The DNC should send a thank-you card to Anthony Weiner. If the Representative from New York hadn’t had his fortnight of self-immolation over sending out lewd and obscene pictures and dialogue to strange women over the Internet, the press may have taken a much closer look at their new DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Tim Kaine’s successor has had her own credibility meltdown over the last few weeks, and with the smoke clearing a bit from Weinergate, Politico’s Molly Ball notices it:
In the four weeks since she succeeded Tim Kaine, Wasserman Schultz has been called out by four nonpartisan fact-checkers for mischaracterizing the GOP’s Medicare plan.
She’s accused Republicans of wanting to reinstate segregation and of waging a “war on women.” She has asserted, somewhat nonsensically, that the GOP wants to make illegal immigration — by definition against the law — “a crime.” She’s also been mocked for driving a foreign car after pounding Republicans for not supporting the American auto industry.
A rank-and-file member of Congress typically wouldn’t get noticed for inflammatory language and rhetorical slip-ups. But Wasserman Schultz has a higher profile now — and was hired precisely because of her skills as a communicator.
If that sounds familiar to Republicans, Ball draws the comparison for everyone else:
No one seems ready to declare her the Democratic version of Michael Steele, the gaffe-prone former Republican National Committee chairman whose rhetorical and administrative missteps led numerous party leaders to publicly insist he had to go. But some Democrats are already privately fretting about the media-loving Wasserman Schultz’s tendency to put her foot in her mouth — after all, her ability to be the party’s frontwoman and messenger was a major reason President Barack Obama selected her as chairwoman.
So far, the White House is defending its choice of Wasserman-Schultz in the role. Ed Rendell defends Wasserman-Schultz by claiming that her gaffes have been “minor.” After four weeks on the job, though, Wasserman-Schultz is averaging at least one laugher a week, providing the RNC with plenty of clippable — and damning — video. They may start a job-creation boom on DWS Watch. Literally, as DWS herself might say.
Ball also notes the hypocrisy of Wasserman-Schultz’s fire-breathing rhetoric as a newly-minted party leader:
Wasserman Schultz’s sharpest rhetoric — such as insisting that Republicans’ move to defund Planned Parenthood and restrict abortion constitutes a “war on women” or that the Ryan plan would be a “death trap for some seniors” — may please her party’s base. But it doesn’t square with her role as a leading voice decrying that kind of over-the-top language in the wake of the January shooting in Tucson that injured her good friend, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Yeah, what was it that Wasserman-Schultz said after the shooting?
“Maybe we can all come together and push the shock jocks and the media, who pride themselves in whipping people into a frenzy on both sides, not to do that anymore,” she said.
Hmmm. Maybe we can get the DNC chair to stop telling people that Republicans literally want to bring back Jim Crow laws and kill seniors. Whipping people into a frenzy is apparently only a public-sector prerogative in Debbie Downer’s world.