You’d think Wasserman Schultz would lose DNC job for bucking Obama on Iran Deal

US Politics
on 33 Comments

Everyone’s talking about the fact that the chair of the Democratic National Committee bucked President Obama on the Iran Deal, his signature foreign-policy achievement; but none of the media reports remarks over the fact that she gets to keep her job after this betrayal. You’d think that Debbie Wasserman Schultz serves at the pleasure of the president. But you’d be wrong. Another power is clearly at work here. The facts:

At the annual DNC summer meeting in Minneapolis, Wasserman Schultz, the south Florida Democrat and congresswoman, shot down a measure praising her own president on the Iran Deal. Why? Washington Post reporters Dan Balz and Philip Rucker:

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz prevented consideration of a resolution at the party’s summer meeting here [Minneapolis] that praised President Obama and offered backing for the nuclear agreement with Iran, according to knowledgeable Democrats.

The resolution was drafted with the intention of putting the national committee on record in support of the agreement as Congress prepares to take up the issue when members return from their August recess.

The Post attributes Wasserman Schultz’s betrayal of the president to Jewish political concerns in her S. Florida district.

Wasserman Schultz, who represents a heavily Jewish congressional district in south Florida, has not taken a position on the agreement. She faces significant pressure to break with the president and oppose the deal

I bet this is about raising money nationally. Wasserman Schultz isn’t concerned for her own district but the strength of the party nationally. Her stance also helps explain why NY Senator Chuck Schumer came out against the deal: because he wants to raise money to help Democratic Senatorial candidates next fall, so that they will then vote to put him in as party leader. He thinks that opposing the deal is where the money is. And after all, opponents of the deal are spending as much as $100 million against it. Presumably they’ll spend that much again in 2016 on their friends.

Politico is more honest about the fundraising angle.

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz refused to say on Wednesday if she’ll back the president’s nuclear deal with Iran, even as she arranged a personal meeting between Vice President Joe Biden and Jewish leaders in her district. Biden, who is already mulling a presidential bid, was scheduled to attend a senatorial fundraiser in Miami on Sept. 2, so it was easy to add the roundtable event in Wasserman Schultz’s nearby district the following day.

Antiwar.com’s Jason Ditz says that her stance was a surprise.
That she used her position at the DNC to block this resolution, however, is a surprise.
The surprise is that she doesn’t lose her job in an instant, when President Obama is struggling to hold Democrats in support of the deal. And the reason she doesn’t is because the president is cognizant of the political forces that are bearing on her. On Friday, after all, he had the Jewish Federations chief and the chair of the Conference of Presidents in to the White House to try and sell the deal to a dubious Jewish leadership. The average Joe Jew may be for the deal, but the older, Israel-loving Jews are very dubious. And they give a ton of money.

 

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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33 Responses

  1. Les
    August 31, 2015, 10:45 am

    I beg to differ. Jewish money is a pittance. Most of our media is owned by Jews who support rather than oppose Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. It’s that media not Jewish money that matters.

    • Bandolero
      August 31, 2015, 3:16 pm

      Les

      I agree. The influence on mass media is much more important – and expensive – than campaign money.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 31, 2015, 4:19 pm

        The influence on mass media is much more important – and expensive – than campaign money.

        not to politicians it isn’t. if your goal is “raising money nationally” that would be for electing democrats beholden to your interests.

        if anyone here thinks Schultz’s job as DNC chair is influencing the media, they’re not thinking clearly.

        Schumer came out against the deal: because he wants to raise money to help Democratic Senatorial candidates next fall, so that they will then vote to put him in as party leader. He thinks that opposing the deal is where the money is.

        he’s not raising money to give it to the media to influence public opinion. the money is buying future congressional votes for aipac. aipac can give money directly to the media is they want. they don’t have to go through congress to do that.

        It’s that media not Jewish money that matters.

        uh huh, and that is why politicians spend their coffers on media? don’t put the cart before the horse. money (jewish or otherwise) funneled to congress pays for them to win elections. and then in turn expects politicians to vote the way those donors want. so jewish donors very much do matter.

        and if they didn’t then why pray tell do our television screens run campaign commercials non stop for months leading up to elections?

