It is enough to make you believe in evolution.
Usually, senseless feuds and backbiting are the province of the GOP. My limited experience dealing with some state-level Republican Machiavellis gave my gag reflex a major workout. But now the Democrats are moving onto our turf.
I don’t know Debbie Wasserman Schultz but if she isn’t an unpleasant harpy in person she certainly gives a damned good impression of one on television. Unpleasant, perhaps, is being overly charitable. Before the Democrat ‘debate’, two of the vice-chairs of the DNC, [mc_name name=’Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000571′ ] and former Minneapolis mayor R. T. Rybak, asked for more debates:
Two vice chairs of the Democratic National Committee are publicly calling on the party to increase the number of presidential debates, adding high-profile voices to efforts to change the process.
[mc_name name=’Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000571′ ] of Hawaii and R.T. Rybak, a former mayor of Minneapolis, released a joint statement late on Wednesday urging the party committee to remove the restrictions that were put in place to prevent presidential candidates from taking part in unsanctioned debates. The schedule has been criticized by Martin O’Malley, a candidate and former governor of Maryland, as too restrictive, and by some Democrats as being too favorable to Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Wasserman Schultz, who might as well be a Clinton campaign operative, vetoed the idea. Ms. Gabbard apparently thought that she was allowed to have an opinion on the subject and appeared on MSNBC the day before the debate and said there should be more of them:
[mc_name name=’Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000571′ ] of Hawaii, a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said she was disinvited from the first Democratic presidential primary debate in Nevada after she appeared on television and called for more face-offs.
Ms. Gabbard confirmed on Sunday that her chief of staff received a message last Tuesday from the chief of staff to [mc_name name=’Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’W000797′ ], the chairwoman of the national committee, about her attendance at the debate. A day earlier, Ms. Gabbard had appeared on MSNBC and said there should be an increase beyond the current six sanctioned debates.
A person close to the committee who asked for anonymity to discuss internal discussions insisted, however, that Ms. Gabbard had not been disinvited. Instead, the person said, an aide to Ms. Wasserman Schultz expressed a desire to keep the focus on the candidates as the debate approached, rather than on a “distraction” that could divide the party, and suggested that if Ms. Gabbard could not do that, she should reconsider going.
Ms. Gabbard insisted otherwise.
“When I first came to Washington, one of the things that I was disappointed about was there’s a lot of immaturity and petty gamesmanship that goes on, and it kind of reminds me of how high school teenagers act,” Ms. Gabbard said in a telephone interview on Sunday night. She said she would watch the debate in her district in Hawaii, which elected her to her second term last year.
“It’s very dangerous when we have people in positions of leadership who use their power to try to quiet those who disagree with them,” she added. “When I signed up to be vice chair of the D.N.C., no one told me I would be relinquishing my freedom of speech and checking it at the door.”
Ms. Gabbard was sounding like a Tea Partier there at the end.
Wasserman Schultz, she of the mad interpersonal skillz, fired back:
DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s said Wednesday that Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s claim that she and other DNC officers were not involved in the decision to limit the Democratic debates to six is false.
“I think it’s really unfortunate that Congresswoman Gabbard is focused on anything other than making sure that we can highlight our incredible candidates. What she’s saying is simply not true,” Wasserman Shultz said on CNN.
Now Ms. Gabbard’s co-chair is calling Wasserman Schultz a big fat liar:
Rybak said he is going public after Wasserman Schultz told a “knowing untruth” about Gabbard.
“The only reason I went public on this was after the Chair went on television and repeated a knowing untruth about Tulsi Gabbard, who, one of our fellow co-chairs, who, as a Congresswoman from Hawaii, is a great leader of the party,” Rybak revealed. “And I’m not going to stand by and watch that.”
The only interesting thing here is that Wasserman Schultz seems to be a reflexive liar. Even the “person close to the committee” who seemed to support Wasserman Schultz admits Gabbard was told to shut up or not go to the debate. The other point, of only moderate interest if you have been paying attention at all, is that the Democrat political establishment doesn’t actually trust voters with choices other than the one with the imprimatur. This year their choice is Hillary and if you are a Democrat voter you’d better like it.