Barack Obama’s hand-picked head of the Democratic National Committee is one Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Rep. Schultz is perhaps best known, courtesy of Rush Limbaugh, by the handle Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz. She specializes in smarmy demagoguery that faithfully toes the party line, reducing it to its essence. It’s why Obama loves her.
On Tuesday Schultz singled out fellow Florida Congressman Allen West for condemnation on the floor of Congress in remarks over the debt/budget showdown. “The gentleman from Florida,” she said, “who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries, unbelievable from a member from south Florida.”
Rep. West did not appreciate the remarks. Rep. West responded in an email to Schultz on which he copied Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and others among the congressional leadership. In short order Politico’s Ben Smith obtained and posted West’s message. The subject line read: “Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman Schultz.”
“Look, Debbie” Rep. West instructed, “If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!” Notice the gentlemanly use of “heck” when Rep. West clearly had another, more offensive word in mind.
He continued: “From this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior. You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!”
The terms of Rep. West’s condemnation of Schultz are a bit out of fashion. Schultz is a Democratic Party attack dog. She no more aspires to ladylike behavior than does Rep. West. She could serve to update the joke: That’s no lady — that’s the head of the DNC!
But calling her “vile” was a bit imprudent. She is only as “vile” as Obama and the rest of the Democratic Party. As a Democratic Party leader, she is a sort of reductio ad absurdum. We took note of her most recently when we noted her observation that “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.”
Wasserman Schultz later conceded: “Jim Crow was the wrong analogy to use.” She only meant to say the same thing in other words. Indeed, in her pseudo-apologetic statement, she reiterated her point: “But I don’t regret calling attention to the efforts in a number of states with Republican dominated legislatures, including Florida, to restrict access to the ballot box for all kinds of voters, but particularly young voters, African Americans and Hispanic Americans.” But I digress.
Rep. West’s condemnation of Schultz were brought to our attention in a “Dear Hind” email from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rep. Steve Israel. Rep. Israel was up in arms, sort of: “We can’t let this shameful display go unanswered.” What answer did Rep. Israel propose: “Contribute $3 or more right now. . .” The Hill picks up the illuminating fundraising thread this morning. Say what you will about Rep. Israel, I think he set the price of the offense just about right.