Netroots Nation: The DNC Chairwoman Speaks

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 17 2011 4:21 PM

Netroots Nation: The DNC Chairwoman Speaks

MINNEAPOLIS -- Debbie Wasserman Schultz had an easier time at Netroots Nation than that other representative of official Democratic power, Dan Pfeiffer. The chairwoman of the DNC stopped briefly to talk to reporters after a short, boos-free speech.

Asked about Russ Feingold's take from last night, that Democrats would lose their souls if they became a movement of Super PACs and corporate fundraising, she politely disagreed. "Progressives shouldn't be radically disarming," she said.


I asked if Wasserman Schultz had seen the rumors coming out of debt limit negotiations which basically have Democrats giving away the store -- agreeing to spending cuts and caps, but not getting the tax increases they want.

"As a Democratic member of Congress," she said, "I know that in order to deal with the deficit reduction, because we need to do it in a way that doesn't short circuit the beginnings of a recovery, I need to go along with some things that cause me angst and that would be painful. Things I normally wouldn't want to vote for. The same would be true for the Republicans and their priorities."

But everyone I was talking to here, I said, wondered why Democrats can't start or win this argument -- why Republicans are so much better at enforcing tax orthodoxy.

"President Obama and congressional Democrats believe that the focus by Republicans exclusively on tax cuts for the wealthiest, on not making sure that we can acknowledge clearly that those tax cuts exploded the deficit, is misguided," she said. "We need to make reductions in the tax code as well as indirect expenditures, and not cut off our nose to spite our face."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.