Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"I lie so people will pay attention to me."

That's usually the rationale for a teenage girl saying something outlandish, but it now explains the bizarre behavior of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a challenger to Whoopi Goldberg for the title of Dumbest Woman in America.

Schultz is a member of Congress from Florida, but also the chair of the Democratic National Committee, and in her role as DNC chair she is simply the gift that keeps on giving....to Republicans. At least once a week this shrill, unlikable woman sticks her foot in her mouth in a way that embarrasses her party.

Early on, she had trouble understanding what the word "literally" meant. She once said that a program to reform Medicare was "literally a death trap for some seniors." Then she said the requirement for voters to show photo ID would "literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws." Moments later, she said those same laws are "literally just throwing a barrier in the way" of people who want to vote.

Apparently the DNC staff staged an intervention to explain the meaning of "literally" to her, because she seems to no longer butcher the language so badly, but it hasn't corrected her habit of making incorrect statements, leaving one magazine to describe her as "hysterical, hyperbolic and just to the left of Karl Marx."

This week, after making an outrageous claim that the Tea Party was somehow responsible for the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Schultz was called on to apologize for a statement far beyond the bounds of decency and civility.

She gives us a reason for her hysteria, however, in an interview with Newsweek, (Really? Newsweek is still publishing? Who knew?) saying that “I make strongly worded statements so people pay attention a little to what I’m saying.”

A pathetic need for attention is to be expected from a disturbed teenager, I guess, but it doesn't seem like a desirable trait for Democratic Party spokesperson, unless that's the best they've got, which just might be the case. Literally.

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