      • Sibiriak
        August 31, 2015, 11:16 pm

        Annie Robbins: money (jewish or otherwise) funneled to congress pays for them to win elections. and then in turn expects politicians to vote the way those donors want.

        ——————————-
        True. But if Zionist interests are so against the “U.S. national interests” (defined by U.S. national elites), then where are the big patriotic U.S. donors to counter the “Jewish money”?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 1, 2015, 1:16 am

        where are the big patriotic U.S. donors to counter the “Jewish money”?

        wrt the middle east? that’s a question you should ask of someone who doesn’t think US elites are either zionists or have the same interests as zionists. cha cha cha ching .. war profiteers like war where ever it is. they don’t make exceptions for the middle east. defense contracts are big bucks.

        either way, i’ve heard 60% of the money pumped into the dem party comes from israel supporters (primarily very rich people and bundlers i would imagine) and the rest of the money comes from regular people making smaller donations or donations over local politics. but, as an example, if a politician was to get 1 mil from 1 rich pro israel constituent in their district vs 1 mil from 5k constituents giving $200 each, unless each one of those 5k constituents specifically stated their contribution was pro palestine, who do you think the politician would listen to?

        you mean where are the pro i/p balance mega millionaires in the dem party? i don’t know. i assume j street has bundlers. really, i don’t know any organization as coordinated as the israel lobby whose main interest is the middle east who can deliver millionaire after millionaire supporting palestine or balance in the middle east. it’s basically the little people vs the behemoth of the lobby. but i do think the vast majority of americans want a fair resolution in palestine/israel.

        however, as it stands now the commercialization of our elections is so intense and consuming if the “other side” had the money to put up the kind of public commercial fight worthy of competing for airtime w/the lobby interests, i really don’t know how there would be time for regular programming. as it is the campaigning starts (seemingly) the day after the last election. it’s a billion dollar industry. and there’s no saying if somehow we did match their funds, lobby interests wouldn’t just double or triple theirs. it’s too much. and the supreme court ruling ending limitations on funding makes the sky the limit. it makes much more sense for regular people (who believe it’s the vote that matters vs the money) organize in other ways and beat them at the ballot box.

      • Steve Macklevore
        September 1, 2015, 5:00 am

        I agree with Annie,

        In U.S politics money is to campaigning as gasoline is to car.

  2. piotr
    August 31, 2015, 11:39 am

    Les is over-simplifying. There is no huge difference between establishment media that are “Jewish owned” and not. Compare NYT and Fox News, Fox News is presumably more supportive of ethnic cleansing “for a good cause” (I do not watch it, so second-hand information).

    In the case of political money, Jews are about 2% of the population, but apparently much more in somewhat misnamed “top 1%”, but quite crucially, the rich Jews have much smaller proportion of GOP donors. Part of the effort of ZOA, ECI etc, the Adelson wing of the lobby, is to get it down to almost zero. Structurally, Democrats are less enthusiastic supporters of the most rich, and reciprocally, they are supported much less, and they have to value their sparser political money more. So, can one explain why Debbie Wasserman Schultz, very nice but not the brightest member of Congress is the chair of DNC? Her role is to be inoffensive team player who is effective fund raiser. Same with Schumer, although he does not pass the first test. But why is DWS effective?

    • Les
      September 1, 2015, 11:23 am

      How much money is worth the (respectable?) Times non-coverage of Israel’s efforts to wipe out the Palestinians by creating and shaping public opinion with which the Times can then browbeat politicians to conform to the paper’s manufactured news? If the Times had to be paid for this how much Jewish money would AIPAC have to raise?

  3. piotr
    August 31, 2015, 11:52 am

    By the way, there is a denial that Debbie blocked a resolution, apparently it was proposed in the last moment in a packet of three motions, and there is a committee that decides what goes to the vote, not just the chair. Quite importantly, the resolution was substituted by a letter signed by most DNC members. Cynically, Democrats want to show their Zionist donors that they did what they could, given that they could not do much in this case, and without further donations the party could be taken over by a truly radical mob, folks who care not just about effectiveness of the foreign policy, (the deal is part of the Big Game, not a marginal ME issue) but even about ethnic cleansing and oppression.

