… Wasserman Schultz is kind of an easy target. Any “aggressive messenger” is. Extreme and shrill is always far easier to spoof than subtle and nuanced. – Hot Air
…and the D.C. political class is sucking it up.
And, yep, right on schedule, the Democratic boys club is getting nervous.
But when a Republican campaign complains about an “aggressive messenger” who is “extreme,” but also “shrill,” you’d think Democrats would get a clue by now. It’s just another play out of their Hillary Clinton Playbook.
In a power position, Wasserman Schultz will lead the 2012 reelection efforts at the DNC, so she’s fair game for the same thing a man would get. Invoking Jim Crow was harsh and she walked it back, but considering what’s happening in Florida over voting, an alarm bell was absolutely required. The ACLU of Florida, the national ACLU, and Project Vote, a Washington, D.C., voters’ rights organization, have already filed lawsuits to stop it, with the new voting restrictions being compared to a “poll tax.”
You’d think Democrats had forgotten what happened in 2000. Unfortunately, so far, spineless Democrats, which we saw plenty of this week, seem to be willing to let the attacks coming Wasserman Schultz’s way stand or worse, saying she’s going through a “growing pain,” as if she’s some child.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is getting pilloried, especially for what she said about Medicare, though so far Politico is stopping short of saying she’s the Democratic version of Michael Steele, the incompetent RNC chair who suffered from every major ill a party leader could, though The Hill has no trouble going there.
But Wasserman Schultz’s real crime is that she’s not Tim Kaine, the Casper milquetoast of all things Blue Dog. The Hill characterizing her as “certainly a change in style” from Kaine. The translation being she doesn’t subscribe to the Marquess of Queensberry rules of politics, but instead is the Clinton firebrand version, belonging to the fighting wing of the Democratic Party, a style that’s been put on ice since Obama walked into Washington and is why Democrats are in this mess in the first place, starting with the economy. But I digress.
We all saw what happened to Newt Gingrich when he dared to confront Paul Ryan’s budget scheme; his campaign permanently torpedoed because of it.
For Debbie Wasserman Schultz it begins here:
“The Republicans have a plan to end Medicare as we know it. What they would do is 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.’Ã¢â‚¬”°” – Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Wasserman Schultz talking about Republicans throwing people on Medicare to “the wolves” evidently had the Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler believing actual wild animals were going to be set loose by the GOP to gobble up seniors.
Does this type of political rhetoric actually need to be explained to the estimable Mr. Kessler?
That’s the experience I had to his Pinocchio Medicare piece in early June, wondering if the guy had lost his ability to grasp metaphors while refusing to accept the inherent unknown unknowables to Paul Ryan’s budget scheme that ends Medicare as we know it. But somewhere in his zeal to slam Wasserman Schultz he ran into his own buzz saw. From Kessler on Ryan’s plans:
Certainly, the CBO raises serious questions about whether the premium payment would be adequate over time. The CBO analysis estimated that by 2030, the government would pay just 32 percent of the health care costs, less than half of what the federal plan currently pays. The other 68 percent of the plan would have to be shouldered by the retiree. (The CBO estimated that if traditional Medicare stayed in place, the government would pay 70 to 75 percent of the costs.)
“As numerous independent authorities have found, the Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it doesn’t guarantee coverage,” Sevugan said. “The bottom line is that the vouchers he proposes to hand out to seniors would not cover their costs ““ especially for those with pre-existing conditions “” and they would be denied the care they need. The only thing the Republican plan guarantees is that you will have to pay substantially more out of your pocket for substantially less coverage if you end up getting covered at all.”
But this is different than claiming the plan would “allow insurance companies to deny you coverage.” Wasserman Schultz is offering a prediction, not a fact.
Wasserman Schultz didn’t need to add the “deny you coverage” charge, agreed. So, let’s do a rewrite on her initial Medicare statement that got Kessler’s skivvies in a bunch:
“The Republicans have a plan to end Medicare as we know it. What they would do is 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
allowinsurance 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.’Ã¢â‚¬”°” – Debbie Wasserman Schultz
How’s that work for you on the fact-checking meter? I’d say it’s close to a perfect Geppetto.
Kessler also takes issue with other parts of Wasserman Schultz’s political campaign statements:
Wasserman Schultz did not say voucher, but her statement suggests that people would be handed a check (“X number of dollars”) and then have to go out and find a plan that they can afford. She also said the plan would “allow insurance companies to deny you coverage and drop you for pre-existing conditions.”
Wasserman Schultz’s rebuttal info comes from here, but as I wrote above, even Kessler admits the CBO hasn’t a frickin’ clue whether Ryan’s voucher budget will cover what it costs, with seniors eventually being stuck with a bigger bill.
Today, Politico’s Molly Ball runs with the notion of Wasserman Schultz having a “rocky start” and jumps to accusing Schultz of the “tendency to put her foot in her mouth,” which deserves its own Pinocchio rating. Anonymous quotes from someone “close to” Schultz expects her to “tone it down.”
Does anyone doubt Republicans want to end Medicare as we know it?
In the Politico piece today, Ball goes to master gaffe man Mike Huckabee, who actually had the audacity to serve Wasserman Schultz up saying, “It is reassuring to know that there’s someone standing by to step in, just in case Joe Biden needs time off.” This from a guy who went after an actress for being too pregnant and happy while engaged, which evolved into a week-long verbal edit parade that made Huckabee look like the second coming of Dan Quayle.
Never mind Huckabee’s gaffe (and re-gaffe) that Pres. Obama grew up “in Kenya.” There weren’t enough Pinocchio points to award on that beauty, but at least Mr. Kessler noticed.
