Friday, August 11, 2017

The End Of Wasserman Schultz? Has Anyone Got A Silver Spike?


Once the most feared-- and loathed-- elected Democrat in Florida, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is still loathed but, well as one of the ultimate Florida political journalists put it yesterday at Politico, Florida Democrats are now saying "We wish she would go away and stop being so public by doubling down on negative stories... The chatter about a House leadership post is gone. So is talk of statewide office. After Hillary Clinton’s defeat, there’s no prospect of an administration job for Debbie Wasserman Schultz. One year after the Florida congresswoman’s resignation as national party chair at the Democratic National Convention-- where activists booed and shouted 'shame!' at her during a Florida delegation breakfast speech-- the once-rising star's political fortunes continue to fade, beset by critics on all sides." Many believe that he cheating during the 2016 primary season lead to the election of Donald Trump. DWT has been following her for over a decade and we have marveled how anyone so corrupt, self-serving and ruthless could have gone so far. When we look for pure evil and unadulterated in U.S. politics you don't have to go much further than Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who first came to our attention as a state Senator who made a deal with the Tallahassee Republicans to redraw Florida's congressional map to give her a safe (Jewish) seat to run in while rewarding the GOP with 3 red seats that should have been swing districts.

The worst of the New Dems, she built her power base in Congress by taking and directing money to potential allies from Big Sugar, private prisons, payday lenders, right-wing Cuban terrorists and Wall Street. One elderly congressional colleague who served with her in the Florida legislature told me Wasserman Schultz was "the most horrible, despicable persona I've ever met in politics. I really hate her... If her constituents only knew the half!"
Wasserman Schultz is again on defense after steadfastly refusing to explain why she continued to employ Imran Awan, an IT staffer who was under a federal investigation for alleged equipment and data scam in the U.S. House since February. She finally fired him on July 25, one day after authorities arrested him on a seemingly unrelated mortgage fraud charge. He was at the airport leaving for Pakistan, after wiring $283,000 there.

The firing came a full six months after about two dozen House Democrats dismissed four of Awan’s relatives and a friend, all of whom were under investigation with him.

Wasserman Schultz broke her public silence on Awan last week, portraying herself as the victim of "right wing media" attacks rooted in anti-Muslim bigotry aimed at Awan and the IT group.

But fellow Democrats are as confounded and disbelieving as ever by her penchant for making puzzling and stubborn political missteps.

“We wish she would go away and stop being so public by doubling down on negative stories,” said Nikki Barnes, a progressive DNC member from Florida, who believes Wasserman Schultz left the national party “in shambles” while chair, culminating with the hack of DNC servers and the release of embarrassing internal emails by WikiLeaks in the 2016 campaign. As for Wasserman Schultz's defense, Barnes said “none of this makes sense. It doesn't sound like racial profiling … there must have been something for her.”

The problem with the Awan case, Barnes said, is that it’s not just hurting the congresswoman. It’s drawing negative attention to a party still healing after last year’s shocking losses and the divisive Democratic primary when Wasserman Schultz appeared to favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

“This adds to Debbie being re-branded as the Democrats’ disastrous destruction,” Barnes said. “Those of us on the DNC know we have to rebrand ourselves and earn the people’s trust. And unfortunately Debbie’s name does not scream trust. It screams power. It screams limited access. It screams WikiLeaks now. DNC lawsuit. It screams a lot of negative things to the public. That’s not how we want to rebrand ourselves.”

Barnes said she couldn’t understand why Wasserman Schultz made herself a target of attention by becoming the lone Democrat to employ Awan. Wasserman Schultz then drew even more negative attention to herself by publicly threatening the Capitol Police chief with “consequences” in a dispute over an office laptop under examination from investigators.

The drama ensured Wasserman Schultz would play a central role in a murky congressional summer “scandal” story playing out from Washington to Weston, her South Florida congressional district’s base.

