Shakespearean Tragedies Played Out in Both Conventions
The Republican convention had the Shakespearean tragedy of Rafael (“Ted”) Cruz, in which, an ambitious man’s ego became his undoing. Then, the Democratic convention has had the human sacrifice of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who fell on her sword for the good of her party. As with the rest of the year, these two weeks have given us a lot to talk about. But some say Wasserman Schultz achieved much.
Trump took the opportunity of Wasserman Schultz’s downfall to restate his love for Reince Priebus, her counterpart at the wholly owned Trump subsidiary formerly known as the Republican Party. “Today proves what I have always known,” Trump tweeted Sunday, “that @Reince Priebus is the tough one and the smart one, not Debbie Wasserman Schultz.”
But I spoke to a few longtime Republican operatives in the past few days who had come to the exact opposite conclusion. They viewed the Democratic leaks not with glee, but with palpable envy.
That’s because whatever Wasserman Schultz tried to do for Clinton and the Democratic establishment in her underhanded way is exactly what Priebus completely failed to do as his party was being overrun.
In other words, yes, Wasserman Schultz unfairly stopped a crazy man from getting the nomination, but is it really a good thing that Priebus didn’t?
. . .if you follow these things closely, that Republicans undertook what they actually called an “autopsy” after their losing 2012 campaign. . . Among the recommendations was that it should allow fewer primary debates. . . The unstated goal was to shore up support for an establishment candidate and lessen the time he would have to spend playing to an activist audience before pivoting toward a general election. . .
And the party took this recommendation quite seriously — only it was the wrong party. Wasserman Schultz made sure that Clinton didn’t have to debate Sanders and Martin O’Malley until October of last year, and she initially limited the number of debates to eight.
That decision kept Sanders from getting much national exposure and effectively sidelined O’Malley completely. And that was the point. . . Republicans held their first debate in early August and ended up scheduling a dozen more. . . And while Wasserman Schultz and her aides sat around looking for ways to derail Sanders’ nettlesome insurgency, Priebus declared himself essentially helpless.
. . .what the moment really demanded was a more forceful personality — someone more like Wasserman Schultz, with perhaps a touch more likability. You really think Haley Barbour would have sat around watching as some outsider — a New Yorker who mocked the Bush family and praised Planned Parenthood, while driving away Latinos and women with his nativist appeal — tweeted his way to the nomination?
No, had Barbour still been chairman, he would have put a big, sticky thumb on the scale. . .
Wasserman Schultz delivered where Priebus didn’t. Now the Clinton forces have disowned her on this, their most public of stages, and Wasserman Schultz will be lucky if she can hang on to her congressional seat.”
So Wasserman Schultz is a different kind of Shakespearean character. If Cruz is MacBeth, then Wasserman Schultz is, I guess, Coriolanus. . . .
After helping to make Hillary Clinton the Democratic presidential candidate this year, she resigned as Democratic chairperson, then lost her role in opening the convention, and now, she may lose her House seat!
Just two days after an email scandal forced her resignation as head of the Democratic Party, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz could be on her own in a suddenly tough re-election battle, as fellow House Democrats turn their back — and withhold their money — while contributions pour in for her primary opponent.
Soon after Wasserman Schultz was booed Monday during a Florida delegation breakfast in Philadelphia, Democratic primary foe Tim Canova wrote to his 20,000 Twitter followers, “It’s time to end her political career for good,” and shared a link to his campaign fundraising webpage.
The tactic appears to be working. He said he’s raised about $100,000 in the 72 hours since the scandal erupted, all without leaving south Florida or picking up a phone to dial for dollars.
Yet officials with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee made clear Monday they have no plans to spend money to save her.
Et, tu, Brute?
New York Magazine headline blared, “Everyone Hates Debbie Wasserman Schultz.”
Almost everything about the drama Democrats found themselves in on the first day of their convention — the leaked DNC emails roiling the Democratic party, the chorus of boos raining down on every speaker who mentions Hillary Clinton — was unexpected. But the least surprising development is the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The now-outgoing chair, one of the longest serving in her party’s history, has been one of the primary targets of Democratic infighting for years — so much so that stories venting frustration about the Florida congresswoman have become a biennial hallmark of political journalism. The only thing surprising about her departure as party leader is that it took this long to happen. . .
It was pretty obvious — and frustrating — to anyone who was watching, that the DNC favored Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. The fact that Democrats had only six debates, half as many as their Republican counterparts, and that they were always scheduled at such odd hours that it appeared the party didn’t want anyone to watch, strongly suggested that they were hoping the Democratic primary process would be an easy path for the early front-runner.
Well, not everybody hates Debbie. . .
When Hillary Clinton gave Debbie Wasserman Schultz an honorary position in her 50-state program yesterday upon the news of the DNC Chair’s resignation, many quickly jumped to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton was rewarding Wasserman Schultz with “quid pro quo” for “rigging the election.”. . .
What Clinton did with her announcement was what a good politician does: She was diplomatic and utilized Wasserman Schultz’s talents, while doing the equivalent of putting Wasserman Schultz in the corner. This position is not powerful. It is a huge step down from being the chair of the DNC. It’s more of a gentle landing place from the fall, while acknowledging the Chairwoman’s strengths.
It doesn’t pay to make enemies in your own party (see Ted Cruz and Donald Trump for proof of that) and any politician worth their salt knows how to utilize talent for the best outcome and they know not to burn bridges.
All the world’s a stage. . .and politicians know that their actions have consequences. You need allies, and you need a plan. You can’t rely on luck to get by. Or, as Cassius said in the play, Julius Caesar, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves.”