Politico also made sure to trumpet Karl Rove’s “Debbie Downer,” which she probably is for Republicans because she’s effective, not because she talks like a policy experts (though she is one) to the media. But because when she makes a statement about Medicare or any other alarming plan cooked up by Republicans, she intuits the spirit of what they want to manifest.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, if you look at their record as a whole, all of them voted not to defund Title X, not to defund Planned Parenthood. So, when I make a harsh characterization of Republicans, it’s in their platform, it’s their third most important priority, by indication of it being H.R. 3 was ending–was getting rid of Planned Parenthood funding, redefining rape so that you could not get access to an abortion paid with federal funds unless you were forcibly raped. So statutory rape didn’t count,* date rapes didn’t count, for a while incest, unless you were a minor, didn’t count. So if you look on balance at their entire record, their record is anti-woman. Their record is a war on women. And it’s a priority for them.
TWS’s John McCormack offers a counterattack to Wasserman Schultz’s points by naming 10 anti women Blue Dog Dems who are worthless to the Democratic Party, because they don’t support what the party is supposed to stand for where women are concerned. He then serves up abortion right opponents to justify defying the spirit and even the letter of the law in Roe and Griswold.
Where are Kessler, Ball, the Washington Post and Politico on this story? The story that legislatures across this country are defying Roe v. Wade, as well as Griswold, while the news media yawns?
It’s not like Axelrod or Ed Rendell, quoted in the Politico piece giving a modicum of cover to Schultz as they simultaneously buy into the premise of Politico’s hit, are going to make the case about what Republicans are trying to do to women’s rights. Can’t scare off Independents by daring to say abortion is legal and access should be protected. That deciding a sonogram is required is preposterous for a woman in a panic and in a life crisis.
The entire Democratic establishment, except for Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is silent on this. Now they want to muzzle her, asking for a more demure DNC chair, a kinder, gentler girl, instead of the fierce warrior she is.
For Rove, neutering any fighting Democratic or progressive voices is the plan, with many in the media gladly playing along. What’s a better story than a fierce woman in leadership being labeled, tagged and bagged as an “aggressive messenger” who is “extreme” and “shrill” and “far easier to spoof” than the “subtle and nuanced” stylings of a Tim Kaine, who was such a disaster at the DNC that not only was there no message for the 2010 midterms, but a historic rout occurred on his watch.
Ryan’s Medicare scheme is telling seniors you’re on your own with the very notion of a voucher system, which no one believes will cover the costs.
Ryan’s Medicare scheme would throw seniors into an untried or tested system, taking them away from a plan everyone knows works at a time when they’re also trying to cut off funding from government, while promising no tax revenue to guarantee sustainability of Ryan’s plan.
Ryan’s Medicare scheme would stop short of today’s Medicare and then tell seniors to figure out the rest.
What Debbie Wasserman Schultz should have added in her Medicare statement, but didn’t dare, is that Ryan wants to do this while also sheltering the richest Americans from paying more taxes.
But then again, Pres. Obama, his administration and the Democrats, including talking heads and many in new media, have bought into the ridiculous notion that carving out new brackets for the super wealthy is somehow wrong. They’ve also completely jettisoned the very economic policies that Bill Clinton put into action that led to a surplus. Obama’s not even into a jobs plan, because it’s too expensive.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is an elite Democratic insider who was appointed to help Obama bring back women, because in 2010 they fled. Good luck with that, especially considering the abysmal performance from Democrats who look more like Republicans today than they have in 20 years.
Pres. Obama cooked up the Biden economic team that’s hammering out things at Blair House without a single woman in the room.
What can Debbie Wasserman Schultz do about that?
Is the Washington Post or Politico talking about that? Of course not. It’s all about “Debbie the Downer,” who’s delivering some stark truth about what Republicans are already doing to our economic debate, as well as freedoms and civil rights, which they want to particularly deny women.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the best Democrats and progressives are going to get from Pres. Obama. Her tenacity is laudable, her choice of words needing a slight rewrite. But the hit out on her today is over the top and unwarranted, with the shamelessly flaccid response from people like Axelrod and Rendell appalling.
It might be a small point, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Democrats also supported the bailout of GM, when the Republicans wanted them to simply go down, taking thousands and thousands of jobs and businesses with them. I guess personal selection of automobile is more important than the policies Schultz pushes and votes to support.
The conservative blogosphere took special pleasure in deconstructing her statement that “If it were up to the candidates running for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars. They would have let the automobile industry in America go down the tubes.”
The RNC promptly dug up the Florida vehicle registration for the Japanese car the congresswoman drives. Though Wasserman Schultz meant that if the U.S. carmakers had been allowed to go bankrupt, only foreign cars would be available, Republicans charged she wasn’t supporting the American auto industry with her own purchasing decisions.
DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and RNC Chair Reince Priebus will debate on “Meet the Press” this Sunday. My money’s on Wasserman Schultz, who I hope brings her best metaphors and continues to represent Republican policies that would throw people to the wolves, including people with pre-existing conditions, because the bottom line in 2012 is that the Right wants to repeal health care, leaving sick people with no options.
You’ve got boot straps, use ’em!
If Democrats would dare talk about what Ryan’s scheme would do to Medicaid, Wasserman Schultz’s initial statement about Medicare actually wouldn’t be strong enough.
Bootstrap Republicans want Americans to buck up and do it themselves, with the only thing standing between people and the poor house the Democratic legislation that people like Wasserman Schultz champion.
The trouble isn’t fact-checking Debbie Wasserman Schultz, it’s that the spirit of how she’s characterizing the austerity road Republicans want us to walk down is dead on and they don’t like it.