    In the same time, some of those radical scary folks actually donate to DNC, so they have some influence.

  4. David Doppler
    August 31, 2015, 12:27 pm

    Democrats who fail to support the President here should lose their national party positions. There have to be consequences for corruption; otherwise it will get much worse.

    And, unfortunately, the Israel of today shows us every gradation of corruption, from weaselly go-along-to-get-along so-called centrists, to government officials demanding that the IDF open fire on women when they try to protect their injured child from police brutality, as they are displaced from their homes and land, to police who cannot find any suspects for burning people to death in their homes at night, to political leaders who pander to racist fear and blatantly lie about their intentions.

    Every gradation of corruption, racism, and brutality, and it will continue to get worse, until it is brought to a head by direct confrontation via people with power. That would the President, the US government, P5+1, and the President’s political party.

    Otherwise, Democrats have embraced all that right-wing, fascist corruption as their own. It’s shameful and disgraceful.

    • Kathleen
      August 31, 2015, 5:55 pm

      David spot on “Democrats who fail to support the President here should lost their national party positions. Schumer should not be promoted. This is a huge issue. Schumer definitely has definitely tried to throw the Iran deal under the bus. Sounds like Wasserman Schultz is on the same bus. Which is no surprise but still not just shameful but dangerous for our nation…and the rest of the world…including Israel

    • JWalters
      August 31, 2015, 6:35 pm

      “There have to be consequences for corruption; otherwise it will get much worse.”

      Debbie and Israel is John Boehner and the tobacco companies all over again. She’s a bag woman for Israeli criminals, like Schumer. Schumer who said Palestinians deserve to be economically strangled because “they don’t believe in the Torah, in David”.

      McCollum should replace Deb as Democratic leader. It’s time to call a halt to this con job. I highly recommend to all passing readers the inspiring masterpiece “Mr Smith Goes to Washington”, with Jimmy Stewart by Frank Capra. It is EXACTLY today.

    • RockyMissouri
      September 1, 2015, 4:42 pm

      I totally agree. Thank you for an excellent comment.

  5. Citizen
    August 31, 2015, 1:32 pm

    Good to know US foreign policy is an internal Jewish American thing, the other 98% of USA are just chopped liver.

  6. Citizen
    August 31, 2015, 1:42 pm

    In a dream, I saw Obama get on the national pulpit & tell US public what he really think about Zionist choke hold on US foreign policy, and how it really hurts USA, & World’s attempt at rule of law.

    • JWalters
      August 31, 2015, 6:41 pm

      Funny, I had that dream, but it was Bernie. Still a great dream.

  7. Steve Grover
    August 31, 2015, 1:56 pm

    The average Joe Jew may be for the deal, but the older, Israel-loving Jews are very dubious. And they give a ton of money.”

    (1) The average Joe Jew doesn’t read mondoweiss.
    (2) If the average Jew read mondoweiss they would immediately donate a ton of money to JNF and Stand With Us.
    (3) Although you think young American Jews don’t love Israel you are wrong. Ever go to a Chicago Israel Solidarity event? My guess it is a similar situation in New York.
    (4) I will bet Jan Schakowsky loses her seat for going against the deal.

    • Shingo
      August 31, 2015, 4:23 pm

      (1) The average Joe Jew doesn’t read

      Irrelevant. They still support the deal

      2) If the average Jew read mondoweiss they would immediately donate a ton of money to JNF and Stand With Us.

      That would mean at least most of MWs Jewish readers would befobatibgmoney to those groups. I doubt even you or Hophmi donate to them.

      3) Although you think young American Jews don’t love Israel you are wrong. Ever go to a Chicago Israel Solidarity event?

      There are bound to be a few flat earth era in the Jewish community who haven’t woken up yet. They will.

      (4) I will bet Jan Schakowsky loses her seat for going against the deal

      Hope so.

    • traintosiberia
      August 31, 2015, 9:33 pm

      You mean the average Jews don’t get excited enough to donate despite being reminded of Hitler year after year ,month after month by ADL and AIPAC?

