Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Dog Days
If Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz were a little dog, she might be a dachshund. She charges her adversary, teeth bared and yapping viciously, until realizing the other dog is larger. The realization sends her scurrying for cover, where she yelps, snarls, and whines. While this analogy may seem ridiculous, it perfectly illustrates Schultz's "confrontation" with Rep. Allen West and her political persona in general.
Schultz bit Rep. West during a speech on the House floor. Well, more like she nipped him on the heel. She never mentioned West by name, yet he was obviously her target. During a rambling, platitude-laced diatribe about the debt ceiling, Schultz accused Rep. West of denying Social Security checks and Medicare payments to senior citizens. West responded directly to Rep. Schultz, telling her exactly what he thought of her unprofessional tactics. Like a yapping, obnoxious little dog, Schultz tucked her tail and ran for the cover of her supporters, who were quick to oblige.
The President of Emily's List, Stephanie Schriock, issued a thinly disguised fund-raising message in which she described West's response as angry, threatening, sexist, and demeaning. "We don't have to tolerate this kind of behavior," she wrote, demanding a formal, public apology from Rep. West.
However, it was Schultz's choice to play rough. She wasn't genteel, professional, or ladylike toward Allen West. Rather than face West directly, Schultz waited until he was out of the House chamber, and hid behind the House microphone and then her leftist supporters. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, like a dachshund, proved to be all show. She barked a good fight, but that was all. Schultz should've heeded West's admonition to "shut the heck up." But once safe from West, she feigned ferocity once again.
Schultz accused House Republicans of using the debt ceiling debate to establish a dictatorship. Conservatives, she charged, planned to inflict pain and suffering on as many Americans as possible. How she arrived at this conclusion is anyone's guess. But logic played no part in Schultz's accusations. It seldom does. She was again the angry dachshund on the attack, barking loud, creating commotion, becoming an annoyance, and accomplishing nothing.
Rep. Schultz can play the tough poser. But the threat she presents is as miniscule as her understanding of dictatorships.
Dictatorial powers are invested in a central figure, not a legislative body. No dictator worthy of the title allows outside forces to exercise more than a token influence on governmental decisions. Dictators rule without regard to outside opinion. Anything resembling a deliberative body is a smokescreen, a rubber stamp. And there's no room for citizens' representation.
Schultz can sniff all she wants. She won't find the dictator's mindset among genuine conservatives. But, ironically, her Democrat colleagues seem ready, even eager, to yield dictatorial powers to the Executive Branch.
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) finds nothing controversial or inconsistent about a Democrat president unilaterally bypassing the representative body. He's not alone; other Democrats echoed Clyburn's sentiments. In fact, many Democrats have encouraged President Obama to act unilaterally in spending the public's money and increasing the public's indebtedness. True, Obama himself hasn't acted on his colleagues' wishes. But he's made it clear, in his own words, that wielding absolute power has entered his mind.
The seeds of dictatorship are present in Rep. Schultz's party. A Democrat president dreams of making his own rules while alleged representatives encourage him to assume authority his office doesn't legally possess. Did Schultz fail to notice her colleagues' support for authoritarian rule, or conveniently ignore it? Perhaps she's too busy barking at imaginary dictators to focus her attention on the tyrannical attitudes residing within her own party. Or, more likely, she shares their thirst for despotism.
Rep. Schultz is the perfect example of an absurdity. She's a belligerent party hack with a blind eye for the obvious. She possesses the courage of a doberman when unopposed, but can shrink into a whining whelp at a moment's notice. Like a dachshund, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a general nuisance who makes a big show, does nothing, and runs for cover when challenged.
Anthony W. Hager has authored more than 300 articles for various newspapers, periodicals, and websites. Contact him via his website, www.therightslant.com.