“Debbie Wasserman Schultz is still a national figure, but unfortunately for her it’s because so many people around the country see her as playing a devastatingly bad role in the last election,” said R.T. Rybak, the former mayor of Minneapolis and former DNC vice-chair who clashed with Wasserman Schultz. “I can mention her name in Minneapolis and it gets a viscerally negative reaction, and I’ve found that to be the case in other parts of the country, too. Sadly, I think she deserves the negative reputation.”

Republicans have seized the opportunity to pound an unpopular rival who resigned as party chair after WikiLeaks released embarrassing hacked DNC emails just before the election. Wasserman Schultz’s office said Awan wasn’t a DNC employee and didn’t have access to its internal system but some conservative commentators and media have advanced unsubstantiated claims that Awan may have had access to and then leaked the DNC emails.

Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis, a fellow Floridian in Congress who might run for governor, has called for a Justice Department investigation and suggested Wasserman Schultz might have to testify. A conservative group has filed an ethics complaint against her. A Senate committee is examining the Awan group’s immigration history.

President Donald Trump himself last week weighed in by retweeting an article from conservative news site Townhall with the headline: “ABC, NBC, And CBS Pretty Much Bury IT Scandal Engulfing Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Office.” On Saturday, he retweeted a clip of a FOX commentator asking “What's a high priced Clinton attorney doing representing a low level IT staffer for the Democrats?"

And now the crazy, uninformed, made-up silliness; it is, after all, Marc Caputo writing! You can always count on him for this kind of mildly entertaining tripe. The idea that Wasserman Schultz is admired for her "fierce advocacy of progressive causes," should be on Caputo's Wikipedia page since it perfectly describes exactly what kind of a journalist he is. And "raise money for Democrats?" No, Wasserman Schultz is universally detested for using DNC resources to raise money for... Wassermann Schultz.
Over the years, as her circle of trust shrank, loyalty became an ever-more precious commodity to Wasserman Schultz, according to former staffers and top Democrats in Florida and Washington. Now, Wasserman Schultz has become such a polarizing figure in her own party that some longtime Democratic allies, when contacted by Politico, struggled to say kind words about her or explain how and why she got into this latest jam. They describe a hard-working politician with a sharp mind but an equally sharp tongue and hot temper that leads her into otherwise avoidable dustups and troubles.

Though admired by Democrats for her fierce advocacy of progressive causes, she nevertheless turned natural allies to enemies at the DNC, in the Obama White House and even in Florida, where she picked an explosive fight with top Democratic donor and trial lawyer John Morgan after she trashed his popular medical-marijuana initiative, seemingly without cause.

“In politics, you’re as strong as your friends. And she doesn’t have as many as she used to. And that’s her fault,” Morgan said.

Morgan and those who have known and observed Wasserman Schultz for decades say her demeanor began to change when she was DNC chair; power went to her head, they say, and mounting criticism then made her paranoid.

After President Obama won reelection in 2012, Wasserman Schultz resisted entreaties from the White House to quit on a high note and make way for fresh leadership. Months later, the congresswoman signaled that she’d use her post to raise more money for Democrats and hinted it would help her elect loyal House and Senate Democrats who could aid a run for statewide office or a top leadership position in the House.

By the summer of the 2014 midterms, when Democrats were destroyed nationwide and in her home state, Wasserman Schultz was engaged in a behind-the-scenes cold war with White House advisers and Obama allies who said her personal ambition conflicted with her role as chair.

Out of real party power in Washington in the summer of 2016, Wasserman Schultz had to head home to defend her congressional seat, from Democrat Tim Canova-- her first primary challenger she ever faced as an incumbent since her first election to a Florida state House seat in 1992.

Backed by Sanders, Canova spent big but lost to Wasserman Schultz. Still, her relatively anemic primary election winning margin-- 57 percent to 43 percent, the smallest of any Florida incumbent-- revealed the damage to her brand.

Canova is challenging her again in 2018.

Florida’s first Jewish woman to serve in Congress, Wasserman Schultz remains relatively popular in her heavily Jewish district. Rep. Lois Frankel, a West Palm Beach Democrat who has known Wasserman Schultz for two decades, credited her work ethic and “brilliance.”