  8. Boomer
    August 31, 2015, 2:26 pm

    Another “profile in courage” to teach the kids about in civics class. But I’m not so sure that Obama is all that unhappy. Remember how, at the last Democratic Convention, word came down from the “White House” (ever notice how building talk in DC? no human is responsible) to undo a vote re I/P. Unseemly democracy at the Democratic Convention.

    I should be thankful that I don’t have to earn a living teaching civics to school kids. I remember some of my high school teachers fondly as dedicated mentors. Doing that seems like a pleasant fantasy, a worthy way to end a career. But sooner or later (probably sooner) I would tell them too much of the truth, and my career would be over.

  9. echinococcus
    August 31, 2015, 4:11 pm

    All those who were into disquisitions about antisemitism and such, watch now what gates of antisemitism are going to open about the Wassermann story! The real stuff this time. I hope I am wrong.
    Again, it’s not enough to say one is not a Zionist when Zionists control the opinion.

    • JWalters
      August 31, 2015, 6:55 pm

      It seems to me the Jewish anti-Zionist block is solid enough to have established that Jews are not a monolith on Israel. And it would be both unfair and stupid to hassle Jews who are on our side of the issue. In reality, Jews are among the most useful analysts in this area because of their inside knowledge of Jewish society. Mondoweiss comes to mind. I don’t see such a movement getting any serious traction in America’s cultural climate of freedom of religion. Look at how poorly the Israeli campaign to demonize all Muslims has done.

      • echinococcus
        August 31, 2015, 8:51 pm

        You say it well, Walters, but the campaign to “demonize”, as you say, Muslims (in fact just any Arabs, Persians, even Sikhs.. that term Muslims sounds as if anyone looked at religion) was already doing very well since 2002 –no need for Zionists to do more. At any rate, it has nothing to do with religion, or freedom of, not at all. I am just reading a lot of exploding feelings about tribal behaviors and tiny minorities with a chokehold on the DNC and the government and warmaking decisions, etc. I hope I have some disease and that I’m imagining what I am reading. Also, I don’t know if a clear-cut non-fraternization/shunning policy against all Zionists would have helped (probably not, considering the numbers and the preponderant Zionist propaganda.)
        At any rate, it is my feeling, and asking people to differentiate between Jews and Zionists at this stage, when feelings explode, is like asking people to find Timbuktu on a map. Not gonna happen.

  10. Kathleen
    August 31, 2015, 4:48 pm

    Schumer has literally sold U.S. National Security down the pike. He should suffer consequences. Move On has a petition up asking the Minnesota Dem Party who will be holding a Dem dinner and have invited Schumer to be the guest speaker to retract their invitation because of Schumer’s vote against Iran deal.

    Wasserman Schultz using her position to shoot down national praise of the Iran deal. Shameful. I will never forget when Prof Mearsheimer said to me as we talked about his book that was soon to come out “the I lobby owns our congress” Clearly and literally they do. Although the positive part of all of this is that that reality is out of the shadows and in the spotlight. Just who in the Dem party and all Republicans who are voting to literally undermine what is best for the U.S.

    Best take down of Wasserman Schultz was Soledad O’Brien at the Dem Convention on the Jerusalem issue “DNC Chair Torn Apart Over Removal of Jerusalem From Platform”

    Wasserman Schultz says that ” President Obama personally believes that Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel”

  11. Kay24
    August 31, 2015, 7:40 pm

    The Heading should be:

    “WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ BETRAYS OWN PRESIDENT TO PLEASE ZIONISTS AND ISRAELI LOBBIES.”

