Friday, March 21, 2008

In her own words, Debbie Wasserman Schultz

The congresswoman from Florida’s District 20 held a town meeting Thursday evening in Plantation and said the following in her opening remarks:

"As far as staying out of the races in South Florida that the candidates
that are running against Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, or Mario
Diaz-Balart, I will tell you two things: one is that I have not endorsed
any of three Republicans nor will I. I don't support their re-elections. I am supportive of the Democratic candidates that are running against them. I have never stated otherwise.

“And as the co-chair of the Red to Blue campaign for the Democratic
Congressional Campaign Committee, I can assure you that I have spent
hundreds and hundreds of hours and will spend more hundreds and hundreds of
hours raising money, as I have been. I have been actively involved in
recruiting candidates and encouraging the DCCC to be supportive of our
candidates across the country, including the three Democratic candidates in
these races and I will continue to do so.

“But at the same time I am a member of Congress representing the 20th
District of Florida and it is my responsibility to balance my role in
Congress with my role at the DCCC and my role as a Democrat. And I think it
is absolutely my responsibility to make sure that I can effectively work
with my colleagues. And that's a tough balance. You know, it's like
walking a tight rope. The way I have chosen to be able to, the way that I
can do that is by working behind the scenes to help those Democratic
candidates by not publicly coming out against my the Republican incumbents (inaudible) work together to help this region and that's how I'm going to address that this evening."

At that point, several members of the audience walked out to protest the congresswoman’s inability to get fully on the team of the three challengers, Raul Martinez, Annette Taddeo and Joe Garcia (respectively running against the three Republican incumbents in the first paragraph of her statement). And since those audience members were the source of the transcript above, I’m unsure whether Wasserman Schultz went any further into this topic. She clearly didn’t want to discuss it any more. The audience had applauded when she spoke of being “supportive” of the three challengers, but then there were groans when she said she couldn’t come out publicly against her Republican colleagues.

This blog has been into this topic repeatedly since this story erupted in the Miami Herald on Sunday March 9,
with regret because it’s a Democratic blog criticizing Democrats (Kendrick Meek of FL-17 as well as Wasserman Schultz) in high elected office. But this blog and others aren’t doing this just because we’re somewhere off in the left-wing blogosphere. We are Democratic activists. We are working openly for the three challengers, and we are angry that our high elected Democratic officials – whose two seats are entirely safe -- have unfathomable reasons for not getting fully on board with us. We are hearing from Democratic voters that they’re not happy, either, and they’re acting demoralized.

If there is some wonderful benefit for South Florida in this alliance between our Democratic and Republican members of Congress, I ask that you, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Kendrick Meek, point it out to me and all those in agreement with me. It must be pretty huge, possibly even humongous, to balance this failure to be on the team for the 2008 elections, against “effectively” working with your Republican colleagues.

Did you end the war? Did you get SCHIP passed? Did you get sufficient money to restore the Everglades? Did you get your Republican colleagues to vote against immunity for telecoms? Did you get them to vote against torture? Did you make them stop the president’s illegal wiretaps, illegal executive encroachments, unjust tax policies?

Are you satisfied with your support for the Republicans’ cruel policy on family reunions for Cuban Americans? Did you notice that this was imposed by the worst president in U.S. history? Did you hear Mario Diaz-Balart declare on CNN that your support for this policy shows that it’s right? Don’t you know any Cuban Americans who haven’t been able to go to family funerals in Cuba because of this cruel policy? Could I introduce you to some?

Well, the rhetorical questions could go on for quite a while. And we wonder why you want to say just that in the paragraphs above and not take any further questions.

3 comments:

Ross said...

She shouldn't have to worry about working with her Republican colleagues on imagined ways to help this region, because she simply shouldn't have any Republican colleagues left after November.

What this region needs is to fix the economy, end the war, save the Everglades and our water supply, and let our citizens travel freely to break bread with their own relatives. We need a Democratic veto-proof majority in Congress, and no more Liebermans.

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Tiburon said...

It is clear that the honorable Congresswoman is simply afraid of the Cuban-American right wing and the nefarious influence they wield in South Florida. Her cowardice is disappointing. We need leaders who are willing to take risks, confront the bullies, and not kowtow meekly (no pun intended), whether the issue is voting to go to war or ending decades of a failed and miserable embargo that disunites families and hurts both American interests and the Cuban people. In other words, we need Democrats, not Republicats, to represent us.