less animated. But these three Republicans are not moderates and not interested in reasoned debate. I have seen Lincoln Diaz-Balart scream at someone for just raising a question about the embargo. They are vigilant for more wars — particularly against Iran — and I think that moves them out of the nearly reasonable or nearly nearly reasonable box of Republicans who might be ones with whom reasonable Dems could work with.
    — Steve Clemons

    Reply

  16. Steve Clemons says:

    Malcolm…yep, I was just finished with a long run this morning, hurt my knee, and was not in the happiest of sorts when I wrote that first stem-winder of a sentence. I do humbly apologize and will do better in the future.
    WigWag — you should advocate for Debbie Wasserman Schultz if you feel that she has met your needs and you are satisfied with her approach on policy. I’m not. I also don’t vote along single issue lines and find gray area in many profiles of those running for higher office — so I respect your point of view. And you are absolutely right on Hagel. But his foreign policy approach is, in my mind, stunningly good — and worth a lot of grief that I might have with other issues.
    As you no doubt know, gay issues are also important to me — at least openness on the subject, and I know that Rep. Wasserman Schultz is quite good on that front. Happy to say so.
    But a united front with Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balarts in which she supports them on US-Cuba issues and they support her on Israel/Likud-hugging positions is simply something that for me outweighs many of her other strengths.
    I think that US-Cuba policy is one “low cost” example of how the US can show the world that it is taking a different course. I have seen many other historical opportunities missed — like the 2003 Iran offer to the US to negotiate normalization — and I think we are at another point of potential transition in US-Cuba affairs that America may miss if we don’t dislodge those who are blocking progress because of cynical deals that work to the detriment of the nation.
    So, I take your critique — and I respect where you are. I would quibble with you that I am “ignorant” in this issue. I don’t think so at all. I’m fully informed on Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s foreign policy views and activities — and those are zinger issues for me. I’m glad that her profile is good in other arenas and that she will continue to work on those.
    I intend to raise the costs for her, however, of the deal she has done with Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balarts. You are mistaken if you think that all Cuban-Americans support the embargo. A majority no longer do according to a vast amount of recent polling data — even published in the Miami Herald Tribune.
    Thanks for your note though — it’s smart and reasoned, and while you differ from me about her, I respect where you are coming from.
    best regards,
    Steve Clemons
    The Washington Note

    Reply

  17. Dan Kervick says:

    I believe Steve’s special concern for Cuba issues is obscuring what should be an obvious point here.
    It really doesn’t matter whether these Republican Members of Congress are moderates, conservatives, whigs, royalists, Guevarists, Bolivarans, fascists, or members of the Buena Vista Social Club. It doesn’t matter whether Wasserman Schultz is a good Member of Congress or a bad Member of Congress. It doesn’t matter whether opposing these Republican House members would be political suicide for Wasserman Schultz or not.
    Whatever one’s political leanings, isn’t it clear that it is simply absurd to have someone with these divided loyalties serving as co-chair of the Red-to-Blue program? That’s like appointing someone as House Democratic Party Whip who is a noted bipartisan maverick and who believes party discipline is overrated and counterproductive. Those are legitimate political stances, but they are stances that make a person completely unsuited to be a whip. Similarly, if Wasserman-Schulz is not 100% committed to the cause of replacing House Republicans with new House Democrats, in every seat where this is possible, then she simply should not be a co-chair of the Red-to-Blue program. Really, this is just common sense.
    If Wasserman Schulz is from a district where one must pay obeisance to certain powerful Republican constituencies, and where it is politically impossible to be a full-throated champion of all Democratic candidates, then what the hell is she doing as co-chair of the Red-to-Blue program?

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Frankly, I think it’s classy and honorable that Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz doesn’t campaign agaisnt her friends. It doesn’t mean she thinks they’re right.”
    What part of “Representative government” don’t you understand? Do you honestly entertain the notion that we elect our representatives so that they can support “friends”?
    I think your comment deserves an award.
    However, even as outspoken as I am, I will not name the award, because I prefer not to be banned from this site.

    Reply

  19. WigWag says:

    Steve, your Jihad against Debbie Wasserman Schultz is ignorant and misinformed. If other blogs join with you in this effort, they are equally misinformed.
    I don’t know Representative Wasserman Schultz personally nor have I contributed to her campaigns, but I do vote for her every two years because she has been a great congresswomen. She’s wrong on the Cuba issue but she has a very progressive voting record on just about every other issue. Earth to Steve; this is South Florida. People of Cuban decent are moving to her district every day. In fact, her district has the fastest growing Cuban American population of any congressional district in America. Many Cuban Americans are ambivalent about the embsrgo and some even oppose it. The passion is all on the side of the Cuban Americans who believe in the embargo. It is political suicide in this district to oppose the embargo or Cuban American candidates who support the embargo.
    Moreover, Steve, in case you’re unaware of it, redistricting occurs in a couple of years. Republicans control the state legislature and the governors office. Picking an unnecessary fight with the Republican Party about this issue would be pure political idiocy.
    You criticize the Congresswoman for not campaigning agaist Illeana Ross-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers. Well, they’re her friends and what’s wrong with that. I have plenty of friends with whom I have political disagreements. I suspect, Steve, that you do to. Frankly, I think it’s classy and honorable that Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz doesn’t campaign agaisnt her friends. It doesn’t mean she thinks they’re right. Her votes indicate that she opposes them on just about every issue except the embargo. Not campaigning against these Republicans doesn’t mean she supports them, just that will leave the campaigning to others.
    Frankly, I think it’s a little hypocritical of you to criticize the Congresswoman in light of some of the politicians that you have favorably commented upon. Like Senator Hagel. He may be sophisticated and even right on many foreign policy issues but he is as reactionary as they come on domestic issues. This didn’t stop you from waxing eloquent about how wonderful he is in post after post.
    I think the congresswoman is wrong about the embargo but either for political reasons or reasons of conscience, she disagrees. Because of her impeccable record on every other issue, I’m willing to cut her a little slack. So should you!

    Reply

  20. Malcolm Tredinnick says:

    So it turns out it *is* possible to put too many adjectival nouns in one sentence. :-)
    I had to read that first paragraph/sentence a few times to work out where the subject separators should go. Come on, Steve. Your writing is normally better than that. A case of the opening sentence grabbing attention for the wrong reasons?

    Reply

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