  12. traintosiberia
    August 31, 2015, 8:42 pm

    In other country ,this event if happened,we would call him or her as representing the rogue element within administration or inner circle .
    We will would wonder” who is in charge? Can world be safe given such a powerful country’s leader can be rebuked so openly by a senior same party leader”

  13. traintosiberia
    August 31, 2015, 8:53 pm

    Forward editor Eisner was interviewed this evening by Chris Hayes in MSNBC.
    Both were trying to avoid the charges of being seen as conspiracy theorist by sidetracking and avoiding the discussion on the Jewish role in Iran deal. But they had to discuss this of they were going to talk about Iran deal .
    So Forward editor ends her comment saying that this kind of non alignment between Jewish and American leaders are new. Has never happened.
    I was astonished. Has she forgot how Carter was sabotaged by AIPAC? How Begin sabotaged wider objectives of Carter? Has she forgot the discordance between Eishenhower ,Kennedy and Bush sr and Israeli leaders? Other American presidents were not brave to articulate and fight . Obama did and won decades after Eishenhower’s success .

  14. chris_k
    September 1, 2015, 9:15 am

    What should be added to this, and a good topic for a Mondoweiss investigation, is Wasserman Schultz’ role in limiting debates. The DNC as some of you know is only permitting six debates -much fewer than any recent cycle, and more insipidly is banning any candidate from a debate that participates in a non-DNC debate. O’Malley is saying he will openly defy this. Sanders says he’s against it but he at the moment is ready to hang O’Malley out to dry rather than take his position. Wasserman Schultz was booed in Iowa for this.

    She worked for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 election. The DNC’s largest contributor, Haim Saban, is one of Hillary’s top supporters, the one who put her up to promising to “obliterate” Iran in response to a hypothetical situation. He says he is a one issue contributor (Israel is that issue, he says).

    A piece in the New Yorker focused on Wasserman Schultz, saying at one point Obama wanted to dump her and had the replacement selected, but she threatened to call him an anti-Semitic misogynist if he went through with it. She is serving longer than DNC chairs are expected to serve.

    The candidate she is protecting from debates is one with a national dispproval rating over 50% and growing over disclosures which are only going to snowball. Wasserman Schultz on the verge of selling out the majority of America’s citizens on account of her cynical intentions and obvious abuse of her position.

    • piotr
      September 1, 2015, 8:08 pm

      “and more insipidly” -> “and more insidiously”

      DNC tilting the rules for the most established candidate is insidious, but hardly a novelty. My perception is that Democrats feel defensive after big losses in elections and one tactic is to keep disagreements to minimum and on a maximally polite level. Conversely, GOP is feeling ascendant, and that feeds the silly season in the party. Debbie is not a mastermind which acumen and charisma to devise rules for limiting debates and impose on the majority of DNC delegates. [Full disclosure: I have very little interests in Democratic debates this year. O’Malley is a cypher to me, Sanders may be marginally better than Clinton, the party must have an option of ditching the lady but right now there is no rush. Observing the Zoo on the other side of the aisle works just fine.]

      On the issue of Iran, I perceive an ingenious strategy to eat the cake and have it. Opposition to the deal is actually dangerous to American interests, and sophisticated Zionists understand it. However, there remains the issue of “sensitivity to their concerns”. Those would be offended if all Democrats jumped to supported the deal with the alacrity of Bernie Sanders or even of the slightly slower HRC. Thus we have all those Solons taking their time and announcing support “after much thought”. I would invite wagers if Debbie will announce her decision with visible tears (my bet) or not.

      The report in Politico seems more like exercise in finesse than insidious manipulation:

      But as buzz built on the floor, Cecil R. Benjamin, a Democrat from the U.S. Virgin Islands, stood up and made three motions: to allow for more Democratic presidential debates, to call for cheaper hotel rooms at the Philadelphia DNC next summer and to support the president and the Iran deal. Benjamin had no formal resolution in hand, Democrats say.

      Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter responded by raising a point of order, mainly about the convention hotel issue. Zogby said Wasserman Schultz took up the three motions as one.

      “It’s out of order. It’s late. We can’t do it,” Zogby recalled Wasserman Schultz as having said. “In any case, Jim Zogby is circulating an open letter to the president and if you want to sign it you can sign it.”

      Zogby and Pelosi were thrilled with the response from members, 169 of whom signed. He thought his strategy of not making the issue controversial had paid off.

      “Discretion is the better part of valor,” Zogby said.

  15. James Canning
    September 1, 2015, 2:26 pm

    Wasserman Schultz OUGHT TO BE SACKED. We know why this is not likely.

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