Friday, January 08, 2016

Wasserman Schultz draws a primary challenger

Maybe she will finally get the message: "It's over. Resign from the DNC or be booted from Congress (or both, preferably)."

Here's a snip from his bio:

Canova was an early critic of financial deregulation and the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan. In the 1980s, he wrote critically of the federal bailout of Continental Illinois, the nation’s seventh largest commercial bank, and the collapse of the savings & loan industry. In the 1990s, prior to the Asian currency contagion, he argued against the liberalization of capital accounts. Throughout the Bush administration, he warned of an impending crisis in the bubble economy. Since 2008, he has lectured and written widely on the causes and consequences of the present economic and financial crisis. In 2011, Tim Canova was appointed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to serve on an Advisory Committee on Federal Reserve Reform with leading economists, including Jeffrey Sachs, Robert Reich, James Galbraith, and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stieglitz..."

Frankly he could be Bernie's running mate and I'd be almost as happy.  But DWS needs to go and Canova is virtually a dream replacement for her.

Canova's entry is the culmination of a pretty horrible week for Wasserman Schultz; I've signed no fewer than five different petitions from various organizations, which have collected tens of thousands of signatures in a matter of days, calling for her resignation from the DNC.  Her refusal to expand the primary debate schedule, her suspending the Sanders campaign from its voter lists, and associated misconduct seems to have finally caught up to her, but she's made her situation much worse just this week.  In a gaffe she certainly never saw coming, she outed herself as a abolitionist on marijuana even as she has taken money from alcohol PACs.  The Intercept has the best executive summary of this appalling ignorance and hypocrisy.

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the New York Times  she continues to oppose legalizing marijuana — even as she has courted alcohol PACs as one of the largest sources of her campaign funding.

Wasserman Schultz, a House Democrat from Florida, said she doesn’t “think we should legalize more mind-altering substances if we want to make it less likely that people travel down the path toward using drugs. We have had a resurgence of drug use instead of a decline. There is a huge heroin epidemic.”

The fifth-largest pool of money the congresswoman has collected for her re-election campaign has been from the beer, wine, and liquor industry. The $18,500 came from PACs including Bacardi USA, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, Southern Wine & Spirits, and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that during a recent period, “excessive drinking was responsible for one in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64.”

When pushed by interviewer Ana Marie Cox, Wasserman Schultz said that she was “bothered by the drug culture that surrounded my childhood — not mine personally. I grew up in suburbia.”
Cox pointed out that despite the dramatic problem with opiate abuse, the state has not made opiates illegal. Wasserman Schultz responded by saying that there “is a difference between opiates and marijuana.”

She’s right about that. An estimated 8,257 Americans perished from heroin-related drug poisoning in 2013. Nearly twice as many — 16,235 — died from opioid analgesics.

There have been roughly zero deaths from marijuana abuse.

In 2014, 64 percent of self-identified Democrats told Gallup they support marijuana legalization.

Jack Moore at GQ limited his criticism to "DWS saying some stupid things about drugs", but a Democratic mega-donor -- who noted that she took sides with Republican financier Sheldon Adelson in the 2014 campaign against Florida's medical marijuana initiative, was more blunt at the time.

(John) Morgan criticized Wasserman Schultz's position. “I know personally the most-powerful players in Washington, D.C. And I can tell you that Debbie Wasserman Schultz isn’t just disliked. She’s despised. She’s an irritant," Morgan told the Miami Herald (in June, 2014). “Why she’s trying to undermine this amendment I don’t know. But I’ll tell you, I will never give a penny or raise a penny for the national party while she’s in leadership. And I have given and helped raise millions.”

Morgan obviously caught the early train on DWS.  And when she offered to flip-flop on the issue if Morgan would take back what he said, he was similarly terse:

“No,” Morgan responded. “She is a bully. I beat bullies up for a living.”

From the wayback machine and 2008 -- before her tenure as party chair began, to be clear -- we can be reminded that the DNC chairwoman supported incumbent Republicans over Democratic challengers because 'they had to work together on regional issues".  Why, Florida is just like Texas in this regard.  Do you remember that alleged progressive state representative  Garnet Coleman once said the same thing about Robert Talton?  Esquire's Charles Pierce also mentions the "bipartisan" crapola -- and Wasserman Schultz's opposition to the Iran nuclear bargain, the Cuban detente, and her financial support from the private prison industry -- when he hung out the "Help Wanted' sign at the DNC in August.

So there's a history there. But this latest fiasco is different by an order of magnitude. If DWS wants to oppose the Iran deal in her capacity as an otherwise insignificant member of the House minority, that's fine with me. But if, as it appears, as national chairman of the president's party, she actively campaigned against a measure designed to show the support of the president's party for a monumentally important White House policy initiative, then she should have been fired from that post yesterday.

She has also recently demonstrated a remarkable disconnect with what women of a generation younger than hers think about their reproductive freedoms.

Progressives and pro-choice activists are criticizing Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz for saying she's seen "complacency" among young women born after the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling, a landmark decision that established the right to an abortion. 

"Here’s what I see: a complacency among the generation of young women whose entire lives have been lived after Roe v. Wade was decided," she told The New York Times in an interview. 

Poor choice of words at best.  Rejoinder from Twitter and from the head of a group advocating for women's choice:

Kierra Johnson, the executive director of Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity ... suggested young people view women's health issues from a different perspective. 

"There is energy among young people around these issues -- it just may not be happening in the way that Rep. Wasserman Shultz is used to seeing," she said in a statement. "The young people that are drawn into this movement today don't see reproductive justice as wholly separate from LGBTQ equality or from racial justice or economic justice or a host of other issues." 

Wasserman Schultz just shows up lately as tone-deaf on a host of current political topics, and it's approaching toxicity for Hillary Clinton's campaign.  Not in the same way that Rahm Emanuel's widespread corruption does, but both of them represent Clinton cronyism -- yep, that's what it is, and I'll expand on it in a future post -- at its very worst.

As I said before though, I'm more than happy if she stays on at the DNC, damaging Clinton's prospects further.  That's a development I'm delighted to keep track of.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

Oh, booze is indeed THE "gateway drug." I mean, she's just full of crap on that issue. Beyond her normal level of craptacularity.