DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has unleashed a vile attack against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, likening his record in office to physical violence against women:
Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz ripped into Republican Gov. Scott Walker's record Wednesday during a round-table discussion on women's issues at the Milwaukee Athletic Club. The Florida congresswoman said: "Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand. I know that is stark. I know that is direct. But that is reality." Wasserman Schultz added: "What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back. It is not going to happen on our watch."
Walker's Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, is appalled:
Kleefisch said she was "shocked" that Wasserman Schultz used domestic violence language to discuss political disagreements. "I think the remarks were absolutely hideous and the motive behind them was despicable," Kleefisch said. Kleefisch called on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke to "denounce these outrageous statements" made by the DNC leader.
The Burke campaign lightly distanced itself from the tirade, saying the Democratic candidate wouldn't use that type of language. I'm not generally a fan of faux umbrage-taking on both sides, with dueling demands for denunciations, but Wasserman Schultz's comments crossed a line. By comparing Scott Walker's policies and leadership to hitting women in the face and yanking on their hair -- acts of misogynistic physical violence -- she cheapens the true scourge of domestic abuse in a perverted effort to shut down fair debate and invalidate reasonable disagreement. Saying, 'Politician X's agenda is pretty much the same as beating up a woman' isn't an effort to enter the conversation, it's an attempt to end it. This particular analogy is shameful. Worse, DWS clearly knew she was being inflammatory in real time, as she drew the analogy. "I know that is stark," she said of her slander before doubling down with the hair-grabbing illustration.
Beyond the ill-conceived comparison, describing Walker as a "tea party extremist" is a bit odd. Out-of-the-mainstream right-wing extremists don't typically win back-to-back
statewide elections in purple states. The latest polling
out of Wisconsin shows that a majority of voters believe their state is on the right track (as opposed to the dreadful right/wrong track national numbers
), and a similar majority says Walker's policies have been an overall boon to the state. The incumbent governor is locked in a dead heat race with his female Democratic challenger, who avoided President Obama like the plague
over the weekend. (Walker, being a statesman, greeted the president
upon his arrival in the Badger State). The governor's re-re-election isn't assured. Conservatives in the state contend
that Walker needs to focus his message and push back against Democrats' attacks, which have mostly avoided the controversial (and successful) budget reforms that sparked the doomed recall fight. He also needs to shake off the media's egregiously irresponsible coverage
of his non-involvement in a non-scandal that was thrown out of court by two different judges. Mary Burke is a tax-and-spend Democrat who served in the unpopular previous administration, which hiked taxes and racked up huge budget shortfalls -- which Walker has closed
taxes. Burke is already trying to set the table
for increasing the tax burden on Wisconsinites. Here's Walker's most recent ad, which highlights the remarkable progress the state has made under his effective leadership:
FLASHBACK: DWS lectured Republicans about "civil discourse" after the Giffords shooting, which had absolutely nothing to do with heated rhetoric, or politics at all.
- There's video: