There is a golden rule in politics that says “do no harm” when you open your mouth. Since being officially elected as Chair of the Democrat National Committee (DNC) on May 4th, it appears Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DWS) may not be aware of this saying. Initially, the conventional wisdom on the left was that the outspoken Florida Congresswoman would be a solid pick to lead the DNC. Vice President Joe Biden wrote in an email to supporters that “President Obama expressed great admiration for her as a leader, and he was honored that she accepted this important challenge on behalf of the Democratic Party.” New York’s senior Senator Chuck Schumer went as far as to issue a statement warning that “the Republican presidential nominee will come to regret that Debbie was tapped for this job.”
After only a little more than a month on the job, President Obama must be doing a lot of second-guessing about his choice to put DWS in charge of the national Democrat party machine during his re-election campaign. Since her tenure began, DWS has proven to be a bona-fide gaffe machine while illustrating questionable judgment by making a wide range of foolish and otherwise false statements.
Two of the first lessons newly elected leaders of political parties are generally taught is to concentrate on raising money and to always stay on message. Many of the words DWS has chosen to date are well off the political reservation and have caused major blowback. Simply put, she has wandered off message. If President Obama’s goal is to keep independent voters in states like Colorado, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia in his column, the inflammatory left-wing language coming from DWS is clearly not wooing the independent voters that will be vital for the 2012 election.
Here are some of the “worst hits” from Debbie Wasserman Schultz the Democrats’ “Mouth of the South” to date:
Says Republicans want to return to Jim Crow laws because of their efforts to combat vote fraud
“Now you have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally – and very transparently – block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican candidates.”
Lying about Medicare: says Rep. Paul Ryan budget plan will “throw you to the wolves”
“They would take the people who are younger than 55 years old today and tell them: ‘You know what, you’re on your own. Go and find private health insurance in the health care insurance market; we’re going to throw you to the wolves and allow insurance companies to deny you coverage and drop you for pre-existing conditions. We’re going to give you X amount of dollars, and you figure it out.”
THE FACTS: “First, the Ryan plan explicitly forbids insurance companies from denying coverage to anyone who qualifies for Medicare, including those who have pre-existing illnesses. Second, it does not merely send money to the elderly and leave them to their own devices in arranging for medical care.” (The Associated Press, 6/2/2011)
Says GOP is waging a “war on women”
“So if you look on balance at the entire record, their record is anti-women, their record is a war on women and it’s a priority for them.”
In response to the comments, several GOP Congresswomen issued a joint statement condemning her remarks:
“Apparently it’s open season on Republican women. Between Ed Schultz’s tasteless insult of a conservative woman radio host, and Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz’s comments that the Republican Party is ‘anti-women,’ the tone in Washington, D.C. has reached a new low…”
Initially gives disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner a free pass, falsely describes Weinergate as “a personal matter”
“I think Anthony Weiner is dealing with a personal matter and that is where it should be left.”
Questions why illegal immigration laws should be enforced
“I think the president was clearly articulating that his position – the Democratic position – is that we need comprehensive immigration reform…We have 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country that are part of the backbone of our economy and this is not only a reality but a necessity. And that it would be harmful – the Republican solution that I’ve seen in the last three years is that we should just pack them all up and ship them back to their own countries and that in fact it should be a crime and we should arrested them all.”
Attacks Republicans on foreign cars, but owns a foreign car herself
“If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars; they would have let the auto industry in American go down the tubes,’ she said at a breakfast for reporters organized by the Christian Science Monitor. But according to Florida motor vehicle records, the Wasserman Schultz household owns a 2010 Infiniti FX35, a Japanese car whose parent company is Nissan, another Japanese company. The car appears to be hers, since its license plate includes her initials.” (The Hill, 5/26/2011)
Says economy is improving as unemployment ticks up to 9.1 percent
“You’ve got an economy that is – is really beginning to pick up the pace.”
At the end of the day, DWS might be on to something. Regularly making false, outrageous, and hypocritical statements on various issues might be better than talking about the atrocious 9.1 percent unemployment rate, explaining why 59 percent of the American people disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the economy, or why a whopping 89 percent think the economy is in bad shape, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll. Can President Obama afford to keep DWS around through November 2012? We’ll see.