But unlike Wasserman Schultz, Frankel saw trouble when news broke of the House investigation and stopped using IT support from Awan’s group.

“Maybe if I had known him for a lot of years and worked with him, he could’ve convinced me. I just said no,” Frankel said. “I didn’t have any kind of relationship with this guy other than he fixed my computers once in a while. There was no reason for me to risk anything for him.”

Rep. Gregory Meeks, a [uber-corrupt, bribe-taking New Dem] N.Y. Democrat who praised Wasserman Schultz for doing “the right thing” by sticking by Awan, had used Awan’s wife as an IT staffer but said he let her go amid the investigation because “I was told that the person that was on my staff could not access my database or anything of that nature, it would have had a negative effect on my office. And I was not in a position to pay when there was no work to be done.”

Not only were Democrats at pains to explain why they fired the staffers while Wasserman Schultz stood by Awan, they were bewildered by her decision to call out the Capitol Police chief at a May 18 budget hearing where she demanded the return of a laptop recovered in the investigation that she suggested was hers.

“I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and should expect that there would be consequences,” she said during a caught-on-camera exchange highlighted by Republicans.

To Democrats like the DNC’s Barnes, it’s a distraction the party can ill afford.

“Everything that’s going on right now is taking away from what success we’re seeing in the grassroots movement. No one’s talking about the people’s platform or hearing our good news because the headlines are focused on Debbie, her misplaced laptop and consequences,” Barnes said.
If you'd like to help Tim Canova end her political career once and for all, please consider contributing to his campaign here, on the page we reserve for progressives running primary campaigns against the worst House Democrats. Ironically, the House Democrats have managed to find perhaps the only figure as corrupt as Wasserman Schultz to lead them in the post-Pelosi/Hoyer era, another Wall Street owned-and-operated New Dem, Joe Crowley.

Grubby bossism is something Debbie has in common with  Crowley

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At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Clintons (et al) had not corrupted the democratic party in the '80s, no DWS.
The Clintons insinuated themselves everywhere in the party apparatus (brazille, dws, a hundred others) so that $hillbillary could win in 2008 and then in 2016. They corrupted the DNC rules with superdelegates and the primaries with various suppress, strip and flip corruptive processes thanks to their acolytes.
Obamanation, after upsetting the apple cart in 2008, joined the Clinton cabal and aided in the corruption.

And a lot of voters fell for it. again. still.

Brazille, DWS and $hillbillary are the reason we got this pos. But don't ever doubt that if $he had won, we would still be worse off than before.

That's how lesser-evilism works.

At 7:01 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Great more trouble is coming. (Face Palm)

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Thomas Ten Bears said...

Right on time: The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy did it.

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Elizabeth Burton said...


There's nothing wrong with supporting "pro-life" candidates so long as they are, however reluctantly, also pro-choice. The two positions are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Indeed, it could be said there is more integrity to be found in a candidate who personally opposes abortion but stands by the right of people to choose what's right for them.

By hammering on "abortion," the propaganda machine keeps alive a division that's not as black-and-white as they want everyone to think. Why else is the term "pro-life" used instead of the more appropriate "anti-choice" in almost every article published on the subject?

The issue is about choice. Period.

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect, Elizabeth, I believe the issue is about women.

Men don't want women to have the privilege of making THAT choice at all.
White Christian men not only want to deprive women of THAT choice, they want to punish them and their doctors for making the wrong choice.

And nobody gives a flying fuck about the baby once it's born. In fact, a lot of them would die for lack of medical care if/when they get their free market health denial for profit passed.

At 4:22 AM, Blogger VG said...

Is time yet to diagnose DWS as having NPD?

DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
Exaggerating your achievements and talents
Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
Requiring constant admiration
Having a sense of entitlement
Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
Taking advantage of others to get what you want
Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
Being envious of others and believing others envy you
Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner


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